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Old 10-30-2009, 01:39 PM   #1
wildwest450
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Default Cold room and general brew shed advice needed

Next spring I will be breaking ground on my long awaited brew shed! I will incorporate a cold room, but have a few questions. Hopefully I can benefit from your mistakes.

I was planning on going 6'x8', is that a decent size? I want to be able to store bulk grains (maybe 3 or 4bags) as well as the usual fermenting and conditioning
space.

Any condensation concerns?
Can I expect a huge jump in electricity? This will replace two chest freezers, so i'm hoping it's a wash.

Air conditioning size? Any better options than a window air conditioner?

And yes I have looked at a few threads on these builds, just looking for additional knowledge.

Just any general tips will greatly aid my planning. Thank you

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Old 10-30-2009, 01:54 PM   #2
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The size sounds fine. Condensation isn't a problem if you use a window A/C, because the surplus water just runs off outside.

If you want to keep it cold, be certain you get an A/C unit with an analog controller, not digital.

And insulate, insulate, insulate. R60 wouldn't be too much.

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Old 10-30-2009, 03:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
The size sounds fine. Condensation isn't a problem if you use a window A/C, because the surplus water just runs off outside.

If you want to keep it cold, be certain you get an A/C unit with an analog controller, not digital.

And insulate, insulate, insulate. R60 wouldn't be too much.
I was planning on running it through a Ranco digital controller, after all I will have 2 spares after doing away with my chest freezers.
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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If you want the inside dimension to end up 6 X 8 then the outer dimension should be about 7 X 9 and use 2 X 6 studs. I had to use 2 X 4 studs and with R-30 insulation it was going to compress it too much so I had to add another 2 X 4 to make it deep enough to handle the R-30.
I installed a window A/C unit but haven't had to use it yet. You might also want to consider what heater to use in the winter. That's where I'm at right now. Unless you're only doing Lagers.

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Old 10-30-2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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Understand about the Ranco, but an A/C unit with a digital controller shuts off and stays off if it loses power. Makes it rather useless for a cold room and bypassing a digital controller is tough. The one in my brewery is not just connected to the compressor, it also ties into the room fan, the condenser fan and regulates the speed of both..

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Old 10-30-2009, 06:53 PM   #6
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A little unit like this may be a good option.
http://www.compactappliance.com/AP12...efault,pd.html

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
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The size sounds fine. Condensation isn't a problem if you use a window A/C, because the surplus water just runs off outside.
.

... as long as the room is as air tight as possible and is vapor wrapped like crazy.

If not, you will get condensation inside and your ac unit will frost up.

There are a couple threads about using a coolbot to avoid the frost problem but I've never used one so I can't comment.

My cold room is slightly smaller than what you're talking about (about 4 by 7..ish) and i use a small window AC unit that vents back into the house. I don't get any condensation dumping out of the back of the unit but if I leave the door to the room open for more than a couple of minutes, it will absolutely put a layer of frost on the unit.... and I'm in Massachusetts, which is not exactly a hot and muggy area.

The way I did mine was wire the unit so the fan runs 24/7. It's been running that way for about a year and a half now. the condenser is then wired into a thermostat. When it need to chill, the condenser kicks on and blow cold air. If any first builds up, it defrosts the split second the condenser kicks off because the fan is still blowing.

Even with the fan blowing 24/7, I haven't noticed a significant jump in our electric bill at all.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:12 PM   #8
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time out... sorry... what temp are you talking for this room?

My "cold room" is at about 38-39 degrees... if you're talking a "fermentation room" and am planning on keeping it at a stead high-60's or something, then that's very different.

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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I was planning on running it through a Ranco digital controller, after all I will have 2 spares after doing away with my chest freezers.
You looking to sell one?
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
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time out... sorry... what temp are you talking for this room?

My "cold room" is at about 38-39 degrees... if you're talking a "fermentation room" and am planning on keeping it at a stead high-60's or something, then that's very different.
Around 52f-62f, I want to be able to ferment lagers and ales, I brew mostly ales and always ferment at the very bottom 59f-63f. Also I want grain storage, i guess i need to keep one small freezer for lagering.




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You looking to sell one?
If I do it won't be for a while, this won't be built until spring.
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