Mother of Fermentation Chiller and sundry newb questions..

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PokeFan

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This weekend I opened my first bottle of an Irish Red Ale I brewed this summer (in Dallas, Texas heat). It was to be my finest creation, it was my 5th brew, not counting the Mr. Beer brews I did (yeah, Mr. Beer got me into the hobby). The problem with the beer is that I could taste the fruity esthers. The problem with my operation is that SWMBO and I argue over the temp of the house. I travel during the week so she keeps the house at a butt crack sweating 78. It was literally the worst beer I've made.

My wife and I made a compromise. The house temp is not going to change, but I can build a fermentation chiller. The problem is that I'm not able to find 2 inch extruded polystyrene insulation at Lowes or Home Depot in my area (every Dallas store says it's not sold).

This is where I was hoping someone could answer questions...

1. I was planning to put wood around it to make it into a nice piece. Would that help the insulation value on 1 inch insulation? From what I've read here on searches and other sites is that the inch means a difference between changing the ice every morning or every 5 days.

2. The other thing I thought about doing was getting two or three pieces of one inch insulation and building the chamber so that no inside corner would be exposed to the outside. However every wall would be at least 2 inches thick. It will still be covered with wood on the outside. Here's a pick. Imagine that there would be another piece of insulation running along the each side so that the crack would go to another piece of insulation.




Here is my inspiration
Fermentation Chiller

I will be posting my stupid questions about corny kegs at a later date. My wife picked up 3 for me while I was out of town. :rockin:
 
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PokeFan

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Hmmm, since you are in a big city, why not get a chest freezer of CL for cheap? Then add a temp controller. Any temp you want and no messing with ice. Grats on your cornies!
Actually, my next project was to build a keezer, but I don't have space for both.
 

Kilgore_Trout

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Wood will help the insulation, but how much is hard to say.. would depend on thickness and the type of wood (obviously). Just double up on 1", air in between won't hurt you (there's a reason commercial insulation often uses lots of air) if you use spacers or build a nice frame it would be just as solid.
 

pen25

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or you can just get a 48qt cube cooler. get some 1" foam and make a lid by stacking. fill with water and put some water bottles in the freezer. ask her to swap the bottles in the morning and when she gets home. put a digital therm and say no need to swap it if its within temp range. but i know for me i was swaping in the morning and in the evening when i got home. never went over 72 and this was when my homes thermo is set for 80 during the heat of the day while i was at work. i bought two of the coolers for 20 bucks a peice.
 

FSR402

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I know you say that you don't have the room to do a chest freezer and a kezzer but what's the difference in this and the freezer? Space is space.
 
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PokeFan

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I know you say that you don't have the room to do a chest freezer and a kezzer but what's the difference in this and the freezer? Space is space.
Space is space but it depends where in the house. I can put a chest freezer or a keezer in the garage, but I can't put both due to room. I can put my keezer in the garage and my fermentation chiller in my brewing room/closet.

I do search craigslist daily to try and find deals. In fact I just missed out on a kegerator with CO2 bottle for $100.

I'm planning on getting the stuff for my mother of fermentation chamber tomorrow. I'll post pics if anyone is interested.

I love the fermento-lager-taporator! Your skills are well beyond mine. I'll be lucky if the wood I put around the chiller has matching corners.
 

DKershner

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Space is space but it depends where in the house. I can put a chest freezer or a keezer in the garage, but I can't put both due to room. I can put my keezer in the garage and my fermentation chiller in my brewing room/closet.
Just stick the chest freezer up there. I have one in my house, it doesnt do a whole lot when you are targeting 68F. Even lagering is fine. I have mine on carpet in a closet, havent had any issues.
 
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