DIY Fermentation Cabinet

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Saccharomyces

Be good to your yeast...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
5,438
Reaction score
152
Location
Pflugerville, Texas
I'm thinking of someday doing this but having a whole fermentation room rather than a cabinet. I realized if I had a couple of conicals, I could alternate between 50*F and 64*F in the room every couple of weeks; primary your ale and D-rest your lager, then condition your ale and ferment your lager. A 20 cu ft fridge at 34*F would be used for lagering in kegs, and another 20 cu ft fridge with a collar used for storing 8-12 serving kegs serving 8 taps. Four conicals would crank out up to 30 gallons every two weeks, leaving 4 weeks for lagering before going to the serving fridge. Beer for the whole neighborhood! :drunk:
 
OP
DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

Maniacally Malty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
21,787
Reaction score
317
Location
Oakland, CA
hey, screw you man...i don't have my own house! i had to make this mobile!

:mad: :p

i believe yuri or someone made a full room using this method....might want to do a search.
 

WBC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
2,164
Reaction score
10
Location
La Puente, CA
I did the same thing a while back and used the same foam ( Extruded Expanded Polystyrene (XEPS) Boards ) but to get extreme efficiency you can use the super glue foam panels ( Urethanes: Polyurethane and Polyisocyanurate - R-value of between R-7 and R-8 per inch ) that are available at Lowes. The "R" rating is much better and is the same thing used in a refrigerator walls but is sprayed in. If a refrigerator has only 1.5 to 2 inches and you double that it would be very efficient. It does not look like you put foam on the bottom? This is very important and should be added because cold goes down and radiates out the bottom of the cabinet. In the long run the more insulation you have the less the refrigeration runs and you save more money.

Ref: http://www.healthgoods.com/Educatio...ilding_Design_and_Construction/foam_board.htm
 
OP
DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

Maniacally Malty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
21,787
Reaction score
317
Location
Oakland, CA
we installed pieces of foam beneath the unit. glued a bunch up in between the pieces of wood. it does the job, but it did strain a bit when i was trying to keep it in the low 50s. of course, it's in the 50s in the basement, now, so we just leave it open :D
 

Rubberband

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
194
Reaction score
24
Location
2 Paws
I am very new to home brewing, I have my first batch in the secondary right now. My problem is that I can only ferment in my basement and right now the average daily temperature down there is 53 degrees. I am considering some thing like this but I need a heat source that will heat the volume without being a fire hazard. I want to be able to ferment two to three carboys and bottle condition two 5gal. batches in the same compartment and the size you built looks to be perfect. Any thoughts on how to heat some thing like what you've built without burning down the house?
 
OP
DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

Maniacally Malty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
21,787
Reaction score
317
Location
Oakland, CA
53 degrees is perfect for a LOT of yeast strains.

i would look at some of the hybrid strains, like the koelsch, san francisco lager, cream ale and alt from white labs. nottingham will also do wonderful at low temps and so can almost any ale strain with the right care.

let me know if you want some recipes or advice.
:mug:
 

HawaiianHippie

Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
1
Location
Oahu
Four conicals would crank out up to 30 gallons every two weeks, leaving 4 weeks for lagering before going to the serving fridge. Beer for the whole neighborhood! :drunk:
At 30 gallons every 2 weeks, you pass 200 gallons in 14 weeks. That's an awfully quick brew year!
 

BrewBeemer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
3,492
Reaction score
28
Location
native islander my paradise
At 30 gallons every 2 weeks, you pass 200 gallons in 14 weeks. That's an awfully quick brew year!
Yeah right and sit out the rest of the year not brewing any more?
The Feds have not come up with a flow meter like your water meter
to check your brewing volumes YET, give them time. I'm surprised they
haven't created a problem so that another 2,000 Fed people can get on
the payroll milk wagon.

