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-   -   My Fermentation Chamber Build (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-fermentation-chamber-build-265709/)

dprbrts42 08-30-2011 03:10 AM

My Fermentation Chamber Build
I am just starting out with Homebrewing and needed a space to properly control the temperatures for fermentation. I cannot store any of my equipment in the house so the garage is the only option. My garage reached 100+ temps this week alone...

I studied the builds on the site quite a lot and as usual I started really complicated, casters, a monster sized chamber, etc... Then after calculating the space available and internal measurements, I made it more realistic and came up with the following.

I have two layers of insulation, the first layer is 1/2" foam board which leaves a 1/2" airspace gap and then I have a second layer of 3/4" foam board.

For the door I wanted to install some of the "whiteboard" material for a dry erase surface. This would allow me to track which beers were fermenting with dates and information as needed.

I installed this same whiteboard material, which I found in my local HD, on the inside of the fermentor so that I could seal it and clean up would be easy. It is essentially a dense fiber board with a white paint on one side, nearly an enameled on finish.

At this point I am still needing to setup a temp control. I have fan control using an Arduino and some relays but decided to that I would bite the bullet and get a Love controller. I ordered the TSS2-2100 and a temperature probe. I would still like to get my Arduino working but I was nervous about the relay type and specs for properly controlling the compressor. This is something I can work on later. I want to brew some beer!!

Apparently Picasa doesn't share so nice... I'll get some pics uploaded properly in a bit.

SeattleMatt 08-30-2011 04:48 AM

Great job. I too went a little complicated but not with the structure. I built my temp controller from scratch. I used 3 thermistors and a FEZ Panda with an ARM processor.

Someone recommended using a temperature sensor instead of thermistors for a smaller circuit. http://www.sparkfun.com/products/245

Just make sure you use an MOV (metal oxide varistor) across the output of your relay to prevent the inductive load of the compressor from arcing. The arcs pit the relay contacts and wear them out faster.

You'll also want to insulate your temp sensor from the air temp... I put my sensor against the carboy and duct tape a piece of folded paper towel to it. You want the beer to be at your setpoint and this will give your compressor a break. The internal air temp will fluctuate by 10 degrees or so but it takes a while for 5 gallons to change temp.

dprbrts42 08-30-2011 01:59 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Attachment 32603

Attachment 32604

Attachment 32605

Attachment 32606

Attachment 32607

dprbrts42 08-30-2011 02:01 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Attachment 32608
All of the insulation attached and ready for the whiteboard.

Attachment 32609

Attachment 32610
Here you can see the final enclosed chamber. On the left side will be the control panel and on the right I will create a cabinet for storing my brewing gear.

Attachment 32611
I guess technically my daughter made the first beer...

dprbrts42 08-30-2011 02:06 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Attachment 32612
I setup dual fans to pull the coolest air from the fridge and create some airflow in the chamber.

Attachment 32613
Here is a shot showing the size, I should be able to comfortably fit 3 bottles in here :)

dprbrts42 09-11-2011 09:54 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Update on build....

I've installed the Love Temperature controller, I purchased the TSS2 and have wired it into a old External CD-ROM case. (I knew I saved those things for a good reason).
Attachment 33350
Attachment 33351

Thanks to several threads on this site, wiring and programming the controller was a snap. There are some extra wires in there which control the fans inside the chamber. I will be adding an Arduino for data collection and eventual http posting of images inside the chamber.
Attachment 33352

I will eventually install a heating element so that I can heat the chamber when temps do drop during the winter. I should have several months of warmer temps left this year though.

dprbrts42 09-11-2011 10:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is the front of the device, next to the controller will be LEDs for fan status and other indicators as needed.
Attachment 33353

Diver165 09-11-2011 10:36 PM

That's a nice build. Clean and makes good use of space.

Andynewbom 09-12-2011 12:05 AM

So stealing it!
Dude! great simple idea! thats the kind of nice DIY git er done we need to do to get things done here in El Salvador!:rockin:

thanks for the inspiration!

dprbrts42 09-12-2011 12:21 AM

Thank you guys. :)

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