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Old 03-15-2007, 01:56 PM   #1
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Default Questions on Building a Fermentation Chiller

So I don't yet know how feasible it is for me to try and build one of these. But I'm wondering what I might need to take into account if I change the overall dimension to make the chiller bigger. I want to try to make a chamber that can hold 3 cases and 2 cornies and hold 65-70deg when the ambient temp is 90+. Anyone have any thoughts?

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Old 03-15-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
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I made mine large enough to hold 3 carboys and I made 4 changes to the original design. I added internal bulkheads between the sections so I could isolate any section I wasn't using (use less ice that way). Instead of having the lid open up, I have 2 panels on the side that come off. I added a structural support at about the halfway point on the inside just to support the top (so I can keep stuff on it). I also added a second circulation fan. One fan blows out of the ice chamber, the other sucks air into it. With a single jug of ice that lasts 2 days I can keep my chiller at 65F when the room temp is 75F.

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Old 03-15-2007, 05:16 PM   #3
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If you want to go that big, it might be more economical to try and find an old used chest freezer and rig up an external temperature controller. I am considering a similar setup, and the cost of materials for a big chiller or two chillers is about the same as an old freezer from the buy'n'sell and a cheap temperature controller.

Of course the added benefit to a freezer & temp. controller is that you set it and forget it. No messing with ice blocks every few days.

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Old 03-15-2007, 05:29 PM   #4
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That would have been my preference, but I live in an apartment and am not allowed any extra appliances. My chiller runs on 12VDC so I can sneak it by despite its size.

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Old 03-15-2007, 05:37 PM   #5
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I'd have to agree w/ FlyGuy. Between the time for building and the cost of material a used freezer chest or upright would be a better option for something that holds as much as you describe.

I'm leaning towards an upright for myself because I don't see me rasining and lowering a 5 gal. carboy into a chest type. But a chest type is more energy effecient all things being equal.

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Old 03-15-2007, 05:47 PM   #6
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Yeah, I'm slowly leaning in the direction of just buying some big coolers. Extra appliances are not feasible for me which is why I was thinking of the chiller, but that is a long shot too. I figure if an igloo icecube is good enough for fermenting, I may as well use a cooler for bottle and keg storage too; simplest solution in my mind.

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