lager cabinet

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shafferpilot

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So I know that there aren't any new ideas here. But I thought it would be nice to let people see what I'm up to. When finished my cabinet will fit two full size carboys. It will have a pair of doors on the front for full access and easy loading/unloading. Plus I'm building it wil legs to allow for racking without disturbing the fermenters. I'm starting with a 2x2 wood frame covered in 1/4 inch plywood. Inside will be white foam insulation with spray foam in the gaps. Everything is glued, screwed, and sealed with chaulk. I'm going to use weatherstripping to seal in the A/C unit so that it can be removed for portability of the cabinet. The heater may seem rediculous for lagering, but I figure for diacetyl rests, or if I feal like making a wheat beer in the middle of winter it is a handy addition. Any comments are welcomed. More pics to come as I proceed. BTW the peice of wood that seems to be awkwardly jutting out of the frame will be trimmed to the mounted length of the A/C unit for support.

Here's the frame sitting upside down waiting for glue to dry


I tried to get a close up of this joint because I had to notch the cross beam and the longitudinal beam to allow both to be at the same level.


Here's my $5 ebay score...sweet! But boy was it DIRTY! I cleaned it out and removed the thermostat. Then I used the plug for my temp controller and after an hour or two of contemplation and meditation figured out how to wire the A/C to the controller. It works great!!


Lastly my little ceramic heater that I've been using to help cure paint and shelac for years. It's very excited to get some use in my new brewing hobby


More to come.......
 

david_42

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I think you'll have a problem with the A/C support because of the notch. I'd put another post under the support and one under the joint.
 
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shafferpilot

shafferpilot

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Me too. There will be more support for it (that sucker might be small, but it's heavy). Thanks:rockin:
 
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shafferpilot

shafferpilot

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The walls are on. The foam is in. I still have to trim the excess spray foam. BTW that stuff is SERIOUSLY sticky!! I'm still picking some off my fingers. Extra support for the A/C is going to come from a 2x4 mounted under the current frame now that the foam is in place there. Anyone have suggestions for sealing all the foam? I was planning on water based latex house paint.... here's the pics:



 
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shafferpilot

shafferpilot

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Hey it's all finished and running strong. At first I had a serious icing problem, but a little hbt research told me to keep the air flowing through the coils and that would fix it. So when in cooling mode, I set the temp controller to run the heater all the time, my heater has a fan only setting, so it all works great. As you can see it's holding 40 degrees with no problem. Next week: the start of my first lager!!




 

dfh99

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hat is a sweet design.

What is the ambient temperature in the room?

Does anyone know how much of a temperature differential a smallish window unit can support? It can be upwards of 95F in my garage in the summer -- would I be able to maintain ale fermenting temperatures in a similar setup?
 
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shafferpilot

shafferpilot

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ambient temp in my basement is currently 63F, but it's been as high as 75F and no problems to report beyond a battle with freezing the cooling coils while holding the temp below 38F. That was fixed by turning the heater to 'fan only' and pointing it to blow the condensed water off of the coils.

Could it support ale temps in 95F garage? Well, yeah, I have no doubt that it can. The A/C unit is normally used in large room with the tail sticking out a window in the summertime. So the only difference now is that the fermentation cabinet is a ton smaller, and has better insulation and no air leaks. Lager temps in 95F ambient might not happen, but it's possible. BTW a freezer with a temp controller may be even better than this type of design simply because the A/C unit isn't internally insulated very well, but a freezer is completely enclosed.
 

dfh99

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Great -- thank you for the information and for the photos -- will post how it works out
 

Dubcut

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I'm bringin' this thread back!!

I'm planning on building something very similar to this in my basement. My basement's temps can go anywhere from ~40 to no more than 75 I'd say. So If it's 60 and I'm trying to consistently ferment a saison at 85, how much confidence would you have in that ceramic heater not burning the house down from the bottom up?

If anyone has anything similar to this and something helpful to add, I'd greatly appreciate it.
 

pen25

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Cold Storage Box

check this build out. using a 5kbtu unit he was able to maintain 53* in the top and 65 bottom. if you think about this being about a 1/4 the size i think it would be able to maintain lagering in the garage. the guy is in houston
 

Dubcut

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Cold Storage Box

check this build out. using a 5kbtu unit he was able to maintain 53* in the top and 65 bottom. if you think about this being about a 1/4 the size i think it would be able to maintain lagering in the garage. the guy is in houston
Wow, very cool man, thanks for that. I wasn't even thinking of up and down. That thing is monstrously dope. I don't think I'll need something that big, for I've decided to designate this puppy purely for lagers; looking at room for 4 buckets at the most. I saw somewhere, someone mentioning that a light bulb might do the trick of raising the temp if needed. Which made me think of incubators, which very well might work. It'd make me feel safer about it, especially if it was suspended in the air. The trick will be to find something fireproof I can put on top of the foam, for that extra layer of peace of mind.
 
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