I'm sitting here enjoying a 2nd glass of Sierra Nevada's Glissade, and I figured some of you might like to see what I finished working on this evening.
I present to you my own take on the Son of Fermentation Chamber, quietly known to the few people I deliver progress updates to as the "Fermistat".
Rather than having to switch out frozen bottles every few days (or in general, mess with it), I opted to to have a mini fridge attached to act as a freezer. Also, because I had most of the parts lying round, I built my own thermostat based on the Arduino platform.
The main chamber is big enough to house 2 (maybe 3) 6.5 gallon carboys, or 4 corny kegs, and has a removable top and front held in place by rubber bands. It's all held together by spray adhesive, Popsicle sticks, and wood glue.
The fridge is divided into two halves , with 1 gallon of ice on either side .
The thermostat itself makes use of a cloned Arduino (freeduino),an MCP9700A Low Power Linear Active Thermistor IC, and a 12v optoisolated circuit for fan control. The LCD currently displays current temperature, Previous high and low temp values, and Temperature threshold. The threshold may be adjusted via buttons and thermometer may also be calibrated via trimpot.
I'm currently testing the whole setup with 5 gallons of water in a corny, and I'm honestly surprised at how well the whole thing seems to be working, and I can't wait to get some beer into it.
I still have a few more things I want to add to the setup. A few more ties as to better secure the top and front panels, and because I'm that type of lamer (read: Masturbatory) I may also install a IR video camera so as not to have to unhook everything to view progress ((and again, because I have the parts lying around).
This is not my cleanest build, but it seems to be everything I was hoping for functionally..
Thank you to everyone who contributes to this sub board, as it has provided endless hours of enjoyment, distraction, and ideas