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-   -   Bare Bones Fermentation Cabinet (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/bare-bones-fermentation-cabinet-101938/)

Seabee John 02-06-2009 04:12 AM

Bare Bones Fermentation Cabinet
 
Some of you may have seen my PID controlled brew rig. I built it with a removable control panel so I could use the PID to control my fermentation between brews. Well, I put together a prototype on the cheap. All in all it cost me less than $70 to make (PID control panel not included) Here it is:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm001.jpg
It don't look like much.... but it's holding 20 gal of water @ 68 deg with no problem...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm002.jpg
Warm air supply is on the bottom, with the cold air return on the top

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm003.jpg
you can see the 6 inflow and outflow ports line up between where the 4 carboys sit

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm004.jpg
she takes up a foot print of about 6 feet by 2 feet

Seabee John 02-06-2009 04:18 AM

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm005.jpg
this is the heating box from the back where the ducts hook up

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm006.jpg
This is the box from the front with the electrical cover open

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm007.jpg
This is the blower motor and power supply - I cut the divider from some sheet aluminum I had laying around, The fan is a 80mm computer fan that runs on DC, so I used an old AC adapter I had for the power conversion.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm008.jpg
here's the specs on the adapter

Seabee John 02-06-2009 04:23 AM

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm009.jpg
Plug the adapter into the extension cord I used for wiring the box.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm010.jpg
Here's the source for heat - 2 100w light bulbs... the sockets were from the lamp parts section at menards

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm011.jpg
Everything is on and working - shut the lid on the ammo box - and it's showtime!

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm012.jpg
Line the box up with my pvc duct work and connect

Seabee John 02-06-2009 04:28 AM

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm013.jpg
Put the cabinet on the bench, add the carboys

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm014.jpg
Put the front of the cabinet in place and it's time for lids

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm015.jpg
I fashioned 4 independent lids, with a hole in the top for the airlocks/blow off tubes to remain outside the cabinet
The bung you see is there to fill the hole in case I'm only using some of the carboy places

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm016.jpg
I used silicone caulk to glue some strips of polystyrene foam on the underside of the lid so they "lock" in place

EDIT: I also used caulk to glue the cabinet sections together where needed, as well as providing an air tight seal for the divider in the heating box.

Seabee John 02-06-2009 04:30 AM

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm017.jpg
Set the lids in place

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...um/ferm018.jpg
Hook up my PID control panel to the cord for the heating box and there you have it. I've been running tests for about 4 days now, the temps are holding just fine in a room where the ambient temp is at 45 deg F

Let me know what you think....

Ceedubya 02-06-2009 04:37 AM

YEAAAAH I'm the first to say.....


Very cool idea. What are you going to do in warmer temps to keep it cool?

I would never have the room for this thing, but I am working on a most elegant solution.

Seabee John 02-06-2009 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ceedubya (Post 1116216)
YEAAAAH I'm the first to say.....


Very cool idea. What are you going to do in warmer temps to keep it cool?

I would never have the room for this thing, but I am working on a most elegant solution.

I pondered what to do in cooler temps, I may just place the whole thing in the basement where it hovers around 60 deg all summer, but then again, I'm looking into incorporating a heat exchange you might find in a server rack for computers. I can then recirculate chilled water through the exchanger inside the box. As far as what's chilling the water? well I could use a reservoir with the frozen water bottle swap thing... or I could re-locate it next to one of my fridges and run copper in to the freezer and fill the lines with glycol... but for now, I'm just happy with the control

wilbanba 02-06-2009 05:38 AM

to chill it -

make a styrofoam/fan 'swamp cooler' with dry ice or bags of ice cubes (fan in the lid, ice in the cooler and tube out the side) and connect to your rig with the same dia pvc but higher in the cabinet so the cold air comes into the cab and sinks around your ferm vessels

if you get a good fan and put it on full power and plug into a light dimmer switch you can control the cpm of the fan pretty easily

Seabee John 02-06-2009 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wilbanba (Post 1116253)
to chill it -

make a styrofoam/fan 'swamp cooler' with dry ice or bags of ice cubes (fan in the lid, ice in the cooler and tube out the side) and connect to your rig with the same dia pvc but higher in the cabinet so the cold air comes into the cab and sinks around your ferm vessels

if you get a good fan and put it on full power and plug into a light dimmer switch you can control the cpm of the fan pretty easily

I'm not sure what it costs for a block of dry ice, but I'm pretty sure the SWMBO thinks that would be a bit too much.

If I really find a desperate need to have cool fermentation... I've got a fridge I can use (just gotta find a place to put my frozen deer meat...:D)

Ceedubya 02-06-2009 02:12 PM

instead of the dry ice, I'm sure you could use 2 litre soda bottles filled with water and frozen.


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