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Old 03-23-2012, 05:46 PM   #1
riored4v
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Default Ferm room for conicals

Trying to do some pre-planning on keeping some conicals I want to order cooled. I'm currently renting the house I'm in so I dont want to go overboard on the build. I want to build a small room in the concrete portion of my basement. Initial thought was to toss up a quick/cheap frame using 2x4's. Hadn't really planned on boxing it all in with plywood, and I wanted to keep the floor bare concrete so i could rinse any spills down the drain easily.

So with the 2x4 frame, roughly 5-6 ft tall and equally wide with about 2-3ft of depth I want to hold 2-3 conicals and maybe a bucket or two if room permits. On the 2x4 frame, I figure get some large sheets of styrofoam insulator. Box in a section of the frame to hang a small $50-100 ac unit. I figure the room should be fairly well sealed doing this and should be able to maintain cool temps, especially since the basement stays cool as it is.

Does this all sound ok so far? If so, whats the best way to regulate temps inside the room to control the conical temps? Set the ac a few degrees cooler to compensate for fermentation temp rises? Use a temp controller to regulate the a/c unit?

Any info or thoughts on this would be appreciated. Again, i'm trying to keep the build cheap. $150-200 at the most.

Thanks guys



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Old 03-26-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
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any thoughts or feedback? I feel like it should work, but I just want to double check first.



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Old 03-26-2012, 05:24 PM   #3
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How big are the conicals?

I'd rather just buy 2 Craigslist stand up fridge/freezers and independently control each conical honestly. They'd be side by side, probably cost you about the same (lots of decent free fridges in my area, don't know about yours) and take up the same amount of room.

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Old 03-26-2012, 05:26 PM   #4
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A temp controller may be your best bet. You can use the probe from that to get more accurate wort temps. However, much like most cooled fermentation chambers, if one wort is fermenting and you're monitoring the temp of that one, your other ones that aren't fermenting will be at a lower temp.
I have this same problem in my chest freezer that I ferment in, but it's not like any bad beer has been created as a result. Usually the others are past their active fermentation and the temps don't drop far enough to do any harm to them.

If you think that'll be an issue though, you could use the method above and just build three single stage ebay controllers attached to heating pads on the sides of the conicals. That way as the room temp lowers to cool off your active fermentation, the others can heat back up to their target temps

I think with your build, A/C included, you'll be seriously pushing that $150-$200 range though.

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Old 03-26-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixs4r View Post
How big are the conicals?

I'd rather just buy 2 Craigslist stand up fridge/freezers and independently control each conical honestly. They'd be side by side, probably cost you about the same (lots of decent free fridges in my area, don't know about yours) and take up the same amount of room.
14.5g, so they would fit in a fridge fine.

I don't mind the fridge route, but I was hoping that with the unused space in the small room, that I can also keep buckets in there for fermenting/conditioning.

Quote:
A temp controller may be your best bet. You can use the probe from that to get more accurate wort temps. However, much like most cooled fermentation chambers, if one wort is fermenting and you're monitoring the temp of that one, your other ones that aren't fermenting will be at a lower temp.
I have this same problem in my chest freezer that I ferment in, but it's not like any bad beer has been created as a result. Usually the others are past their active fermentation and the temps don't drop far enough to do any harm to them.

If you think that'll be an issue though, you could use the method above and just build three single stage ebay controllers attached to heating pads on the sides of the conicals. That way as the room temp lowers to cool off your active fermentation, the others can heat back up to their target temps

I think with your build, A/C included, you'll be seriously pushing that $150-$200 range though.
Yea, i'm pretty sure the budget will be tight, but i've seen some small used a/c units on CL for about $50.

My main goal to keep the main portion of the ferment temps under control, so I figure maybe keep the room around 63* so that the temps hopefully won't go above 65*, then as its done fermenting, they shouldn't drop out of the 60's during the conditioning period. During the winter, I might need to raise the temp of the room, but I have a heater with a digital controller on it that I can dial in at 65*. Aside from doing the fridge method to control each individually thats about as accurate as I can think of going
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riored4v

14.5g, so they would fit in a fridge fine.

I don't mind the fridge route, but I was hoping that with the unused space in the small room, that I can also keep buckets in there for fermenting/conditioning.

Yea, i'm pretty sure the budget will be tight, but i've seen some small used a/c units on CL for about $50.

My main goal to keep the main portion of the ferment temps under control, so I figure maybe keep the room around 63* so that the temps hopefully won't go above 65*, then as its done fermenting, they shouldn't drop out of the 60's during the conditioning period. During the winter, I might need to raise the temp of the room, but I have a heater with a digital controller on it that I can dial in at 65*. Aside from doing the fridge method to control each individually thats about as accurate as I can think of going
I have a large stand up freezer. I'm reasonably confident you could fit a bucket under a conical with some extended legs in it. Just a thought.


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