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Old 11-23-2010, 04:05 PM   #1
Eigenbrau
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Default Fermentation Chamber Build

My chamber is just about finished, it just needs the top on. I wanted to snap some photos of it before I closed her up to get some feedback from you guys. Credit goes to TwoHeadsBrewing and jboehle for the inspiration and material ideas. I swear my garage isn't usually this messy, but projects like this leave little time for cleanup, and Styrofoam is a disaster to work with.





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Old 11-23-2010, 04:43 PM   #2
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Looks pretty good. Tape up all your joints with tyvek or foil tape and you should be good to go. Like the tile in the bottom to add some thermal mass.

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Old 11-23-2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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Nice job!

I second what Randar said about taping all joints. I would also make sure you use silicone caulking to seal all the joints before taping. Especially on the floor. You'll be happy you did when you get your first unexpected blowoff or spill. If the openings are large than just use some spray foam.

How many carboys/buckets can you fit in there?

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Old 11-23-2010, 06:32 PM   #4
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Wow, thanks for the heads up on the taping and caulking. I just finished taping all the joints where insulation meets wood, I'll take some more pics. I caulked all the wood joints before I laid down the insulation, so I'm pretty confident this thing will hold temp well. It'll do three carboys or 6 cornies should I start fermenting in those. I'll caulk and tape the floor when I get back home.

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Old 11-24-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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She's finished! I caulked/taped all the joints like you guys said. On the first run, there were major temperature differences in parts of the chamber. The carboy closest to the condenser coils sat at around 50 while the thermostat read at 74. I installed a 4" 120V fan from Radio Shack to circulate the air. It is wired into the Johnson controller and comes on when the fridge does. So far, so good. The temps are coming down and staying even within the chamber. Now it's just a matter of keeping an eye on things and making sure it holds temp well after it drops to its set point.

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Old 11-24-2010, 08:32 PM   #6
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Probably want to keep that fan on 100% of the time. It will make the temp in the chamber more consistent (otherwise it will stratify) and will provide heat transfer between air and carboys so they are more uniform.

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Old 11-24-2010, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar View Post
Probably want to keep that fan on 100% of the time. It will make the temp in the chamber more consistent (otherwise it will stratify) and will provide heat transfer between air and carboys so they are more uniform.
Huh, alright. Good point. I'll go rewire it real quick.

Edit: Given its proximity to the condenser coils inside, another benefit to having it on constantly would be that it is still pulling air across the condenser and sending it through the chamber, keeping the temperature down longer. Good heads up, it's been rewired.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:38 AM   #8
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The results couldn't be better. With a set point of 65 degrees, a differential range of 5 degrees, and an ambient temperature of 85 degrees, the cycle times are pretty damn good. The compressor stays off for 19:36 and comes on for 12:14. I'm not sure what the standards are, but this seems very acceptable to me.

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Old 11-25-2010, 01:48 AM   #9
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Good job. I'm down in SW Florida and I'm very interested in making a fermentation chamber myself.

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Old 11-25-2010, 02:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
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The results couldn't be better. With a set point of 65 degrees, a differential range of 5 degrees, and an ambient temperature of 85 degrees, the cycle times are pretty damn good. The compressor stays off for 19:36 and comes on for 12:14. I'm not sure what the standards are, but this seems very acceptable to me.
A 5 degree differential kind of defeats the purpose of a fermentation chamber IMHO since the fermentation temps can range anywhere from 60-70 degrees. I can easy achieve that in my house. I would recommend decreasing your differential to +/- 2 degrees to more closely control fermentation temps.

Otherwise great build. I may have to use my spare mini fridge for something similar.
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