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Old 01-06-2014, 05:28 AM   #1
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Default Fermentation chamber planning

So I live in a very small apartment, and SWMBO has gracefully bestowed me with a single small closet to confine all my beer junk in. The result of this is that I have not the room to fit a refrigerator (or at least one that will fit my fermenters too), and I must completely DIY my ferm chamber. I am also too forgetful to use an ice-bottle method, so active cooling is needed.

To this end, I picked up a metal rack at the local hardware store, and have the insulation and heating pretty well decided, but I am stuck on the cooling method. Tokyo gets pretty hot in the summer (95+ F, 35+ C), so I need to get this set up within the next few months.

I had considered Peltier / TEC systems and Glycol, but TEC draws a crapload of power, and Glycol would empty my wallet, so I think they're both out.

Now I'm considering something like the cooling system on Brewgeeks, as I could fit a tiny freezer in the corner. My question is, do setups like this actually cool the chamber sufficiently to ferment or even lager during the summer? If not I may just tear the loops out of an old refrigerator and repurpose the parts.

TLDR: Do systems like Brewgeek's work well, or should I tear up a fridge? Is there an active cooling option besides glycol, TEC, and this?

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Old 01-10-2014, 11:27 PM   #2
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I personally think that your cheapest method will be to tear apart an old fridge, and build a box. It doesn't have to freeze anymore, so that will expand your options to some a freezer/fridge that may be getting thrown away.

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Old 01-10-2014, 11:41 PM   #3
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That, or buy a smart phone and set 2 alarms:
- put new water bottles in freezer
- replace bottle in chamber



Seriously though, there are mini-fridges sold in the states that will fit a bucket or carboy. They aren't cheap, but it's WAY cheaper than glycol. You just need a way to vent heat from the closet and a temp controller. I'd imagine Tokyo has similar appliances.

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Old 01-14-2014, 11:10 PM   #4
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The problem isn't finding a fridge to fit my ferm. The problem is finding a fridge that fits in my closet, AND fits my ferm.

My space requirements are so narrow that I think I'm better off just making it myself.

I've decided to keep a smaller freezer full of coolant, and pump that out to tubes around the ferms as necessary, using an STC-1000 and/or a BrewPi whenever I get that out together. The ferms will be on a metal rack insulated with styrofoam board. I'll post pics when I get it done.

Thanks for the help.

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