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Old 07-09-2013, 02:13 AM   #1
MetalMan2004
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Default My Son of Fermentation chamber won't work!

This frustrates me especially because I haven't seen any other people on the internet with problems.

After I built it I tried it out with no fermenter inside and it dropped to 65 really quick so I was excited. Now that I have beer in there it won't get below 75 (almost room temp, which we keep at 78 here in Houston so our electricity bill isn't through the roof) with 2 one gallon jugs of ice in it. It is sealed with weather stripping, so I am not sure how to seal it up any better. Only thing I can think of is to go to 4 jugs of ice, but I am afraid that much weight will break the walls of the unit. Anyone have any good ideas here? This is frustrating the crap out of me.

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Old 07-09-2013, 02:28 AM   #2
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Hello, welcome to HBT. I just need more info as to how you constructed the chamber, is there a fan in there? Wheres the ice go, etc. Are you trying to cool in a better bottle? Keg?

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Old 07-09-2013, 02:34 AM   #3
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When I had one, I had to use 3 containers (96oz OJ containers) to keep temps when fermenting. As the previous poster asked, is your fan working ? Do you have the
thermostat working to control the fan based on the set temp point ?

But for all the effort, using a mini refrigerator is better as who wants to keep swapping out
ice ? And you're still building a box...

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Old 07-09-2013, 04:30 AM   #4
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Mine doesn't cool all that well either. I create a partition using insulation to make a very small space (mine will fit 3 carboys) and put the carboy in there with the ice jugs right next to it. Gets it down about 8-10 degrees below ambient.

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Old 07-09-2013, 11:56 AM   #5
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Fan is working and when I put my hand up to the baffle cool air is blowing, just not cool enough I guess. I have the fan set to come on at 75 and cut off at 70. I don't think it has cut off yet.

I went with this because it was cheap (which helped convince the wife) and was supposed to work good enough. So far it is 't working good enough... I may try 3 jugs and see what happens.

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Old 07-09-2013, 12:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMan2004 View Post
I have the fan set to come on at 75 and cut off at 70.
Is your probe measuring wort or ambient temperature?
70-75 degrees ambient (or wort for most yeast) in your chamber is too high.


Not that it makes any difference if the fan is not shutting off,
but if you have luck adding more bottles set the fan in the 64-68 range.

Your wort will be a good 5 degrees higher than ambient.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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what is the current temperature of the wort and what was the temp when you put it in there?

with two jugs of ice i can keep mine 10-15 below ambient. sealing up everything with foil tape really helped.

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Old 07-09-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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I may have to go buy some foil tape today. I have the temp probe taped to the fermenter and it reads a pretty constant 75 since I put it in there on Sunday and continually switching out ice jugs. The air temp is probably 5 degrees cooler maybe more, but the wort definitely isn't.

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Old 07-09-2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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I made the smaller SoF: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/smal...chiller-79556/ I also used weather stripping; but, my cuts were not very straight. I initially had problems getting it to chill properly too, even with the weather stripping I was getting leaks. I sealed up all the joints with tape; works great now. I swap out 1 gal ice jug every 12 hr. Kept the wort temp at 59° & the fan only runs occasionally. Before the tape it was running constantly.

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Old 07-09-2013, 03:18 PM   #10
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Mine works great. I can hold 60 degrees easily in a 75-80 degree ambient temp.

One question. When you built it did you make the divider between the ice chambers in the back a few inches off the bottom. This allows the warm air to go down one side , over the ice bottles and up the other side then into the chamber.

Another thing. I use the round water bottles that stack. I can stack them 2-3 high on each side If I want it to get really cold. I can almost lager in mine.

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