Fermentation Chamber

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

daveooph131

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
Messages
1,123
Reaction score
34
Location
Dallas, TX
I am really needing to construct a fermentation chamber. I live in Dallas, TX and even with the AC going it will get to hot to brew very soon.

Help me through around some ideas on a cheap, but efficient fermentation chamber???

My specs:
I have looked at chest freezers, can't find one cheap enough on craigslist. I already have a Johnson temp controler, I have space under the stairs in the house. I also, don't really want to do a swamp bucket, nore do I think it will keep it cool enough with how hot our house gets.

I just need to construct something quick on a limited budget so I can keep brewing.
 

BargainFittings

Vendor / Owner
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
105
Location
Allen TX
I think the cheapest solution is an Ice cube cooler and some ice jugs.
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=67881&start=15

My solution: Fermentation Cooler box construction - BrewBoard

I must be the king of chest freezers as I've bought 3 of them for less than $100.00 off of DFW craigslist

The trick is constant vigilance. The cheapest ones drop off quick. I was usually the first or second caller on them. I don't sit in front of a computer all day either. I would check them early before work and right when I got home after work.
 

McKBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,186
Reaction score
43
Location
Hayden
Use a refrigerator instead. Coupled with a temp controller they will work equally as well for a fermentation chamber. Rip out the side shelving and build a platform in there and you should be able to fit a couple carboys at a minimum in a standard refrigerator.

classifieds - craigslist
 
OP
daveooph131

daveooph131

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
Messages
1,123
Reaction score
34
Location
Dallas, TX
Would a Johnson's analog control work to control temps on a chest freezer? I think I found some on craigslist.
 

scinerd3000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
2,123
Reaction score
16
Location
Milton
yes. they work quite well...i use a ranco which is comparable for the same application
 

Schnitzengiggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
2,560
Reaction score
40
Location
Tucson
I live in AZ and we probably have drier weather, but it gets freaking hot here, the last few days it has been 93+, I have my thermostat set at 78 and my fermenter is in an icechest with a fan blowin on it, the water temp reads 63-67 which I think is fairly decent, don't get me wrong I tried to purchase a chest freezer off of Craigslist this morning for $75 (7.2 cu Magic Chef) but of course for that price it was gone before I got off work! It can be done simply, but there is more maintenance/time involved, but get a cheap freezer and a temp controller and its GRAVY BABY! Good luck!
 

bendavanza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
22
Location
Oak CLiff, TX
I'm in Dallas, too.I have used the ice bath and etc method but now I'm using an old kegerator with a ranco for a fermenting chamber. This works but the kegerator is probably not very efficient and the compressor is noisy. It will be replaced by a vertical freezer or fridge one day.
 

Coastarine

We get it, you hate BMC.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
2,515
Reaction score
33
Location
New Bern
I use a mini fridge that only fits one fermenter, which I'm finding is usually enough. Most beers are ready to warm up to room temp after a week.
 
OP
daveooph131

daveooph131

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
Messages
1,123
Reaction score
34
Location
Dallas, TX
I'm in Dallas, too.I have used the ice bath and etc method but now I'm using an old kegerator with a ranco for a fermenting chamber. This works but the kegerator is probably not very efficient and the compressor is noisy. It will be replaced by a vertical freezer or fridge one day.
You mentioned you're in the Dallas area...Are you apart of any brew clubs? I was thinking about getting into one, but didn't know how. I think it would be cool to brew with some buds.

Also, what kind of mini-fridge's are big enough to store a 6.5 glass carboy.

Secondly, what chest freezers are big and deep enough to store 2 6.5 glass carboys?
 

fotomatt1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2008
Messages
190
Reaction score
4
I use a mini fridge that only fits one fermenter, which I'm finding is usually enough. Most beers are ready to warm up to room temp after a week.
What kind of mini fridge do you have? I want to build a fermentation chamber and I live in a small apartment. I'm curious what kind of mini fridge fits a 6.5 gal fermentation bucket with the airlock sticking out of the top? Any input is appreciated. Also what kind of temp controller are you using?
 

