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Old 07-31-2007, 09:44 PM   #11
Bobby_M
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I didn't mean to poopoo your work. I like to think that I put more thought and effort than necessary for almost everything I do. It's a sickness.


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Old 08-02-2007, 06:02 AM   #12
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Okay... finally an update here. Below are the internals from the minifridge that I extracted. FYI, in many small fridges, the freezer IS the cooling coil. So, you're basically stuck with it unless you want to get a lot more complicated. I didn't realize this until I took the thing apart.




With the internals taken out of the minifridge, I started to build a wooden frame around which to build my fermentation chamber. Below shows the frame alone and then with some of the outside pannels.





Ok, so that's where I am. I've purchased some 2" foam board insulation that will go inside, lined by some water-resistant panneling. I'll post more pics as this thing progresses.

I've got a PID and thermocouple in the mail, so that's on deck. I'm glad that there are others that enjoy going overboard on things like this. I've never been a minimalist I guess. Wish me luck!



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Old 08-02-2007, 06:12 AM   #13
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That looks awesome. Put those fridge guts to some better use!
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:05 AM   #14
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Have you considered extending it about 2 feet or so? You may want to have more than one carboy in there at a time. If there's anything you want to secondary, you'll want that to be temp controlled as well. That secondary can sit in there for up to a month, and then you're screwed for when you want to put a primary in (and that's where temp control is crucial).

 
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:12 PM   #15
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I just did this recently. It's alot of work, but works pretty well. I built two different compartments which run on separate fridge guts so I can control each compartment at different temperatures:







I lined the compartments with foam and then aluminum flashing.

 
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:21 PM   #16
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That looks awesome... I have a few dorm fridges around the house and I have been thinking about making one of these to hold a few carboy's, but I also want to make it tall enough to hold corny's... I've seen a few custom bars that were made this exact same way...

 
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:25 PM   #17
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Yeah, good call on the extension. It would have been nice, but my space is limited at the moment, and I don't brew that often right now (~1 every 5 or 6 weeks or so). If I lived in a house (w/ a basement or more space) I might have considered it I guess... But, to alleviate the issue, I'm planning on converting a Sanyo 4912 (or other if a better option comes up) into a keggerator after Christmas. So, I'll be able to keg and effectively do my cold storage there prior to serving.

 
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:56 PM   #18
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I was a bit leerie on using the guts from a single mini fridge to cool more space than enough for one carboy. The mini fridges used are usually only about 1.5 cu ft capacity, and to fit a carboy I used compartment sizes of about 14x14x25 inches which is about 2.8 cu ft. I figured enlarging that the space to fit another carboy or cornies would cause you difficulties getting the fridge temps down to lagering temps.

 
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjonsharp
I was a bit leerie on using the guts from a single mini fridge to cool more space than enough for one carboy. The mini fridges used are usually only about 1.5 cu ft capacity, and to fit a carboy I used compartment sizes of about 14x14x25 inches which is about 2.8 cu ft. I figured enlarging that the space to fit another carboy or cornies would cause you difficulties getting the fridge temps down to lagering temps.
Hmmm....good point. I've got a 5 cuft freezer I may disassemble. Maybe it'll be a bit more effective. ThomCat- What kind of PID/Thermocouple did you get? I've seen some pretty cool ones out there, with illuminated digital readout, etc.

 
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:20 PM   #20
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Mini fridges are fairly easy to take apart because the evaporator and condenser coils are neatly packed together, as you can see in ThomCat's photo, the black coils (condenser) and the freezer compartment unit (evaporator- I think thats the what they're called). Taking apart larger fridges and freezer will start to get more complicated as the coils can be wrapped all over the fridge and the fridges/freezers also may have fans. I would be careful when looking into taking apart a bigger fridge or freezer to see if it would actually be feasible to do.

Minifridges seem to work great, however. The coils leading to the condenser and evaporator are flexible and you can flip the freezer compartment upside down to minimize the space needed to fit in a carboy and airlock. If your airlock is going to be really close to the freezer compartment, make sure you fill it up with vodka so it doesn't freeze.

ThomCat: Water resistant paneling is a good idea, also tape off or caulk the cracks in the foam. I've got an ale in one of the fridges, when the fridge cools down frost forms on the freezer compartment. When the fridge hits the correct temp in the 60's and turns off, the frost melts and water drips down to the bottom of the fridge. It's not very much water, but you will want to make sure it won't leak out of the fridge or down into the foam/wood. Putting a small towel under the carboy will more than likely solve this problem. I am assuming condensation won't be a problem when the fridge is at lagering temps.



 
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