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Old 03-13-2014, 05:59 AM   #1
alec120psi
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Default Fermentation chamber help

Hi folks, I am very new to brewing and have a question about a setup I have.

The background:
I have built a ferm chamber/room in my garage. The dimensions are 4' wide x 4' tall x 5' long, not very big at all. It is insulated with 1 1/2" foam insulation panels and has only a concrete floor from my garage. I am using a brand new 5000 btu GE window a/c unit to cool it down. Until recently 65 degrees was fine, but I now need it to cool to 40 degrees. The a/c unit is connected to a power strip that has a temp probe on it that shuts off the power to the a/c when a selected temp is reached.

The problem:
I have bypassed the internal thermostat by simply disconnecting the two wires and then splicing them together. I placed a small fan inside the chamber to blow the condensation off of the unit. All was working fine, the temp in the chamber dropped to 47 degrees then the temp stopped dropping. I figured that it just needed time to cool things off and I went to sleep.

When I checked on it a few hrs later it was making a bunch of noise and had iced up. I shut it off and let it thaw out. That was this morning.

I have read that others have successfully done similar things with the same size a/c. Can anyone shed some light on what I may be doing wrong? I'm stumped.

Thanks in advance for any insight. I can post some pics if needed.

Alec

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Old 03-13-2014, 02:44 PM   #2
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If the AC unit is _in_ the fermentation chamber, then it will ice up even with the fan - it's just getting too cold. If you think about it, most units are designed to either be window mounted where the body is exposed to heat, or an in-room unit that isn't going lower than 68 or so.

Could you set it up so that the unit is _outside_ the chamber, and blowing the air _into_ the chamber?

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Old 03-13-2014, 05:48 PM   #3
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You may need something like this.

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Old 03-13-2014, 07:09 PM   #4
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Black Islas brewer, the unit is in a "window". It he cool air blows into the chamber and the warm air blows out into the garage. So they are separated.


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Old 03-13-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
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Imnoexpert,
I have seen the coolbot online and thought it might do the trick. Have you ever used one before or had any experience with one?


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Old 03-13-2014, 08:59 PM   #6
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No I have not. Although I've seen many who have on here and elsewhere. From what I've seen, the cool bot is made to remedy the exact problem you're describing.

Pretty pricey if you ask me, but if it does the job...

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Old 03-14-2014, 02:00 AM   #7
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That was my thought too. A bit pricy, but may be worth it in the long run.


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Old 03-14-2014, 07:27 AM   #8
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Can someone who has successfully done this give me any ideas?

Thanks.


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Old 03-16-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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Update


I put in a moisture barrier - read about gnat in another post here.

I am also slowly lowering temp by 5 or so deg F daily.

It is now down to 53 and no problems.


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Old 04-17-2014, 01:20 AM   #10
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Update.

When I dropped to 50 deg F it again froze.

I got a larger ac unit 6400 BTU and it worked like a champ. Got the temp to 40 and no ice or even that much condensation.


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