Mini-Fridge Fermentation Chiller Project - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Mini-Fridge Fermentation Chiller Project

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-14-2008, 01:00 AM   #1
TwoHeadsBrewing
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 37 Times on 34 Posts



Around here it gets around and above 100F in the summertime, and even as I speak it is 80F inside my house. Therefore, I needed to build/buy some kind of fermentation chiller. As luck would have it, a good friend offered a mini-fridge he no longer used - score! The only problem was that it was just a wee bit too shallow to fit my 6.5 gallon carboy inside. So I thought perhaps it would be big enough without the plastic door material:



I took the seal off for reuse later, and then cut/ripped off the plastic stuff:


I suppose I could have measured first, before destroying the door...this still was not enough room.


So, I decided to make a collar and door out of plywood, and insulate with 1" styrofoam:


__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff


 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 01:05 AM   #2
TwoHeadsBrewing
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 37 Times on 34 Posts


Next I needed to make the door, and insulate everything:


Insulation:


Added some simple hinges and two magnetic door latches:


Seems to work well so far...and doesn't look too bad:


More pics here: Fridge Project


__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff


cranium213 Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 01:10 AM   #3
TwoHeadsBrewing
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 37 Times on 34 Posts


Only a few things left to do:

1. Completely seal plywood on the interior. There are a few places that are exposed, so I think I'll seal those places with marine-type paint or varnish.

2. Sand and finish the exterior (maple stain, satin finish).

3. Get a temperature controller.

The temperature in here gets down to 60F in under an hour at the lowest setting. For now, I'm just clicking it on once or twice a day and it holds that temp just fine throughout the day. I don't expect that to work once my garage gets 100-120F in the middle of summer.

All in all it was a very easy project; took about 3 hours of work and under $15 in hardware and insulation. Sweet!
__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 01:48 AM   #4
Liquidicem
I love lamp!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Liquidicem's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2007
Eagan, MN
Posts: 706
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Nice work. I hope it works as well as you hope. Keep us updated through the summer.
__________________
Squirrel House Brewing
Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Don't poop in your fermenter when the lid is off and you'll be fine.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 01:55 AM   #5
CodeRage
Death by Magumba!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
CodeRage's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2007
Melbourne, Fl
Posts: 2,222
Liked 46 Times on 20 Posts


Lookin good man!
__________________
Brutus 20e build | Electrical Primer for Brewers | Auber SYL-2362A2 PID Install & Config
So as I am walking out the door this morning I think to my self:
"self, going to work on Monday is like knowing you're going to get kicked in the nuts. You just don't know when or by who"

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 02:03 AM   #6
Dr_Deathweed
 
Dr_Deathweed's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2007
Bryan, Texas
Posts: 2,381
Liked 46 Times on 40 Posts


Looks good!



A lot simpler than my idea:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=54562

which I plan on starting to build this week...... Hopefully...
__________________
"Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence." - Napoleon Bonaparte
“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.” - Ernest Hemingway

Fermentation CabinetAdding Faucets to a TowerDIY HopbackPortable Kegerator

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 02:12 AM   #7
TwoHeadsBrewing
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 37 Times on 34 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by deathweed
Looks good!



A lot simpler than my idea:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=54562

which I plan on starting to build this week...... Hopefully...

Love that idea! But, yes this is much simpler...although I like the idea of being able to "hide" the unit inside. Now if I could just figure out a single unit to hold my HDTV, DVD player, home theater setup, my HTPC, AND a couple fermenters I'd be set!
__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2008, 10:39 PM   #8
TwoHeadsBrewing
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 37 Times on 34 Posts


UPDATE: Over the past few days we've had some warm weather (88-90F), so it was a great time to test out the new fermentation chiller. I've held off on getting a temperature controller thus far, and have just been fiddling with the analog temp control knob in the fridge. With VERY fine adjustments I am able to keep the temp between 65-68F. Sweet!!! The only bad thing is that it took me a couple days of adjusting it to get it there, and I aint touching it again! I guess that means I'm stuck at that temp unless I want to buy a temp controller.
__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2008, 09:52 PM   #9
TwoHeadsBrewing
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 37 Times on 34 Posts


Well, it's a bit early here in Northern CA for 100F days...but they are here nonetheless. My garage is about 115-120F right now, and that is where my fermentation fridge is. To my relief the fridge is holding steady at 62F, which is perfect for 65F-68F fermentation temps. It seems to cycle on about 1-2 times per hour...hopefully this isn't to frequent to do any damage to the compressor.

So...operation frankenfridge successful! Just took a sample of my first all grain wheat beer, and it is downright tasty! The sample temp was 65F, which is perfect. Hopefully this fridge will hold up for a long time...works great for a single primary. I've thought about building an entire new box to hold 2 carboys, and using the internals of this fridge...but I don't drink that much beer. Guess I better get to work drinkin!
__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff


 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 09:53 AM   #10
z987k
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Anchorage
Posts: 3,518
Liked 29 Times on 27 Posts


how did you go about attaching the collar to the fridge?



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mini Fridge big enough for fermentation chamber? chefchris Equipment/Sanitation 3 07-09-2010 01:15 AM
Mini-Fridge fermentation question JBZSTL Equipment/Sanitation 3 04-16-2010 03:00 AM
Fermentation Chamber - A/C or Mini-Fridge? ic3scrap3r Fermenters 10 09-24-2009 09:52 PM
What is the best mini fridge for a fermentation chamber? Schnitzengiggle Fermenters 5 02-26-2009 06:00 AM
Mini-fridge for fermentation recommendations l3lackEyedAngels Equipment/Sanitation 1 07-01-2008 05:43 PM


Forum Jump