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-   -   New brewer looking for some DIY input/opinions (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/new-brewer-looking-some-diy-input-opinions-302428/)

JeffoC6 02-08-2012 09:41 PM

New brewer looking for some DIY input/opinions
 
Hi all...

Just a brief background as to what type of brewer I am at the moment. I'm doing AG 1-gallon batches due to my living space. I realize that 5 gallon batches don't take up that much more room, etc. etc., but the simple fact is, 1-gallon batches are what I'm doing now, and in the foreseeable future.

With that said, I'm starting to look ahead at the spring/summer season. My fiance adores the warm weather, so we don't really turn on the AC until things get HOT. Our place will normally be around 75-80 during a typical spring/summer day. Obviously, not ideal fermentation temps.

I was in my parents' garage the other day and noticed that they still have my brothers' refrigerator from college. I asked about it and they told me that if I wanted it, it's mine. Here's the exact same fridge (pics) that's in their garage:

http://www.fasttrackauction.net/cgi-bin/mnlist.cgi?fasttrack1155/4

I know the short answer is "yes," I want this to use as a fermentation chamber. But, having absolutely no DIY experience, or any type of "handyman" experience. How big of a project would this be for me to undertake? I tried to look around on the web to see what people do, and while I (sort of) understand, I'm not so sure I have the ability to modify something like this, but am willing to try for the sake of stable fermentation temps in the spring/summer.

Would love to get some opinions of some more experienced DIY'ers....Thanks a bunch!

~Jeff

phoenixs4r 02-08-2012 10:05 PM

If you are still only planning on doing a 1 gallon batch, simply buy a pre wired temperature controller from a home brew shop, or only home brew shop, plug it into the wall, set the temperature you want, and plug the fridge into it. You can drill a hole through the side or top to slip the temperature probe in, but most of the time the wires for the probe are small enough for you to just close the door over them.

JeffoC6 02-08-2012 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixs4r (Post 3760678)
If you are still only planning on doing a 1 gallon batch, simply buy a pre wired temperature controller from a home brew shop, or only home brew shop, plug it into the wall, set the temperature you want, and plug the fridge into it. You can drill a hole through the side or top to slip the temperature probe in, but most of the time the wires for the probe are small enough for you to just close the door over them.

That'd probably be the way to go. I'm wondering though, how will I fit my blowoff tube and carboy in the fridge at the same time?

outside92129 02-09-2012 12:26 AM

once the removable shelving comes out you'll have plenty of space.

phoenixs4r 02-09-2012 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by outside92129
once the removable shelving comes out you'll have plenty of space.

I'd imagine this is correct, that doesn't appear to be a small fridge. My only worry about it actually would be the fact that it appears to be a fridge and freezer. If that's the case, you will have to figure out if the cooling is done separately or it cools the freezer, and ducts air into the fridge. If the latter, use the freezer as the fermentation chamber IMO since it'll get cooler faster. Save some energy.

evwoller 02-09-2012 01:20 AM

Here is my opinion. DIY is not about doing it right the first time. DIY is about attempting to fulfill your need without getting something purpose built by some big supplier.

Have confidence in yourself and go for it. You will be proud of yourself when the project is completed.

On to notes of the task at hand-

Turn the thing on and put a temp gauge in the freezer and fridge at the warmest possible settings, you may have lagering in your future.

mccumath 02-09-2012 01:34 AM

Check out this link. There is a s%it ton of info in there to build a temperature controller. It is a lot of information, but the first post of the thread explains pretty much everything that a guy needs to know - the rest of the thread is not relatively important unless you want to modify the controller in any way. Just make sure you get the correct controller: STC-1000 in 110V.

As mentioned above, go for it, and don't be afraid to DIY. The temp controller needs minimal tools, and all the parts - with exception the controller itself - can be obtained at lowes or home depot and radio shack. I think I used a drill and a jig saw, a screwdriver and that was about it. Super easy. I use mine for my kegerator/fermentation chamber. Life is good!

Anyways, here is the link. If you have any other questions, let us know!

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay-aquarium-temp-controller-build-163849/

Ryan M.

JeffoC6 02-09-2012 11:06 AM

Thanks guys. I'm going to experiment a little bit with the fridge first. If it can achieve the temps I'm looking for, I'm going to take it. Then we'll go from there. :mug:

JeffoC6 02-09-2012 03:57 PM

Very annoyed. I just realized that the utility closet that I was going to put this fridge in has absolutely NO outlets in it. Seriously? Ironically enough, the circuit box is in the same closet. So now I've got to get a damn outlet installed.

evwoller 02-09-2012 04:44 PM

I guess most people just don't think to use electrical appliances in a closet? I wonder how warm the closet is going to be with the fridge on.

If you know any handymen I am sure they will install a outlet for cheap, it really is a very small job.


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