Cold Box Considerations

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Moonpile

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I've just begun finishing out my basement and have permission from SWMBO for a kegerator. I've been reading all the threads I can find about cold boxes.

I'm interested in doing a cold box style powered by either a mini-fridge or mini upright freezer (like a Kenmore 5.0 or maybe 7.2), which will be mounted halfway into the wall of the cold box.

The proposed size of this thing is 42" wide x 32" deep by 36" tall. I'm probably not accounting for insulation, but that gives me 28 cubic feet, which is why I want to go with a cold box.

Will I be able to keep this in the proper serving range with just a regular mini fridge? If so, that would be great, since they're cheap and replacable on CL. The freezers are circa $300 new and difficult to find used.

I saw The Dude's thread, but couldn't figure out if that's a fridge or freezer.

Also, I'd like this to be able to do double duty as a fermentation chiller. I grew up on a sailboat and our "icebox" was powered by a coil on the freezer side with a spillover for the refrigerated side. Has anyone tried anything like this? I'm thinking a 2" piece of insulation with a small cutout for a temp controlled computer fan.

Insulation-wise I'm going to go with the 2" really stiff foam board on the inside and outside of studs as well as the floor. I'll pack the interior of the studs with the softer pink foam board and maybe line the interior with Reflectix.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated, and I've tried to find links, but I'm sure I didn't find them all, so link away. The more I see the better.
 

PhlyanPan

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It's 4' long by 2' wide. The end farthest from the fridge stays at about 38-40 degrees. Perfect serving temperature. The closer end stays a little colder. It costs about $8 per month to run.
 

ElDuderino

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I found this link while getting ideas. He's done what you are considering and it is described well. He uses a temp controlled fan to pull cold air from a freezer into his box through ductwork. The return air goes back through a baffle, which acts as a trap to prevent heavier cold air from returning into his fermentation chamber (neat idea).

Fermentation Chamber
 

flyguy340

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Sorry for bringing up an old post, but I'm curious if anyone esle has thoughts on this. I'm considering the same idea for a cold box.
 
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