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Old 02-06-2009, 04:12 AM   #1
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Default 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:


It don't look like much.... but it's holding 20 gal of water @ 68 deg with no problem...


Warm air supply is on the bottom, with the cold air return on the top


you can see the 6 inflow and outflow ports line up between where the 4 carboys sit


she takes up a foot print of about 6 feet by 2 feet

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Mom was right. Never argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Where's my beer. I know I left it around here somewhere.....
Kegged/Drinking:Nihilistic Integrity - Black IPA, #1 BIAB pale ale, Bells Two Hearted - yes a keg of the real stuff
Kegged/Conditioning:Wally N Seans Braggot, Emerald Eyes - Irish Red, Atomic Tsunami - brown
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:18 AM   #2
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this is the heating box from the back where the ducts hook up


This is the box from the front with the electrical cover open


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.


here's the specs on the adapter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmendez29 View Post
Mom was right. Never argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Where's my beer. I know I left it around here somewhere.....
Kegged/Drinking:Nihilistic Integrity - Black IPA, #1 BIAB pale ale, Bells Two Hearted - yes a keg of the real stuff
Kegged/Conditioning:Wally N Seans Braggot, Emerald Eyes - Irish Red, Atomic Tsunami - brown
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:23 AM   #3
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Plug the adapter into the extension cord I used for wiring the box.


Here's the source for heat - 2 100w light bulbs... the sockets were from the lamp parts section at menards


Everything is on and working - shut the lid on the ammo box - and it's showtime!


Line the box up with my pvc duct work and connect
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmendez29 View Post
Mom was right. Never argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Where's my beer. I know I left it around here somewhere.....
Kegged/Drinking:Nihilistic Integrity - Black IPA, #1 BIAB pale ale, Bells Two Hearted - yes a keg of the real stuff
Kegged/Conditioning:Wally N Seans Braggot, Emerald Eyes - Irish Red, Atomic Tsunami - brown
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:28 AM   #4
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Put the cabinet on the bench, add the carboys


Put the front of the cabinet in place and it's time for lids


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


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.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmendez29 View Post
Mom was right. Never argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Where's my beer. I know I left it around here somewhere.....
Kegged/Drinking:Nihilistic Integrity - Black IPA, #1 BIAB pale ale, Bells Two Hearted - yes a keg of the real stuff
Kegged/Conditioning:Wally N Seans Braggot, Emerald Eyes - Irish Red, Atomic Tsunami - brown
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:30 AM   #5
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Set the lids in place


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....
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North Saint Paul Brewshack
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmendez29 View Post
Mom was right. Never argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Where's my beer. I know I left it around here somewhere.....
Kegged/Drinking:Nihilistic Integrity - Black IPA, #1 BIAB pale ale, Bells Two Hearted - yes a keg of the real stuff
Kegged/Conditioning:Wally N Seans Braggot, Emerald Eyes - Irish Red, Atomic Tsunami - brown
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:37 AM   #6
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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.

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Old 02-06-2009, 04:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceedubya View Post
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
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North Saint Paul Brewshack
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmendez29 View Post
Mom was right. Never argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Where's my beer. I know I left it around here somewhere.....
Kegged/Drinking:Nihilistic Integrity - Black IPA, #1 BIAB pale ale, Bells Two Hearted - yes a keg of the real stuff
Kegged/Conditioning:Wally N Seans Braggot, Emerald Eyes - Irish Red, Atomic Tsunami - brown
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:38 AM   #8
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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

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Old 02-06-2009, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbanba View Post
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...)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmendez29 View Post
Mom was right. Never argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Where's my beer. I know I left it around here somewhere.....
Kegged/Drinking:Nihilistic Integrity - Black IPA, #1 BIAB pale ale, Bells Two Hearted - yes a keg of the real stuff
Kegged/Conditioning:Wally N Seans Braggot, Emerald Eyes - Irish Red, Atomic Tsunami - brown
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:12 PM   #10
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instead of the dry ice, I'm sure you could use 2 litre soda bottles filled with water and frozen.

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Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here! - The Dude

I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to
have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and
sticks when they've invented the lighter?

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