Hey DeathBrewer; it's been mighty warm in your area agin the past week again even on my island next door to you. "BOB" (brew on brother).
 

silverbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
1
Location
Birmingham UK
Someone said a while back that using a bulb to heat the inside of an enclosure like this would be a waste of energy. A filament style bulb only manages to turn about 5% of it's wattage into light, so the rest of the avaliable power is turned into heat! 5% wastage is not bad (an average car wastes about 75% as heat I think)
The big plus is that you can fit whatever wattage bulb you think you need, and change it for bigger or smaller at virtualy no cost, wheras those reptile lamps cost $17
 

Synovia

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
1,324
Reaction score
6
Location
Chicago, Il
Someone said a while back that using a bulb to heat the inside of an enclosure like this would be a waste of energy. A filament style bulb only manages to turn about 5% of it's wattage into light, so the rest of the avaliable power is turned into heat! 5% wastage is not bad (an average car wastes about 75% as heat I think)
The big plus is that you can fit whatever wattage bulb you think you need, and change it for bigger or smaller at virtualy no cost, wheras those reptile lamps cost $17
That 5% light, when it hits the sides of the inside of your fermentator, is going to be converted to heat anyways. You put anything electrical inside a sealed insulated box, and all the energy used is going to be heat in relatively short order..


The big deal about the reptile heat lamps is that they last FOREVER, and they're not going to break.
 

BrewBeemer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
3,492
Reaction score
28
Location
native islander my paradise
I did the same thing a while back and used the same foam ( Extruded Expanded Polystyrene (XEPS) Boards ) but to get extreme efficiency you can use the super glue foam panels ( Urethanes: Polyurethane and Polyisocyanurate - R-value of between R-7 and R-8 per inch ) that are available at Lowes. The "R" rating is much better and is the same thing used in a refrigerator walls but is sprayed in. If a refrigerator has only 1.5 to 2 inches and you double that it would be very efficient. It does not look like you put foam on the bottom? This is very important and should be added because cold goes down and radiates out the bottom of the cabinet. In the long run the more insulation you have the less the refrigeration runs and you save more money.

Ref: Foam and Foam Board Insulation
I took a look at 4.9 and 7 cu/ft chest freezers at Home Depot, measured 2 3/4" to just 3" thickness total side, back, front, bottom (best I could) and top of their freezers. All their posted dimensions are outside dimensions, this can screw a person up thinking their corny or keg count amount will fit. Check tose internal dimensions before ever purchasing a freezer. I recall a thread with carboard disks cut out for corny kegs to check the corny keg amounts per different chest freezer brands and sizes, a darn good idea. The depth of the freezer allowing for your tap fittings to clear the lid when closed is a must unless your planning on adding a collar as my friend went to Sears using their outside dimensions and screwed up purchasing a too small of a chest. Buy the right one once or build to your needs.
Hey Death Brewer; what's the BTU's of that AC unit your using?
Will it pull down and maintain temps if in a 80 degree room all day
inside a house? My 10' x 10' basement is the coldest part of the house
reaching 72-74 degrees when we have those 92 degree bay area temps.
This for the fermenting unit not a keezer bier tap. DeathBrewer a PM sent to ya.
 
OP
DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

Maniacally Malty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
21,787
Reaction score
317
Location
Oakland, CA
5000BTU...I bought this guy for $100:

Zenith 5,000 BTU Room Air Conditioner - ZW5000 at The Home Depot

I went cheap. If I did it again, I would get something better. It struggles a bit to keep it at 58°F and if I turn it any lower, it's on almost all the time. Still works great, tho...My hefeweizen was fermenting at 63°F yesterday and the ambient temp is about 75°F.
 

m3n00b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
1,134
Reaction score
155
Location
Orange County
This is cool! I would crawl in there on the hottest days of summer lol.


Just noticed this thread was old but with summer coming it might be a good bump.
 

Bryceefisher

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2013
Messages
50
Reaction score
4
Location
Las Vegas
Fermentor I built this weekend. Waiting on my temp controller and going to cover the insulation on the doors. Thinking about doing a porter with lager yeast this weekend.

ForumRunner_20130520_142849.jpg



ForumRunner_20130520_142901.jpg
 

dobie99

Active Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Brooklyn
Put the ac in backwards?
lol

i imagine the ol' light bulb in a paint can assembly would work pretty well here...
if you're worried about melting the foam, a thin layer of something that insulates might do it, like a rubber or silicone gasket/sheet where the paint can attaches to the chamber?
 

dobie99

Active Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
29
Reaction score
5
Location
Brooklyn
whoops - just realized i replied to an *oooooold* post!

my bad.
just ignore me... ;)
 

Nutz

New Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2014
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
ok, Im new to this so I might be asking a dumb question... how does the refrigerator with a temp controller above work ?
 
OP
DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

Maniacally Malty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
21,787
Reaction score
317
Location
Oakland, CA
it goes between the outlet and the fridge (usually freezer) and you drop a thermocouple inside the fridge. When the fridge gets too cold, it stops the power to the fridge.
 
Top