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Old 03-19-2011, 06:06 AM   #1
Jan 2010
Lancaster, PA
Posts: 1,330
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts

I'm planning on building a fermentation chamber cooled by a dorm fridge within the next few months. Each chamber would be just large enough for a 6.5 gallon carboy with airlock.

Ideally, it would be dual temp/dual chamber, controlled by 2 ebay temp controllers. The chamber closest to the fridge would be the "cold" chamber, and the chamber further away would be the "warm" chamber. The two would be isolated from each other via plywood/insulation. However, there would be a cutout for a fan in that panel. The one controller would control the cold side (and the fridge) and the other, the computer fan, supplying cool air to the "warm" chamber.

for 2 ales, I'd set both chambers in the 60's

for a lager (or cold crash)/ale, lager would be set lower, with ale in the 60's.

Regardless of what temp chamber 1 is set at, chamber 2 would be set in the 60's for ale fermentation.

Our basement hovers around 60 in the winter, and increases to the mid 70's during summer. Cooling is my main concern.

Is this feasible?
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:34 PM   #2
NattyBrew's Avatar
Mar 2009
Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 207
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Yes it most definitely is. I had a very similar set up in my converted dorm fridge running for a while so I could do longer term lagering and ales in the same fridge. I built an extension off of the front of my dorm fridge (the door was removed) that was big enough to hold two different fermentation vessels with a pink foam insulation wall in the middle.

The thing you would want to do is have ideally two fans installed in the wall, I only had one and it wasn't efficient as it could be. Install one fan lower on the wall, pulling cold air from the cold chamber into the warm one and then one higher on the wall pulling warm air from the warm chamber back into the cold one. This will allow you to cycle the air and cool the warm chamber down much more quickly and efficiently than using one fan.... At least in theory it should! Mine was all controlled by a Love TSS2 with two temperature probes attached.

I have some pics of my old set up to show you if you'd like, just let me know! Sounds like a fun project.

"Over-complicating my brew day, one gadget at a time..."

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