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Old 10-01-2009, 12:24 AM   #1
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Default Three Taps Fermenamber (Fermentation+Chamber)

Hi all,

This will be updated with my progress as it goes. Should be done by the end of this weekend. It's my fermentation chamber, made out of the existing closet in my garage. It should hold up to 5 or 6 buckets / carboys for fermentation purposes, as well as all my bottles that are conditioning and my empty equipment. I'll also be putting up an additional shelf in the middle.


09/30/09
-Cut out attic-style door on top, installed hinges for door and mounted A/C unit.
-Lengthened lead wire for temperature sensor of A/C unit by 7' and draped it inside chamber.
-Scrubbed chamber down with bleach solution to remove existing mold spores (last night, then left fan on it until this evening).
-Extension cord for A/C unit is 12AWG 15A 125V grade, and is plugged directly into receptacle. Extra extension cord draping down into chamber for light and additional fan, if needed for circulation.





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Brew Blog: Three Taps Brewing
Primary: Centennial Blonde Ale, Deception Cream Stout Secondary: Empty.
Bottle Conditioning / Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Ale, Cherry Wheat Ale, Bee Cave IPA, EdWort's Apfelwein.
R.I.P.: Bee Cave Haus Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pecan Scottish Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale.


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You definitely win my award for "Most Enthusiastic New Brewer".
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:24 AM   #2
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can't wait to see it finished!


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Old 10-01-2009, 03:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Fermenamber
Rookie mistake...naming it something you can barely pronounce sober, never mind while
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by shortyjacobs View Post
Rookie mistake...naming it something you can barely pronounce sober, never mind while
That's the whole point
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Justin H.
Brew Blog: Three Taps Brewing
Primary: Centennial Blonde Ale, Deception Cream Stout Secondary: Empty.
Bottle Conditioning / Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Ale, Cherry Wheat Ale, Bee Cave IPA, EdWort's Apfelwein.
R.I.P.: Bee Cave Haus Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pecan Scottish Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale.


RDWHAHB
Brewing Since August 17, 2009
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Quote:
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You definitely win my award for "Most Enthusiastic New Brewer".
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:21 PM   #5
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It's finished (well, most likely, will have to wait for the first brew to see).

I used 2" thick insulation board...that stuff is pretty easy to work with. I have it set up so that the left door is the main access door, and the right door has a big piece compression fitted behind it. There are a few small gaps in the insulation here and there, so I'll have to see how well it retains temperature when I actually do my next brew. Last night on a quick run it got from 69F to 64F in 15 minutes, then I turned it off, and it took about an hour to go back up to 68. Considering the short amount of time running, I would expect it to retain colder temperatures much better when it's actually in full use. If not, I can just use some insulation spray foam like Great Stuff or something to fill the gaps (the gaps have either 1" of wood behind them or wood and concrete, as is on the bottom). I also had to make a sort of ramp for the cold air on the top, as the shelf only allows for the air to flow to the bottom through a 3" gap in the front of the chamber (in between the doors and the edge of the shelf). The ramp makes sure all cold air is diverted to that gap instead of collecting on the shelf.

Outside the chamber:


Left door open:


Both doors open:


Inside left:


Inside middle:


Inside Right:


Inside Top:
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Justin H.
Brew Blog: Three Taps Brewing
Primary: Centennial Blonde Ale, Deception Cream Stout Secondary: Empty.
Bottle Conditioning / Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Ale, Cherry Wheat Ale, Bee Cave IPA, EdWort's Apfelwein.
R.I.P.: Bee Cave Haus Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pecan Scottish Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale.


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Originally Posted by shortyjacobs
You definitely win my award for "Most Enthusiastic New Brewer".

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Old 10-05-2009, 05:43 PM   #6
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Looking good! Keep us posted on how it works out for you!
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:06 PM   #7
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Very nice.

You are right, I'd imagine. Once you have it in operation, you will have carboys and bottles in there, and they will be at your "preferred" temp too. That will be a LOT more thermal mass, so it will hold temp a lot longer than your test trial hour. (And if you had stuff in there already when it dropped the temp from 69-64 in 15 min, then that stuff didn't have time to hit thermal equilibrium, so it would have raised your temperature faster!)

I'm willing to bet you'll be fine with small gaps....heat transfer is purely a function of area and heat resistance.....so if 99 percent of the box is covered in styrofoam and 1% isn't, then filling the gaps only gives you a 1% boost at best. (warm air doesn't "seek out" gaps :-))

Again, looking great!
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs View Post
Very nice.

You are right, I'd imagine. Once you have it in operation, you will have carboys and bottles in there, and they will be at your "preferred" temp too. That will be a LOT more thermal mass, so it will hold temp a lot longer than your test trial hour. (And if you had stuff in there already when it dropped the temp from 69-64 in 15 min, then that stuff didn't have time to hit thermal equilibrium, so it would have raised your temperature faster!)

I'm willing to bet you'll be fine with small gaps....heat transfer is purely a function of area and heat resistance.....so if 99 percent of the box is covered in styrofoam and 1% isn't, then filling the gaps only gives you a 1% boost at best. (warm air doesn't "seek out" gaps :-))

Again, looking great!
Thanks shorty, you're always a great help on the forums.

I'm really excited to try this thing out. The Chargers doing so poorly (well, the defense at least. The offense has always been a 4'th quarter machine) yesterday gave me a good excuse to finish it up. Now I just need to devise a hanging shelf that can hang from the underside of the shelf currently in place, to put all my equipment on (empty buckets, stuff like that).
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Justin H.
Brew Blog: Three Taps Brewing
Primary: Centennial Blonde Ale, Deception Cream Stout Secondary: Empty.
Bottle Conditioning / Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Ale, Cherry Wheat Ale, Bee Cave IPA, EdWort's Apfelwein.
R.I.P.: Bee Cave Haus Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pecan Scottish Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Blonde Ale.


RDWHAHB
Brewing Since August 17, 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs
You definitely win my award for "Most Enthusiastic New Brewer".
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs View Post

I'm willing to bet you'll be fine with small gaps....heat transfer is purely a function of area and heat resistance.....so if 99 percent of the box is covered in styrofoam and 1% isn't, then filling the gaps only gives you a 1% boost at best. (warm air doesn't "seek out" gaps :-))
You're right about the heat transfer part, but don't forget about the fluid dynamics part.

The cold air will seek out gaps, in a way. Since the density of your cold air is more than that of the warmer surrounding air, it will tend to sink, and leak out the gaps at the bottom. That will suck in warm air at the top. It's a vicious cycle!!

You will gain much more efficiency through sealing a 1% gap than 1%.

It's fairly easy and cheap, just use some caulk or great stuff. Then bask in the glory of your awesome fermentation cabinet!!
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:51 PM   #10
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Thats looking good!

I used that "good stuff" foam sealant to seal the gaps up in my temperature controlled area in the garage, it works great. If you have any gaps around the door too a little weather striping can help to tighten the seal of the door.


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