Son of a Ferm-Kegerator

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mdeaves

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My Dad and I have built a fermentation chamber on top of my kegerator that uses the freezer compartment as a cooling source, I figure I'd share with you all in case anyone was interested.

My living space is very tight, so I really only have access to this little corner of our sun room. That ruled out the possibility of buying a used mini fridge and using that. It also seemed kind of over kill. I had built the three tap kegerator a while ago and it was working great (I brew 2.5 gallon batches, so 3 kegs JUST fit in this frdige). The freezer compartment was not being used for anything so I figured we could use it as a cooling source for a Son of a Fermentation Chamber type design that doesn't require switching out frozen pop bottles.

The chamber accesses the freezer compartment throgh two 3" holes in the top of the fridge. The fan sucks air up from the freezer, blows it directly onto my SS Brew Tech 3.5 gallon fermenter, and then the air is returned to the freezer through a second 3" hole. The baffles in the chamber are designed to increase the height that the cold air would have to rise up in order to 'spill' from the freezer into the chamber when the fan is off. Hopefully this helps to keep the cold air in the freezer when not in use.

The whole thing is build out of 2" poly-iso, R10 insulation. A 12V STC - 1000 controls both a small heating pad and a 120 CFM computer fan.

So far the cooling performance has been great. It was able to chill 3 gallons of 20C water to 10C in about 3 hours. When left running over night it can chill the water down to 2C. So cold crashing is an option.

For anyone wondering the fridge is an Insignia 4.4 cuft bar fridge, NS - CF44SS8


I'm happy to answer any and all questions!
 

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mdeaves

mdeaves

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If anyone is interested in building this you should know that it works great, but I have found that I need to plug the holes with tape when I'm not using the chamber. Otherwise ice tend to build up in the freezer compartment quite quickly as air leaks in and water condenses on the coils.

Other than that it works like a charm!
 
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