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Old 01-25-2008, 07:28 PM   #1
ClutchDude
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Default Gonna build a fermentation chamber

I just scored two fridges today that are in working condition for $35. One is your average mini-fridge size while the other is a bit smaller.

My question is should I use both to create a single massive cabinet that can handle a few 6.5gal carboys/5gal kegs or should one suffice?

Here's a picture:

EDIT: I should quantify a "few." At least one, no more than 2-3.

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Old 01-25-2008, 11:25 PM   #2
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Small fridges frequently have tubing in the top & sides. If a carboy will fit in the larger one and kegs in the small ...

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:02 AM   #3
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Finally was able to give the fridges a good look over.

All of the freon tubing is in the back, already exposed outward. There is an insulated tube that enters the back of the fridge. Better yet, the metal casing can be removed from all around. I'm hoping to pull them around and pull them apart tomorrow.

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Old 02-02-2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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Got the unit apart intact. Here's some pictures.


One wire temp gauge

The cut wires are from the temp. control unit.




Obviously reverse order.

I plan on attaching a set of fans to the cooler to help keep the air circulating in the fermenting area and help keep the entire thing cool.

My question is how thick should I make the foam for the new structure?

(obviously going to be bigger than the fridge I just removed the refrigerant from)

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Old 02-02-2008, 06:07 PM   #5
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my full size fridge's outer walls arn't much thicker than those walls...

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Old 02-02-2008, 07:34 PM   #6
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Anyone know the R-value of 2" extruded poly-styrene? That stuff sure is easy to work with.

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keg 1-Graham Sander's Tropical Flower Wit
keg 2-Yooper's Fat Sam - I highly recommend it
keg 3-Yooper's Fat Tire
keg 4-XXX Stout
keg 5-empty


Fermenter #1-Graham Sander's Tropical Flower Wit
Fermenter #2-empty

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Old 02-02-2008, 07:41 PM   #7
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http://www.dow.com/styrofoam/na/res-...gue_groove.htm

Found it, 2" has an R-value of 10. Isn't great but isn't too bad.
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keg 1-Graham Sander's Tropical Flower Wit
keg 2-Yooper's Fat Sam - I highly recommend it
keg 3-Yooper's Fat Tire
keg 4-XXX Stout
keg 5-empty


Fermenter #1-Graham Sander's Tropical Flower Wit
Fermenter #2-empty

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Old 02-02-2008, 07:44 PM   #8
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Wow, seems like a lot of work. I took the easy way out, bought a used chest freezer and plugged it into a Ranco. Instant fermentation chamber!

Please understand, I don't mean to discourage you...quite the contrary, have at it! It's more a reflection of my own laziness I suppose.

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Old 02-05-2008, 03:36 AM   #9
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i was thinking of making it 30"x18"x54" on interior dimensions. that would give it a capacity for 4 cornies or 2 carboys/2cornies

OD would be 34"x22"x58"
That allows a door to be mounted.

Two hoods will also be made (no dimensions yet) to fit over the freon flow area. one fans wil be fitted to each hood, one intake and one exahust. Two might be needed if the bottom is not getting enough circulation.

Should I just get a bunch of sheet metal for the exterior/interior of the fridge to sandwich the foam board?

Also, I plan on keeping the fridge at 50F at the lowest. Does this sound realistic for the setup? If needed, I can cannibalize the other fridges refrigerant system (similar to the one above but smaller).

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Old 02-05-2008, 04:10 AM   #10
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Your ability to hold lower and lower temps is directly related to your insulation and the sealing of the doors. Also the cost to run the thing is directly related to the insulation. If you have all the necessary tools to work with sheet metal, than why not. Otherwise 1/4 inch plywood works well. Spend a little more on high r value insulation today, and less on electricity for the life of the unit. In the end, you'll end up ahead. Especially if fuel/electricity prices keep going up.

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