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-   -   Cold box (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cold-box-360261/)

rayman034 10-11-2012 12:23 AM

Cold box
 
Anyone out there make a cold box? I want to build something to hold 4-6 carboys and/or buckets. What I really need to know is the cooling source and how low it can go? Any comments would be appreciated!! Thx

Pappers_ 10-11-2012 02:45 AM

Hi R and welcome to HBT! You'll find lots of info and threads on this in the DIY subforum, and I've moved your question there.

What I have for a fermentation chamber is a chest freezer that I bought used off of Craigslist and a digital temp controller. It sounds like you want something bigger than that.

In any case, welcome!

LeftTurnOnly 10-11-2012 04:19 AM

Howdy. I have a 3 chambered cold box that is controlled by 2 ranco controllers and a CoolBot. The top chamber has its ranco plugged into a ceramic pet heater for heat and a fan pulling air in from the cold chamber. The middle chamber has its ranco plugged into 2 fans to pull in warm air from above or cold air from the cold chamber. And then the cold chamber has its CoolBot hooked up to a standard window air conditioner. This setup seems to work pretty well. I can set any of the chambers to about anything really. Generally around 62, 50, 36F to ferment an ale in one, ferment a lager in another, and lager a lager and carbonate in the other all at the same time. The CoolBot basically fools the AC into keep cooling to what ever you set the temp to with out frosting over without needing to modify the AC wiring at all. I think a lot of people can modify the wiring of an AC to work without the CoolBot pretty easily but I just didn't want to mess with it. It seems to work for me pretty well. It also can double as an extra refrigerator if you need. As for how low it can go, I've gotten it safely down to 35F and maybe could go a degree or two lower but that might be pushing it before it would freeze over. I usually keep the cold side around 36 or 37F

Good luck.
Kyle.

gugguson 01-29-2013 03:03 PM

Kyle, this seems very interesting. Do you have a schema picture where the vents for each chamber are displayed? What kind of fans are you using between each chamber?

Johann

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftTurnOnly (Post 4488800)
Howdy. I have a 3 chambered cold box that is controlled by 2 ranco controllers and a CoolBot. The top chamber has its ranco plugged into a ceramic pet heater for heat and a fan pulling air in from the cold chamber. The middle chamber has its ranco plugged into 2 fans to pull in warm air from above or cold air from the cold chamber. And then the cold chamber has its CoolBot hooked up to a standard window air conditioner. This setup seems to work pretty well. I can set any of the chambers to about anything really. Generally around 62, 50, 36F to ferment an ale in one, ferment a lager in another, and lager a lager and carbonate in the other all at the same time. The CoolBot basically fools the AC into keep cooling to what ever you set the temp to with out frosting over without needing to modify the AC wiring at all. I think a lot of people can modify the wiring of an AC to work without the CoolBot pretty easily but I just didn't want to mess with it. It seems to work for me pretty well. It also can double as an extra refrigerator if you need. As for how low it can go, I've gotten it safely down to 35F and maybe could go a degree or two lower but that might be pushing it before it would freeze over. I usually keep the cold side around 36 or 37F

Good luck.
Kyle.


gugguson 01-29-2013 04:46 PM

Is this the correct understanding Kyle?

http://gudbjargarson.net/ferm-chamber2.png

LeftTurnOnly 01-29-2013 06:19 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hey there Johann... I keep telling my self I'm gonna put together a build thread, but so far i just haven't gotten around to it... Here's a photo of it about half way built that may give some what of an idea of what i did.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1359485958

The fans are the black square looking things... there's another one on the left that you can't see that blows cold air up. It's the reverse of the one on the right that blows warm air down. I did add a partition in the middle on the bottom to make 2 chambers on the bottom where as the top chamber is all one big chamber. The fans themselves are kind of like computer fans but just a little bit bigger and are 110 volt fans for ease of wiring to the Ranco temp controllers. (Guessing 220volt in your case perhaps?)

Functionally, it's certainly not perfect, but I've been very happy with it. I keep it out in my garage where it can get into the 20's or 30's F in the garage in the winter to the high 90's F in the garage in the summer and it seems to still do pretty well with just a few minor adjustments to the AC fan settings. I think if you had it somewhere where the temp fluctuations weren't quite as much, it would be even better, but i still can't really complain...

Hopefully this helps...
Kyle...

gugguson 01-29-2013 08:14 PM

Hello.

I'm unable to see the picture - could you try again?
My garage has indeed 220V electricity and the temp should be pretty stable in there, so I think it would work well.
Can you send me a (amazon?) link to fans like you used?

Johann

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftTurnOnly (Post 4840435)
Hey there Johann... I keep telling my self I'm gonna put together a build thread, but so far i just haven't gotten around to it... Here's a photo of it about half way built that may give some what of an idea of what i did.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...1&d=1359485958

The fans are the black square looking things... there's another one on the left that you can't see that blows cold air up. It's the reverse of the one on the right that blows warm air down. I did add a partition in the middle on the bottom to make 2 chambers on the bottom where as the top chamber is all one big chamber. The fans themselves are kind of like computer fans but just a little bit bigger and are 110 volt fans for ease of wiring to the Ranco temp controllers. (Guessing 220volt in your case perhaps?)

Functionally, it's certainly not perfect, but I've been very happy with it. I keep it out in my garage where it can get into the 20's or 30's F in the garage in the winter to the high 90's F in the garage in the summer and it seems to still do pretty well with just a few minor adjustments to the AC fan settings. I think if you had it somewhere where the temp fluctuations weren't quite as much, it would be even better, but i still can't really complain...

Hopefully this helps...
Kyle...


LeftTurnOnly 01-30-2013 12:17 AM

Hey there Johann..... Sorry about the photo... i'm not sure what i did... heh.. i think i updated the post above with the photo. Please let me know if i messed it up again. :-)

As for the fans, here's an amazon link to one similar to the ones i used.
115V-AC-Cooling-Fan-120mm

Keep in mind this is a 115volt fan, which may or may not work for you perhaps if you need 220 volt.

Kyle...

gugguson 01-30-2013 09:49 PM

It worked, thank you.

Two questions:
1. The went to the left on the picture and the one at the top - what is the purpose of them?
2. The purple colored boxes (shafts) on the top left, and bottom right. What do they do?

Thanks again.

p.s. I found similar 220V fans on amazon - thanks for the link.
Johann

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftTurnOnly (Post 4841811)
Hey there Johann..... Sorry about the photo... i'm not sure what i did... heh.. i think i updated the post above with the photo. Please let me know if i messed it up again. :-)

As for the fans, here's an amazon link to one similar to the ones i used.
115V-AC-Cooling-Fan-120mm

Keep in mind this is a 115volt fan, which may or may not work for you perhaps if you need 220 volt.

Kyle...


helibrewer 01-31-2013 12:39 AM

Mine is very similar to Kyle's but 8'x4'x2' with 3 chambers.
http://www.restlesscellars.com/photo...gory=1&image=9


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