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-   -   Double-Decker Fermentation Chamber/Keezer Build (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/double-decker-fermentation-chamber-keezer-build-295453/)

barrooze 01-17-2012 03:45 AM

Double-Decker Fermentation Chamber/Keezer Build
Ive been contemplating this build for a while, and over the last couple months, Ive done the majority of the work. The issue I was trying to overcome is that I dont have any floorspace for a fermentation chamber AND keezer, so I had to come up with a solution. I got a lot of inspiration from other builds on this forum and decided to make a Double-Decker Ferm Chamber/Keezer!

So I started out making my keezer. By just adding a standard collar (made out of 2x8 board) and a stand, I was able to get 5 cornies inside my 7.2 cu.ft. Magic Chef chest freezer. I got the faucets and shanks installed and was ready to build up the Fermentation Chamber.




From other threads (this one in particular) I got the idea to use the cool air from the keezer to cool my fermentation chamber. I knew I had to have the FC above the keezer, so my plans are to attach it to the keezer via hinges. This requires the FC to be lightweight, so I made it out of foam board. Apparently 2 thick foam board is unheard of in Houston, so I went with doubled-up 0.75 thick foam board. I think the final R-value is 10. Glued it up over a couple days and set it on the keezer.



After much searching, I ended up using bilge pipe as the air ducts. Im not quite happy about this, but for lack of an affordable, better option, it works.






Ive still got a few details to clear up, but for the most part, its working great. Ive been able to maintain the desired ferm femps, granted its winter here and thats not a great feat. When it warms up (in a few weeks) Ill see how it really does in warm conditions. Ill have all the details finished by then (hinge, pipe insulation, all gaps filled, and a power disconnect for the fans).

Just thought Id share my build! Thanks for reading!

zmad2000 01-17-2012 04:44 PM

I am not sure about this but wont it be a pain to get to your kegs when Fermentation chamber is going?

barrooze 01-17-2012 04:58 PM

Definitely. It's a trade-off I was willing to endure. My keezer is in a state where I only need to get into it when I'm trading out kegs, though, and I don't go through my kegs all that quickly.

Also, if I need to get into the keezer, I can move the fermenting beer to the floor. The small amount of jostling rousts the yeast a little which isn't a bad thing during active fermentation (at least it's not a bad thing imo). :)

TyTanium 01-17-2012 05:08 PM

Looks awesome, well done.

You could wrap your air ducts with bubble-wrap or some pipe insulation foam, might help a little in TX summers.

barrooze 01-17-2012 06:47 PM


Originally Posted by TyTanium (Post 3674791)
Looks awesome, well done.

You could wrap your air ducts with bubble-wrap or some pipe insulation foam, might help a little in TX summers.

Thanks, and great suggestion! I'll definitely put up some sort of insulation on those ducts. They generate a lot of condensation when in use... In the summer it'll be even worse. Thanks again!

TyTanium 01-17-2012 07:11 PM

You're welcome!
...and speaking of condensation, are you planning on staining your keezer collar? Some stain & sealant would probably help its longevity - plus it looks awesome.

BeerBrent 01-17-2012 08:40 PM


djevans3 04-03-2012 12:49 PM

Any update on how this is working out for you? I'm interested in the concept myself. Also, why did you choose to only put out 4 taps when your keezer holds 5 cornies?

barrooze 04-03-2012 01:39 PM

It's actually working pretty well. I've insulated the bilge tubing with some pipe insulation. The chambers are currently able to maintain a temp of 19-20*C. Keep in mind that this is in my garage which is already seeing temps in the 80s-90s when two hot cars are parked in it. I haven't noticed any real additional running of the freezer's compressor either. I have bought the hinges I'll be using on this, but haven't yet mounted them.

The only real issue is the bilge tubing. I didn't want to use it in the first place. Bilge tubing has a straight portion every couple feet that's used for clamping (apparently). I'm toying with the idea of removing it and going some braided PVC hose, but I need to break out my fluid mechanics book to see if the smaller ID will allow adequate airflow using these low-power fans.

CS223 04-03-2012 03:44 PM

What about 2" vacuum cleaner hose? Another alternative would be dryer duct. Or put a round inlet & outlet flange like they use for dust collection systems and build a box duct from the same foam board and just slip it over the inlet & outlet flanges. You coudl use PVC pipe for that matter. I'm planning to do the same thing but with the ferm chamber on the side of the freezer. I've been looking at home brew heat pipes and surplus CPU water coolers haven't come up with a plan yet. Your design looks a lot simpler.

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