I currently have temp control for about (3) 6.5 gal carboys, and need much more room. I'm not brewing more than my "limit" a year, but would like to have a decent place to store finished bottles, ferment 8+ carboys, and have room for cider, mead, etc. longterm.
I have a good working fridge, and garage space. I enjoy building, and craigslist here in Dallas/Fort Worth is a treasure trove for materials, tools, etc.
I have located 5 inch thick, foam board insulation on craigslist for $10 a 4x8 sheet. This is an amazing price, as big box stores charge $10 a sheet for 1/2" foam board thats only R3. I could not afford to make this as planned with cost like that! The seller says the 5" insulation is R6 per inch, so I am estimating to cover all walls, floor, ceiling, etc with an approx R-Value of 30+. Google says a chest freezer has an R-Value of approx 15, so I am hoping to have double the insulation of a chest freezer. Reasoning is for two things-
1. Sheer size of volume to be cooled to fermentation temps. It would be nice to do lagers, but personally I buy lagers, and make ales so no worries if it cannot hold lager temps.
2. Garage temps in Texas will swing from 110F down to close to freezing.
First photo below shows my base. I plan to base it on a full 4x8 sheet of plywood, built similar to a floor of a house. I will insulate the base to the full 5 inches or more. The fridge will have the door(s) removed, and will be attached to the rest of the space, and all gaps will be sealed. Similar to the rest of the worlds fermentation chambers, just LARGER.
The first bit of feedback I would like if possible-
What cause/effect would there be of removing BOTH freezer and fridge door?
I plan to use a temp controller to the fridge, which I'm guessing would run both freezer and fridge cooling at the same time with the doors removed. Would this cause moisture issues? Kill the fridge?
Here is one option- ferm chamber with freezer door closed. It would be kind of short, I would have to crawl or crouch to get stuff in, but it could work. This would be easier to cool with much less volume due to the shorter space.
I believe this is an internal volume of approx 116,014 cub inch + fridge OR about 67 cubic feet + fridge ( I don't have my fridge dimensions at work with me)
What I would LIKE though would be the full height of the fridge, that way I can walk down the center and not crouch, and have the additional possibility of a conical on wheels down the line.
So below is what I HOPE to do, as long as feedback does not cause me to change my plans.
This one I believe has an internal volume of about 97 cu ft + fridge and freezer volume.
Of course both of these designs will have doors on the open end in the plans, I'm thinking I might just move the fridge and freezer doors to the end OR shop on craigslist for a nice freezer door rather than try and build my own.
Please let me know what you think! And please don't make fun of my sketch up skills, I used my Mac's preview application for the arrows and text.
I'll add more if I forgot anything, I know this was a long post!