I am starting to get more and more serious about homebrewing (2 batches currently bottled, 2 batches in carboys fermenting, ingredients for 2 more waiting to be used). I have picked up a 1/2 keg to turn into a keggle soon, and may pick up another this weekend. I currently have 5 corny ball lock kegs (2 more this weekend), and 2 corny sanke coupler kegs (converted from ball lock, wtf?). I've got a 20# CO2 tank to run them, although no regulator and I still need most of the disconnects.
Anyways, I have a couple of items sitting around, and reading in the DIY section here has given me some naughty ideas
I have a large wooden double door armoire sitting in the garage unused. Its interior dimensions are: 47.5" wide, 18" deep, and 66.5" tall. Doing some drawing and calculating, I figured I can fit 4x 6 gallon better bottles/carboys on the bottom of the armoire.
I have a couple options for what to do above them. I'm going to add shelves probably the wire rack kind for ease of install, airflow, and cost. Doing some measuring, I can either fit another row of carboys above the bottom row, with a single row of 12oz bottles above that, or I can do 3 rows of 12 oz bottles above the bottom row of carboys (have I confused you yet?). With this second option I'd also have room for keg conditioning in addition to bottle conditioning and fermenting. I've attached a couple drawings to show what I mean.
The OTHER item sitting around is a small dorm refrigerator. Its kind of nasty, but (as far as I know) it runs just fine. I'm running it overnight to see if it cools down fine.
What I want to do is remove the compressor, cooling plate, and coil off the back of the fridge, and insert it onto the lower side of the armoire. I know that the fridge likely won't be able to keep the entire armoire very cool, but all I really want it to be able to do is keep the carboys on the bottom at proper ale fermentation temps (60-72F), and keep the bottles on shelves above them at good carbonating/conditioning temps (68-72F?).
I don't know if I should keep the thermostat and dial that came with the fridge, or splurge on some kind of controller to be able to digitally set and monitor the temps.
I can easily line the inside of the armoire with foam board insulation to help stabilize the temps. I could even add a light bulb socket at the top with a fluorescent/heat bulb in case I ever needed to raise the temps. And even adding one or more computer fans for air circulation would be pretty easy.
What do you guys think, does this seem like a good/feasible idea with what I have? Just trying to do something on the cheap, with mostly equipment that I already have.