DIY Fermentation Chamber

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Aug 14, 2014
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Manchester, NJ
I'm a new home brewer and quickly realized that my fermentation temperatures were creating off flavors in my beer. I looked at the son of a fermentation chiller plans and thought it was pretty cool, but over complicated. I ended up modeling my fermentation chamber after an ice box style refrigerator. I built a foam box large enough to hold my fermenter, with plenty of head space. On the top of the box, I added a metal rack that I made from an old dog crate divider. The rack holds frozen soda bottles which I use as my cooling source. Above that, I mounted a CPU fan to help push the cold air down to the bottom of the chamber. With two 2-liter bottles and the fan running, I got the chamber down to 42 degrees. Way to cold for the ale I was planning on brewing. I ended up using the personal size water bottles that come in a case of 24. While the beer was in primary fermentation, 2 frozen bottles swapped twice a day kept my beer at around 65 degrees. Very happy with the way it worked. Then after primary fermentation completed, I only had to use 1 water bottle to keep the beer between 63 - 65 degrees.

Now I am thinking about creating a smaller chamber to hold 4 frozen 2-liter bottles and running a piece of flexible ducting to the top of the fermentation chamber. Then I want hook the CPU fan to a digital temperature controller and move it to the where the duct enters the larger chamber. The idea is to pull the cold air from the smaller chest to my fermenter. This will give me more temperature control than my current build. Also, I won't need to open the fermentation chamber twice a day to change bottles. Looking forward, I was thinking that I could also run multiple fermentation chambers from the same box.

I'm pretty stoked about building this setup, but I still have some doubts if It's going to work. If anyone has tried a build like this, please share your thoughts? I did see 1 similar build where someone ran a duct from their kegerator to their fermentation chamber, but there was not much information on how well this worked. I am looking forward to your feedback!


Toms River, NJ

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