My Side by Side Kegerator/Fermentation Chamber Build

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Very much a newbie here, but I just got my first batch into bottles, and now I'm dying to improve my overall brewing experience. To that end, I decided to build a fermentation chamber/kegerator. I used cas3439's build as my guide (linked below), picked up a $40 CL fridge and got started.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/side-side-fermenter-keggerator-316056/

Mine will be no where near as polished. I don't have the tools or the skills top that build. I really just want a kegerator, and to not have to deal with a swamp cooler for my second batch.

At the moment I am still waiting on the ebay temp controllers to arrive from china (were supposed to be delivered last week) , so I thought it would be a good time to post...
 
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Ok, while waiting for the moderators to approve this thread creation, my controllers arrived and I completed my build.

Pics tomorrow when I get back in town...
 
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I started with an Amana SRD23VW.

After removing the interior shelves and controls

Removing thermostats. The Freezer thermostat is a switch which controls power to the compressor (among other things).

The refrigerator thermostat was a purely mechanical device which opened and closed a damper to control airflow from the freezer section. I will use 2 fans to push/pull air from the freezer to the fridge side.

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A pic of the freezer section before removing the Icemaker and dispenser components

And after

Here’s the pile of stuff I took out. I might be able to reuse some of this, but not sure what yet.

After removing the back panel of the freezer

Cutting through the center wall was surprisingly easy with a utility knife. I was planning on getting a dremel, but I might not need to.

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Fans Installed

I fashioned this vent to pull the air from behind the rear panel in the freezer.

I used this plastic cover from the fridge side, cut it down and used extra material to close off the bottom. I'm strangely proud of this little vent.

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Now for the wiring… Here is the starting schematic and wiring diagram

And here is how I will be wiring in my controllers, switches, and fans (and I’ll go ahead and route wires for a heater in case I need one in the winter).

Ran wires to the fridge door for the controller and down to the bottom of the fridge for the fan and the heater. Also wired up the top fan.

The freezer door already had wires running through the hinge for the water/ice controls, but neutral was the only one I could use. I hijacked the blue and orange wires to run Hot (red) and yellow to the controller.

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Now that everything is wired up I can power the fridge on and make sure everything is still working as expected.

Light bulbs and compressor kicked on when I plugged it in, and I measured 120V on my controller power wires, so I am satisfied that I didn't make any wiring mistakes.

Powered down, and installed my controllers and switch panel. I programmed the set temps for fridge (20 C) and the freezer (4 C) and let it run to verify that it would cycle the compressor and PC fans correctly and maintain my temperatures.

I didn't take a picture of the controllers at set temp, but they did get there. So now I just had to install the controllers into the doors, install the switch panel, air vent, and fan louvers. The louvers are to prevent cold air from leaking into the fridge when the fans aren't running.

I also wrapped my wires in a plastic sleeve and clamped them in place.

I cut the holes in the door a little to wide for the controller bezel to completely cover them which I am kinda bummed about. That's what I get for using tin snips instead of buying a dremel tool to do this...

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After letting it run for a while, the heat function of my fridge section came on. It was sitting at 16C without the PC fans running. It appears my air vent was working a little too well. the evap fan in the freezer was pushing the air hard enough through my vent to open the louvers. I removed the vent and that fixed the issue.

I'll probably need to pull that back panel off and remove the air channel which forces cold air through the vent. That way I can put the vent back on and pull cold air from behind the freezer panel with out the freezer evap fan forcing cold air into the fridge section when it is not needed.

I dropped my probes into containers of water to prevent rapid cycling whenever I open the doors and let the cold air out.

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Here are a couple of shots of the completed fridge with shelves installed and holding at the set temps.

I still need to find a way to mount those water bottles to the door. I'll probably just get some velcro strap and screw it into the panel.

Once I have a pipeline going and need to fit multiple carboys and kegs in here, i'll probably install some sturdier shelves. I can fit 4 carboys in the fridge section and 3 corny kegs and a CO2 tank in the freezer section.

Once I have a couple of kegs in there, i'll need to install some taps as well. For now, i'm satisfied to have fermentation chamber and room for a keg with a picnic tap.

I hope to brew my second batch this weekend! In addition to this upgrade, i'll be able to use my newly purchased immersion chiller, submersible aquarium pump (to push ice water through the IC), and better bottles.

it's pretty amazing how fast that $64 starter kit turned into another $500 worth of toys :)

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