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Old 07-21-2011, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Yet Another Fermentation Chamber Build Questions

I read through many threads last night trying to find what others have done with their fermentation chambers but I didn't find exactly the information I needed.

This chamber will live in the garage where the temps. can range from ~95 F. in the summer to ~32 F. sometimes in the winter. My question mainly has to do with running cables into the freezer unit (It's a GE 14.8') and where/how to place extra power for heating and cooling.

I successfully drilled through the compressor hump without damaging any hidden coolant lines. Right now the hole is just big enough to fit a Ranco temperature probe through it.

Questions:

  1. Should I make this hole bigger so I can run a power cable though it? I've seen photos of other people doing this and I thought it would be a good idea to place a power-strip inside the freezer unit for a heating unit and a fan.
  2. Should I get a single or dual stage temperature controller? I already have a single stage temp. controller but will a dual stage be a better? I don't mind reprogramming the controller each season if that's all that's involved to go from cooling to heating mode.
  3. Where should I place the various parts? I know the temperature probe should obviously be inside the chamber. Should the temp. controller also be inside the chamber or should I mount this externally?
  4. Is there anything else that I've missed? Any other suggestions from experienced fermentation chamber owners?

Any advice would be appreciated.
ferm01.jpg   ferm02.jpg  
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
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here is what i recomend

1. drill a second hole so a power wire can fit(cut plug and install new) so that hole be small and not the size of the plug. you can get a small fan with build in heater.
2. get a dual temperature controller so you don't have to mess around with wires evry season. connect heating fan to "heat" and fridge compressor to "cooling"
3. mount controller on the outside so you can see what is going on inside the chamber without opening it.
if you need more help just let me know.
good luck

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Old 07-21-2011, 11:04 PM   #3
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You could always put a wooden collar between the lid and the body and then you can drill whatever holes you want. The collar also gives you some more height above the compressor hum for another carboy.
Your garage is mild in both seasons so I don't see any problems with heating or cooling. My garage is 110-120 in the summer and 20-30F in the winter. I built a plywood box for my conical, insulated with styrofoam and bubble wrap and cooled with a $100 window unit AC, heated with a small space heater using a dual temp Ranco controller. Right now I have a kolsch fermenting at 58-60F in a garage that's been pushing 120 all week.

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Old 07-22-2011, 02:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bohdan987 View Post
here is what i recomend

1. drill a second hole so a power wire can fit(cut plug and install new) so that hole be small and not the size of the plug. you can get a small fan with build in heater.
2. get a dual temperature controller so you don't have to mess around with wires evry season. connect heating fan to "heat" and fridge compressor to "cooling"
3. mount controller on the outside so you can see what is going on inside the chamber without opening it.
if you need more help just let me know.
good luck
I was thinking the same thing about cutting the plug off an extension cord then reattaching it after running it through the freezer wall.

I ordered a dual-stage Ranco controller today. It will be here early next week.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkybstewart View Post
You could always put a wooden collar between the lid and the body and then you can drill whatever holes you want. The collar also gives you some more height above the compressor hum for another carboy.
I'm trying to get by without installing a collar for now. As it is I can fit 3 plastic buckets and a carboy in the unit so I should be good for now. But who knows??? I may add a collar later so I can fit more...

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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no problem.

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