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Old 08-29-2009, 01:59 AM   #1
MMW
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Default Dehumidifier powered fermentation chamber

This is my fermentation chamber



The white thing on front? It's a dehumdifier which is a very small A/C or a very large fridge system depending on your point of view. I bought two off of CL for $20. This one is the spare, showing the cold side coils


(is this upside down for everyone else? It is for me and I can't figure out why??)


It's just a plywood box lined with 2 layers of 3/4" foam insulation. I cut a hole in the front of the box and slid the humidifier through. I separated the cold side coils from the hot side with two sheets of insulation and filled all the gaps I could find with great stuff. A 8" box fan circulates air in the chamber to keep the coils from freezing.

Total cost of the project was ~$85 including the controller. Interior dimensions are 15 1/2" x 27" which is just large enough for two primaries.

BOM:
1 dehumidifier
1 sheet 1/2" plywood
2 sheet 3/4" insulation
3 furring strips
4 casters
1 can great stuff
1 temp controller
A bit of extension cord
Duct tape on the exposed edges
and a crap load of screws

How does it work? I can cold crash at 35 degrees in July in TX

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Last edited by MMW; 08-29-2009 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 03:00 AM   #2
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That's awesome man. What temp controller did you use?

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Old 08-29-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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The unwired Johnson Controls model. $34 shipped off the bay.

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Old 08-29-2009, 01:40 PM   #4
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interesting idea... can you post of picture of the coil separation? i'm having trouble visualizing what you mean... does it still collect water in its basin? if so, you do you remove it to empty?

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Old 08-29-2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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This is about the best I can do:





A dehumdifier raws room temp air over the cold coils which knocks the water out then back over the warm coils to return it (the air) close to room temp so to do this you need something to block that air flow. A tweaked the cold coils to vertical which gave plenty of room for 2" of material between them. Basically, I cut a hole in the front of the box and two slots in the insulation. Through the hols and slide over the supports. dig?

I use a "mud tray" under the coils to catch condensation.

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:47 PM   #6
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Default pics

Can you give us some pics of the merger of the box and the dehumidifier? Also what did you do with the return air heating coils? Can you disconnect them?

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Old 09-25-2009, 10:51 PM   #7
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I have a dehumidifier that the fan just shot craps on. I also have a 1/8 hp blower fan that was in some "solar panel" set up the idiot that owned my house before used for "supplemental heating" in one of the rooms of my 2 story 1925 house. It didn't work and leaked like crazy but I saved the fan and now think I may be able to use your design to make a ferm chamber.

Did you take the fan out of the unit you are using, and if so how did you go about it??

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Old 09-28-2009, 01:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethm View Post
Can you give us some pics of the merger of the box and the dehumidifier? Also what did you do with the return air heating coils? Can you disconnect them?
I'll see what I can do, RE pics, but no promises. The steps for the build went something like this:
  • Build a box with an open top
  • Cut a hole in the front just large enough for the cold side coils to pass through-- I positioned mine so that the unit rides on it's original wheels and the box doesn't have to carry the weight.
  • slide the dehumidifier through and attach if to the box
  • line the box with insulation panels
  • use slits in the foam to slide down over the cold support brackets
  • fill all the gaps with 'Great Stuff' and duct tape

That's it really. Simple and cheap. The hot side coils are necessary since they remove the heat from the cold portion of the box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EuBrew View Post
I have a dehumidifier that the fan just shot craps on. I also have a 1/8 hp blower fan that was in some "solar panel" set up the idiot that owned my house before used for "supplemental heating" in one of the rooms of my 2 story 1925 house. It didn't work and leaked like crazy but I saved the fan and now think I may be able to use your design to make a ferm chamber.

Did you take the fan out of the unit you are using, and if so how did you go about it??
The fan in my unit drew air across the cold coils and then the hot coils and exhausted from the 'front.' You will want a fan on both coils to keep air moving over them. That little $8 box fan works great (I probably need to build a hanger for it though).
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:44 PM   #9
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Have you had any problems with condensation? Is the fan adequate to keep the grates from freezing?

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Old 10-20-2009, 03:06 PM   #10
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When it's very hot, very humid, and I have it cranked into the 30s is has frozen up a couple of times. Condensation can be significant under those circumstances, but I just empty the tray I keep under the coils out and keep going.

I really need to get after the seals and get them tightened up better.

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