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Old 03-16-2011, 06:21 AM   #1
Thundercougarfalconbird
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Default Help with Fermentation Chamber

After going AG, building a stirplate and a kegerator, I've decided the next major step in the evolution of my brewing career is a nice ferm chamber. I've looked at several builds on the site but none seem quite tailored to my individual needs. Most are vastly too complex and a few are simply not applicable.
I live in an apartment and have a spare walk in closet up for grabs, and since my kegerator can hold 2 kegs I'd like to have a ferm chamber that can hold 2-3 buckets/carboys.
A large fridge with temp control is out of the question due to the need for a special socket/need for house modification.(and I live on the second floor >_>)
My supply of power-tools and room to work is also very limited. I can however build something with my father.
It needs to also be able to fit through a door/deconstruct for when I will move.
And due to my lack of space I won't be lagering, so it only needs to go as low as 60degees.

So I was thinking of an insulated wooden/cardboard box. I have a spare window unit I'd be willing to use(with some guidance)
I get really lost when it comes to heating.What kind of bulbs do I need? How do I wire it? Where do I put it? Is there a better/cheaper/easier way?
I don't own a temp controller and thus don't understand the intricacies of them. Will one control both heat and cold or do I need to buy two or should I only worry about either heating or cooling individually and not combined?
Do I really need a chamber or can I just lay my AC on the floor,plug it into the controller, and hope for the best?(and do the same with a space-heater in the winter?)

I'm gonna go ahead and thank the more handy folks who are bound to answer my many,many questions.

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Old 03-16-2011, 08:53 AM   #2
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I think you could look into modifying the "Son of Fermenter" build. Leave out the electronics. Build it to fit your closet, and put in a simple analog thermometer. You could use gallon jugs of frozen water to lower temps in the summer, and maybe a heating pad or brew belt in the winter.
You've got me thinking I could probably do the same for the limited space I have in my basement.

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Old 03-16-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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I really like that material, and its close to the size I'd want. Its definitely much closer than some of the behemoths I've seen around. But I'd really like something more precise temperature wise. Perhaps I could just build a big foam box and duct-tape the AC to it =P (though this doesn't solve my heat issue)

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Old 03-16-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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I know they make big super rigid cardboard boxes, I feel like this would be a really valid option if I lined it with some kind of insulation. In hindsight, I live in Georgia so the winters aren't exactly brutal, I feel low 60's is about what I keep my apartment at during the winter anyways. So a heater is largely unnecessary.
Anyone know of a place to buy big badass boxes?
Also would a thermostat work instead of a brewers temp control?(Im not sure how those work either, but they're a hell of a lot cheaper)
Edit: found these:http://www.uline.com/BL_427/Wood-Crates (expensive tho) or maybe a big ass box like these http://www.uline.com/BL_412/Bulk-Cargo-Containers

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Old 03-16-2011, 04:41 PM   #5
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I just built the fermentation chiller on wort-o-matic. It cost me about 35 bucks to build. I couldn't be more happy with it. I can get it down in the 40s pretty easy. Sitting at 52 right now. It's in my spare bed room closet. I don't see the need to make it all fancy by adding wood. No one but me will see it. Plus adding wood makes it heavy. I may need to move it if I have guest.

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Old 03-16-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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damn! that wort-o-matic site is AWESOME!

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Old 03-16-2011, 10:54 PM   #7
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HarkJohnny you are correct it is awesome! Took the glue longer to dry then it did for me to make the darn thing. I should have built one 10 years ago!

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:39 PM   #8
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inspired me to make something... working on the 'heater paint can" thing.

I found an old battery operated furnace thermostat, a light bulb socket and wired it up. Plugged her in and set the temp. The light bulb kicks on when it goes below and off when over! Total stroke of luck that it worked and I amazed myself. Can't wait to try it.

next up it to convert a cabinet that I have into a ferm chamber!

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Old 03-17-2011, 07:26 PM   #9
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I surfed the wort-o-matic site for a bit. which fermenter are you talking about LarMoeCur? I see the 38DD Mother of a Fermentation chamber, but it seems like it'd be more costly/time consuming than you say yours was.

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Old 03-17-2011, 07:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundercougarfalconbird
I surfed the wort-o-matic site for a bit. which fermenter are you talking about LarMoeCur? I see the 38DD Mother of a Fermentation chamber, but it seems like it'd be more costly/time consuming than you say yours was.
It's an older post near the bottom on the left hand side. On my phone right now so I can't look it up. If I remember right its call the son of fermemtation.
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