A shout out to Ken Schwartz and his SOFC. My interpretation uses the cheap expanded polystyrene (the pebbly white stuff). Yeah I know its delicate stuff but I'm not moving it around much. The attractive thing is that the foam I used has a aluminum Mylar surface that acts as a radiant barrier, so that heat has more difficulty getting in (arguably heat has more difficulty getting out as well, but that isn't the issue once the chamber is at the right temperature). I used the Hunter "Just Right" 42995 thermostat from Wallmart as illustrated in
. It nails the temperature perfectly, compared with my lab thermometer. Some slight improvements I made are in the following list:
__ imbedded wood dowels in the side of my chiller in which to mount the thermostat.
__ Added a riser board to tilt the fermentation bucket so that the trub settles away from the spigot (I rack through a spigot instead of a racking cane - anything to reduce the chance of contamination).
__ Used a slightly slower (read "quieter") fan.
Bottom line is that the chiller works like a champ!!
I'll try posting photos in the DIY Projects gallery