After this summer's heat my wife and I realized that we couldn't brew consistently or well if we didn't have better temperature control during fermentation. We have one fermentation fridge but I only holds one carboy and we were brewing once a week. I decided it was time to build a walk in cooler!
Now I really can't take credit for coming up with this. I absolutely have to thank John Beere for the inspiration as well as a few others on this site. I'll add acknowledgments as I find the threads :-)
- It would be large, large enough to hold a lot of fermenters.
- It would have multiple temperature zones.
- I needed to be able to take it apart and move it if need be.
- I wanted to be able to load fermenters easily.
- I wanted to be able to carbonate kegs in it, and store bottled beer.
Lots of fermenters meant a chest freezer would not work. I had an extra 5000 BTU window air conditioner lying around, so I opted to use that instead of a dorm fridge. Before going into the details of the build I'll just give you a picture of the final product.
The chamber on the left is for lagering, carbonating and storage and is held at 35F. The chamber on the right is for ale fermentation and held at 68F. It's been in operation for a few months now, and holding strong. The lager chamber can hold 15x 6.5 gallon carboys and the ale chamber can hold 5x 6.5 gallon carboys and two conditioning cases. Next, I'll post how I made it.