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Old 02-22-2011, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Fermenting Cabinet on the shelf

Time to move the fermenting "ale pales" out of the hallway closet. The temperature in there is not controllable and is steadily approaching 70 F+. After studying several under the workbench fermenting cabinets, I decided to design and build one on the shelf in my garage/brewery.

I scored a Haier Mini Fridge from a garage sale the other day for $15.It is a 2.5 cu. ft. model.
I cleaned it up, and set it on the shelf. Fits perfect.



I went to Lowe's and bought two 4'x8' sheets of 3/4" foil backed insulation foam. and started trimming in the cabinet. I have doubled the thickness, so it should have R9-R10 insulation factor.



Then I installed the front face of the cabinet. I re-used the door from the mini fridge. I made a seal out of galvanized steel used for roof flashing. The magnetic strip in the rubber door seal keeps the door closed tight.







I turned the fridge on last night, and it chilled down to 50F by this morning.
I still have to finish installing insulation panels.

I plan on painting the front face on one side with blackboard paint, so I can make notes of what is brewing, and when it is due.

I am also planning to install a Love temp controller and a fan, and possibly a stir plate or yeast starter/ storage area.

The shelf area beneath the fermenting cabinet is going to be removed in the future, to store my brew rig that I am going to build soon.


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Old 02-22-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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Nice. I like how you reused the door.


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Old 02-22-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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Give the temp sensor some thermal mass, or try to get it inside of your fermenting vessel.

This will 'smooth' the temp curves, and you really want to control fermentation temps, not air temps anyways.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:30 PM   #5
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sweet build. If I ever get my garage in order I might have to do something like this.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:06 PM   #6
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You just made my day. I'm building a chamber with that exact same fridge and I was a little worried about it cooling a larger space. That is an awesome build.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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Another project on my agenda, when will it ever end.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulHilgeman View Post
Give the temp sensor some thermal mass, or try to get it inside of your fermenting vessel.

This will 'smooth' the temp curves, and you really want to control fermentation temps, not air temps anyways.
So far the only temp control I have is the one that came with the mini-fridge.
It has an aluminum thermocouple that is about three feet long. I moved the sensor to the middle of the fermenter, and turned the setting to "1" of 7. This is the lowest setting. It chilled down to the low 50's.

Now what you are saying is give it some thermal mass? Do you mean place the probe inside of a jar of water? or what?
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deflagratio View Post
You just made my day. I'm building a chamber with that exact same fridge and I was a little worried about it cooling a larger space. That is an awesome build.
So far I think this little fridge is going to work fine. I plan on using it for Ales, but I'm sure it will be fine for lagers as well. It will be interesting to see how it does this summer , when my garage heats up to 100+.

I am going to have to make a drain pan of some sort with a drain line, because when it turns off the ice melts off of the tray and runs everywhere.
I haven't bought a controller yet, but they look pretty easy to wire up.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:35 PM   #10
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looks nice!


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