I have been tired of not being able to brew during the summer months because my basement stays about 70*, After researching the SofFC pdf write-up and watching a few you tube vids, I decided to build my own. It took me awhile to put the plan together because I was unsure of how to find and put together the electronics portion of this project. After seeing a YT video on using temperature control items used for cooling entertainment cabinets to control fermentation temps, I decide I was now easily able to do this. I have a little over $100 dollars into this because the electronics were about 75% of the cost. Obviously, you could do this cheaper if you needed to.
The source for the electronics were from The Cooler Guys. Check out the YT video for a better explanation.
The 3 items were:
4 Pin Molex 2A power adapter $14.95
120 mm. low speed 3 pin fan $10.95
Programmable Thermal Fan Control. w/ LED Display $34.95
These items all have connections to plug in together. You are up and running in 30 seconds. No searching for all of the parts and no cutting or soldering needed.
For the most part, I followed the pdf. version but one change I made was to cut the top into 2 pieces in order to not disturb the fermentation area when changing out the ice.
The grommets are nice but I used 3/8" dowels and needed to sand them since they were a little too tight. You might not even need to add this step as it seems the chamber is still very airtight from just the addition of the weather stripping.
The temp control is mounted into the back wall. I took a razor blade and cut out the foam in order to recess the unit into the foam. All of the wiring is run through the two ice chambers and the power cord is run through a hole at the bottom.
One item that makes this so much easier to build is a table saw. This helps in making perfect cuts especially for the top and front pieces where air can leak.
Hopefully I didn't leave anything out. This is an easy project for any member on this site but if there are any questions let me know.
I haven't tried to push the temps really low yet so I'm not sure how low this will chill. I've stayed at about 62* for my ales. One guy on YT showed his temp. at 45* with 2 one gallon jugs.