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Old 07-21-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
Mar 2011
NO, New York
Posts: 142
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Ok, so I have ordered the e-bay temperature controller as posted here multiple times. I have an old (2000 era) small mini fridge from my college days that I THINK still works, its at my girlfriends currently as she used it for college.

I want to make a small fermentation chamber, 2 carboy capacity is all I am going to make it for, with just enough room around them for air. I hope to make something that can be quickly detached from the fridge for portability purposes. I doubt I will use much wood, just foam and possibly a 2x4 bottom if we have enough excess 2x4 pieces in the basement. I plan on getting my own house in 2 years when my girlfriend finishes school and gets a job, and our basement now does not have room for any elaborate designs. This will be a top opening chamber, just a foam door with weather stripping.

My biggest question: what size foam board to get? I am 99% sure a single board (8'x4') will do all I need. But should I get 1/2" or 1"? Polystyrene or the other DOW branded stuff that has a higher R value? My basement reaches maybe 75 in summer, and winter can fluctuate from 55-90 because we have a wood stove. Although, I plan on getting a stock of beer made before winter gets here, and keeping most of it in my dads basement with an average of 60 all year long. Fermenting at his house would be out of the question, well he wouldnt mind but its 15 miles away.

I have made this a longer post than I needed, but I tried to fit everything in this post. I see they make a tube of caulk that is meant to glue foam board together, and I will use that along with ducting tape to keep the thing together. Probably a strap holding the foam box to the fridge (lots of weather stripping will be used). When I get my own house, I will just buy a used chest freezer, but for now I gotta keep this project small and cheap. I should be able to assemble it for less than $60 with controller

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Old 07-21-2011, 05:58 PM   #2
Ace_Club's Avatar
Sep 2008
Chicago, IL
Posts: 43,844
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Use the equation in the following thread to figure out how many BTUs are required to keep you chamber cool based on differing R values. More insulation is better in that it will maintain temps better while not requiring the fridge to cycle as much.
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