Coastarine

We get it, you hate BMC.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
2,515
Reaction score
33
Location
New Bern
It fits a 5 gallon better bottle once I cut out the plastic shelving on the door with a utility knife. What kind is it...hmmm...I just went and checked and it is goldstar.

It looks like this size except mine looks much older and looks like wood on the outside:
 

fotomatt1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2008
Messages
190
Reaction score
4
Think there's one out there that will fit a 6.5 gal bucket without any cutting?
 

Coastarine

We get it, you hate BMC.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
2,515
Reaction score
33
Location
New Bern
Why without cutting? It took about 45 seconds, the whole inside of the door came off after cutting a rectangle around the border. I don't know about without cutting but without the door shelves, you should be able to find one.
 

fotomatt1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2008
Messages
190
Reaction score
4
That would be great, esp since there are plenty of used refrigerators available very inexpensively....I just don't have room for that. I live in a very small apartment and really only have the room for a mini fridge.
 

G_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
3
Location
Innisfil
Hi.. this might also interest you,

i live in a high rise building apartment, I’m at the 15th floor and it gets very hot in the summer, so I built myself a cheap Cabinet, and put an a/c unit on it... problem is i haven’t jigged up the a/c unit to go below 65 degrees, as the internal thermostat doesn't let it go lower... the doors are all sealed with stick on foam tape.. i can fit up to 5 batches at once on the upper level, i use the lower level to store my wine, but could also brew there too if i needed to...

My girlfriend has decorated her way and sometimes puts stuffed animals on it... but whatever! as long as she lets me brew in the bedroom! :)


 

TwoHeadsBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
3,949
Reaction score
53
Location
Chico, CA
I built a fermentation chamber from a used mini-fridge, and like you use a johnson temperature controller. My first unit was a very simple 1 carboy "collar" type unit, and worked just fine. But after I went to 10 gallon batches I needed something bigger.

Version 1.0
Picasa Web Albums - Ben - Fridge Project


Version 2.0 is quite a bit larger and can fit 3-4 fermenters. I built it under my existing workbench and insulated it MUCH better than my first attempt. We've had a few hot days here in CA already, and it has held 40F no problem. I added a small computer fan to circulate the air while the fridge is on.
Picasa Web Albums - Ben - Fermentation ...

 

PhlyanPan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
199
Reaction score
3
Location
NY
My girlfriend has decorated her way and sometimes puts stuffed animals on it... but whatever! as long as she lets me brew in the bedroom! :)
Yeah. Tough to complain about that.


Anyway, if you want to be totally badass you could go the route of my ghettorator. It's a mini fridge and about $40 worth of polystyrene foam and construction adhesive. Costs about $8 per month to run.

 

bendavanza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
22
Location
Oak CLiff, TX
You mentioned you're in the Dallas area...Are you apart of any brew clubs? I was thinking about getting into one, but didn't know how. I think it would be cool to brew with some buds.

Also, what kind of mini-fridge's are big enough to store a 6.5 glass carboy.

Secondly, what chest freezers are big and deep enough to store 2 6.5 glass carboys?
I joined the North Texas Homebrewers Association recently but I have not attended any of their functions yet. I joined it mostly for 2 reasons: Brew days and LHBS discount. North Texas Homebrewers Association
 

Coastarine

We get it, you hate BMC.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
2,515
Reaction score
33
Location
New Bern
Yeah. Tough to complain about that.


Anyway, if you want to be totally badass you could go the route of my ghettorator. It's a mini fridge and about $40 worth of polystyrene foam and construction adhesive. Costs about $8 per month to run.

I had one just like that (a little smaller) built to fit snugly inside a closet, but then I had blowoff on a beer when I wasn't expecting it (it was a lager) and beer got between the layers and nasty stuff started to grow. Of course I didn't know just how nasty and I had a stout to ferment so I put off cleaning it for another week. It was seriously gross, so once I threw away the insulation and cleaned it up I decided to just go with the fridge for easy cleaning. I only ever need one temp controlled primary at a time anyway.
 
Top