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Old 07-02-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
twocent
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Default Fermentation Chamber build - Not getting cold enough

I've been working on this fermentation chamber this week for a Blonde Ale I just brewed. Due to the temp fluctuations, I moved the ale back to my swamp cooler, but I am vested in getting this changer to work.

Here is the overview of the chamber:



I added 2" foam-board insulation over the insulation you see there, but I am still having issues with the ice in the 2 liter soda bottles melting too quickly and the chamber jumping from 18-19C to 23-24C.

I spent most of last night sealing any gaps I may have between the insulation, but this morning it was at 21.5C and the bottles were cold, but still melted.



My current plan is to take a panel of insulation and cut a small square into it for the fan I made here:



However, do I need to have two fans to have a push-pull effect to circulate air? Would sealing the ice in the fridge have the effect I want in keeping the ice longer? Am I way off mark here? When I tested the fridge with the door on, it reached close to 0C easily. If installing the foam panel works, I have an idea of turning the fridge sideways so the door is facing out parallel to the face of the chamber and cutting a square in the side of the fridge for the fan. This way I can change the ice without opening the lid of the chamber itself.

Thanks in advance for any tips and suggestions.

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:14 PM   #2
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That looks like an enormous ferm chamber for the size of the ice you are trying to cool it with, that may be a factor. Can you explain the seal you have on the top chamber door? It looks like when its closed you have wood against wood? If that is the case, that may release a lot of the cold temperature you are trying to keep inside. Having the top foamboard be flush up against the side foamboard when closed would be better, or at least having the foamboard flush up against the weather stripping you have there.

Do you have that ice in a small fridge? Does the fridge run as well?

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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twocent - whats the ambient temp where your chamber is sitting?

I imagine that you just don't have enough cold to suck up all the heat that's in there. It looks like a pretty big volume you got there.

How is the lid sealing to the body?

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:24 PM   #4
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Ambient temperature is around 75 in that room. The volume is large, but I put in a divider to try and close up the space a bit.

As for the seal on the chamber door, I added weatherstripping (not in the pictures) to where the lips meet. I should probably re-cut the foam on the lid to go past the opening so the seam is covered more.

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Old 07-02-2013, 06:04 PM   #5
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I'm planning on re-cutting foamboard for the lid so that it goes past the side. This will also help the weather stripping I added to form a better seal.

Yes, the fridge runs as well as having the ice and the fan in there.

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Old 07-02-2013, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twocent View Post
Yes, the fridge runs as well as having the ice and the fan in there.
So you're having this issue with the fridge running?
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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If the fridge is running along with that ice, I think you may have either a serious leak in the seal somewhere or there is somewhere that is not very well insulated (most likely around the seal somewhere). Not sure why a fridge by itself wouldn't be able to keep that chamber cool.

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Old 07-02-2013, 06:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
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So you're having this issue with the fridge running?
Yes, which makes me think I need to recheck all of my seals.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jglazer View Post
If the fridge is running along with that ice, I think you may have either a serious leak in the seal somewhere or there is somewhere that is not very well insulated (most likely around the seal somewhere). Not sure why a fridge by itself wouldn't be able to keep that chamber cool.
Yeah, I think I need to go back over all of the seals and make sure there are no leaks.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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that was my thought. or you're dumping heat back into the chamber from the hot side of your fridge. How is the heat dissipating from the coils?

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