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Old 09-11-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default LeBoeuf's fermentation cabinet

After 4 years or so of brewing wild, temperature uncontrolled beer I've decided that I need a fermentation dedicated, temperature controlled closet.

I have this huge box that was left by the PO of my house. It looks like it was used as a locker or something. Anyway I'll be re-purposing it...

Here I have added 15" to the top and added a middle shelf/bracing.



Top shot



More to come after my Friday meeting bonanza clears up...

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Old 09-11-2009, 10:21 PM   #2
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Ok, onward.
This is my quick and dirty method to bypass the thermostat. I used a piece of copper sheet to make the connection between the two spade connectors.

I also had to cut the stock plug assembly off. It kept throwing its internal breaker about 20% of the time my temp controller switched the unit on. The plug circuit was really only to detect a shorted cord and provide rudimentary surge suppression.

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Old 09-11-2009, 10:57 PM   #3
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I debated at length as to how much insulation I should use. My kitchen fridge/freezer is insulated with a little over an inch of injected polyisocyanurate which provides something around R8.

An inch of extruded polystyrene yields around R5. Add that to half inch plywood with both sides coated in epoxy paint and you get something in the neighborhood of R6.
I pretty much only brew ales so this cabinet will be around 65F. It gets up to 100F and down to 25F here so I'm looking at a max of 40F differential. So I made a hipshot decision that the 1" of blue foam would be fine.

If I ever feel like lagering, I'll probably just put another layer of insulation on the top half, separate the two halves, temp control with a fan yada yada...

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Old 09-11-2009, 11:19 PM   #4
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I used a lux temp controller that I picked up locally for $30 and a 5000btu ac unit I picked up on c-list for $50. The temp controller does hot and cold so in the winter I'll plug in a space heater and control that way.

All in all this ran me about $120 all together. I have 10 gallons in it fermenting right now and it is holding steady at 65F. The ac runs about 3 minutes once an hour with the temp probe wedged onto my fermenter.

Thanks for being here forum! I used lots of tidbits that I picked up from you guys.

Edit: I've added a gasket along the top of the door since these pics were taken









It has the room for 4 cornys, 1/2 barrel keg, and a tall 1/4 keg.

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Old 09-11-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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This looks great! How often does the A/C cycle on?

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Old 09-12-2009, 01:41 AM   #6
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Thanks!
If the garage is at 90F it will cycle around twice an hour for 3 or so minutes. So in cooling mode it seems fairly efficient. We'll see in a couple of months how it does with heating. I went a little overboard with the door gasket. It has 3/4" of gasket thickness to seal to so the air leakage is kept pretty low.

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Old 09-12-2009, 01:54 AM   #7
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so how is this going to heat in the winter?

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Old 09-12-2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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The temp controller has a "heat" mode also. The power strip inside the cabinet is powered by the controller, so I'll just set it to heat, plug in a space heater, and shut off the ac. In the fall our temps here range from 30-75 over the course of a day so I'll have to play that by ear. I'll most likely switch the setup from cool to heat during the night and then back to cool for the day.

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Old 04-24-2011, 06:25 PM   #9
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are you able to hold lagering temperatures with this?

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Old 04-24-2011, 10:02 PM   #10
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MooMooBrew - good luck getting a reply - this thread is 19 months old...

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