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Old 04-03-2012, 03:54 PM   #11
barrooze
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Vacuum hose is exactly what I was looking for, but didn't want to spend $4/ft since I needed roughly 14' for all the lines. The dryer ducts were too large in diameter.

These ducts need to be flexible, as the entire ferm chamber is hinged (or will be) so I can get it out of the way (when empty) to access my keezer.


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Old 04-03-2012, 04:15 PM   #12
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Do you have room to put the box next to the freezer? You could get rid of the external hose completely and be able to open the lid of your freezer if you need to.

I kind of did the same thing but with a dead freezer......






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Old 04-03-2012, 04:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Mash View Post
Do you have room to put the box next to the freezer? You could get rid of the external hose completely and be able to open the lid of your freezer if you need to.
I had seen a few FCs that went horizontal as you described, and that was my initial intent, but lack of floor space was the driving factor for going vertical. My garage is packed to the gills with stuff (I'm lucky I've got space for a 2nd fridge AND keezer!) so I had to go up if I wanted a ferm chamber at all. In the last pic, to the left of the KFC (Keezer/Ferm Chamber) I've got my mower, trimmer, and a shelf. None of that fits anywhere else... To the right I've got a fridge.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrooze View Post
Vacuum hose is exactly what I was looking for, but didn't want to spend $4/ft since I needed roughly 14' for all the lines. The dryer ducts were too large in diameter.

These ducts need to be flexible, as the entire ferm chamber is hinged (or will be) so I can get it out of the way (when empty) to access my keezer.
Stick a 2" PVC nipple out of each side. Then build a telescoping box duct using the same foam, basically a box that slides in a box. Each box has a hole in the side that slips over the pipe nipple.

If you want to get fancy with cutting the foam, take a 2x4 block of wood and two utility knife blades and drive them into the end of the 2x4 at a 45 degree angle so that you get something that looks like this. -V- The apex height should be just shy of the thickness of the foam. Lay out your duct pattern on the foam then cut by ragging the block on the foam against a straight edge. It removes a 45 degree slice leaving just enough on the outside surface for a hinge & gives you nice mitered corners. You fold it and basically have one edge to tape and the 3 end cap edges. I've done this with the foil clad rigid fiberglass duct board, worked like a charm. Learned by watching some HVAC installers except they obviously have professional cutting tools.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:53 PM   #15
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Nice write-up, but I don't see how this solution helps me when in position one, the inlet and outlet are parallel, while in position 2, the inlet and outlet are at 90 degree angles. See pics below:
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by barrooze View Post
Nice write-up, but I don't see how this solution helps me when in position one, the inlet and outlet are parallel, while in position 2, the inlet and outlet are at 90 degree angles. See pics below:
Ahh I see, I was thinking the normal hinge on the back direction. Looks like the hose is the most economical solution. An alternative would be to put the lid & ferm chamber on slides, have the ferm chamber extend 3-4" to the left ( enlarge the chamber so it's overhanging the freezer). Use elbows from the freezer with the outlet oriented up so that it mates with openings in the ferm chamber overhang. Slide the ferm chamber to the left to access the kegs, slide it to the right to close, realigning the ducts. No doubt more trouble than it's worth.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:57 AM   #17
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No doubt more trouble than it's worth.
Quite true. I went through numerous scenarios when coming up with this design. Like the slides method you described, I'd have to build a new lid that would allow for the rails as well as somehow allowing access to the kegs because i can't slide it out, then open the entire ferm chamber and rail system as it would ram into the wall behind the KFC. It's a real tight space and given the materials and tools at my disposal, I think it came out alright. Definitely better and easier than a swamp cooler.

I do appreciate the feedback and suggestions! Hopefully it helps someone out, as I haven't seen too many of these out there.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:26 PM   #18
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How is this performing in the heat? Any condensation problems? What temp controllers did you go with? How are the ferm fans configured (I see duct tape?). Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djevans3 View Post
why did you choose to only put out 4 taps when your keezer holds 5 cornies?
Since I'm really the only beer drinker in my house, I decided I only needed four taps active at any given time. This allows me to have 1 keg conditioning and in reserve while I finish one of the other on-tap kegs. Also, someday in the future I may want to have a stout faucet which I'll easily be able to incorporate into the mix.

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How is this performing in the heat? Any condensation problems?
This is actually performing pretty well so far! I must admit, while the East coast is getting hit by a heat wave, Houston, TX is experiencing significantly cooler weather than normal! We've only been in the 80s (and not even high 80s) and the FC has been able to maintain 20C very, very well. Once I wrapped the ducts with pipe wrap, I've experienced no condensation on the ducts, and have not experienced any inside the FC either.

Quote:
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What temp controllers did you go with?
I've got the single-stage version of the STC-1000 eBay Temp Controller build. Works great. I set my desired temp, plug in the fan's power adapter, tape and insulate temp probe to the side of the fermenter, and i'm good to go.

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How are the ferm fans configured (I see duct tape?). Thanks!
I've got the each fan spliced onto an old cell phone power adapter. I cut open a couple 2L bottles (cleaned of course), and duct taped the fan into the enlarged opening, so the fan blows out of the bottle, which will suck air from the threaded bottle opening. The threaded bottle opening fits nicely into 1" PVC tubing. I just duct taped the bottle onto the tubing to ensure an airtight and secure fit. When the fan turns on, it sucks air from the keezer below and blows into the FC. The warmer return air is taken from the top of the FC and ducted into the top of the keezer.

I still am not finished with the FC. I need to trim off a little bit of the door to get a better seal with the angled portion of the right chamber. I also am going to cut some foam and attach inside the chambers to make a door jam, on which I will put some weather striping, to ensure a tight seal (some cool air is escaping around the door). And finally, I'm going to attach those darn hinges that I bought months ago!!

Thanks for your interest. Let me know if there's anything else I can clear up for you.


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