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Old 11-19-2012, 05:16 AM   #1
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Default Walk In Cooler Questions

Now that we've insulated our house, I'm starting to plan a walk in cooler in the basement for keg storage and lager fermentation, since I can't rely on my cold basement for brewing lagers anymore.

I've read the Deep Six article and thread, and various other threads here on HBT. I've got the basic idea planned out, and I'm left with a couple of design questions. The space will be 5' wide by 6' long and 6'5" tall.

1 - Where should the AC unit output heat to?
The area I want to use doesn't have an existing window. I could cut a hole in the wall that goes outside the house shell, under the porch. Or, I could install the unit in a wall, so it would output heat into the conditioned basement. Outputting into the basement is certainly easier. Should I have any concerns about doing that into conditioned space? Like water dripping from the unit or anything else?

2 - Should I insulate the concrete foundation wall and floor?
2 of the walls have 8" thick concrete 3 feet high. The concrete is all below grade, so it should keep a moderate temperature. I plan on keeping the temp in the walk-in at about 45F.
I would prefer not to insulate the floor, as I am already the height of the space, and don't want to duck while trying to carry kegs and fermenters.
Will not insulating the concrete make a big difference in the thermal performance of the cooler?


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Old 11-19-2012, 05:42 AM   #2
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Most people with AC powered fermentation chambers vent them directly into a basement or garage. Venting them to the outside can cause problems if its very cold outside and cutting holes in walls is generally discouraged by spouses. Still, it can get noisy and condensation can occur depending on your climate.

Here's a chart about R values for different materials:

As you can see, 8 inches of concrete only gives you an R value of 1.11. This is pretty crappy. the best thing to use would be foamboard. Panel it with plywood, caulk it and paint it with moisture/mildew resistant paint.

My $0.02.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:19 PM   #3
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The best way would be to find a old cooler from a restaurant or store and reuse the panels. They have cam locks and are easy to assemble. If your lucky you can get them free.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #4
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Having the output go into your basement is fine if you don't use it as a living space, if it is only storage it will be fine.

If you do use it as a bar area or tv room then it will suck because of the noise and heat it will produce.
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