Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fermentation Chamber Build



Living in San Diego, building a fermentation chamber is low on the build priority list.  But a "free" fridge from work it jumped up to #1.

The fridge is a Sanyo (with Freezer) black/fake stainless steel door mini fridge.  We moved into a new building at work and we received a old glass slider fridge.  It is HUGE...so the little fridge from the embroidery shop was a goner. 

Here are the needs:



  • Hold 3 Carboys.
  • Fit in my garage inside my condo
  • The top will be used as a workbench
  • Must be energy as efficient as possible 
  • Must be able to lager homebrew or cold store beer.
Here are the build pictures.

Here is the fridge with the door off, I am spacing the width and the length needed for 3 carboys.
I am figuring out the height of the workbench top.  The board on top is for figuring out the "sealing" part.
Here is the mock layout.  The door is dryfitted. 
This is the back side of the front picture (above)  I reused the same hinges that came with the fridge.
Here is the fridge with the poly foam installed on the side and the floor. 
A inside look at the fridge area.  Also above this picture is the "inside" construction materials.  Wood (floor only) poly foam and a smooth FRP plastic.
This is the backside on the chamber.  All the poly foam is glued to the wood frame.
I am just starting the install of the smooth FRP plastic sheets.  I love this stuff.  It is waterproof and cuts with a pair of scissors .  I am using inside and outside transition corners when possible.  The areas that I can't, I will add a 100% white silicone caulk.
The door is lined up and installed.  I have metal around the door area so the fridge door acts like it did before. 




For the outside lining, right now I am thinking a  3/4 plywood sheet for the work area on top and a 1/4 inch hardboard or cheap birch.  The sides will be painted black to match the rest of the fridge area.  I will post some more pictures this week.

Update #1

I was totaling up the cost of the build with a couple buddies of mine today.  Here is a quick breakdown of the costs:

Fridge = Free from work
4  2x3's: $1.53 each  = $6.12
2  4'x8' FRP sheets Smooth kind $22.00 each  = $44.00
2  2x4's = Free from work
1  2x4 foot sheet of 1/4 plywood = $9.50
2 tubes of Liquid nails $2.49 each = $4.98
2 tubes of White Caulking $4.00 each = $8.00
Screws: Free (I had them)
Johnson temp controller = $79.00
4 casters = Free from work
Right now I am at $151.60.  More than I wanted to be honest, but the build quality is top notch and I am very happy with it.  I just need to source the top workbench wood and choose a side material.  Right now I keep flopping back and forth about what I want.

Update #2


The Chamber is now on its 9th beer as of today.  I normally brew 2 batches at a time so that is about 2 months.  I did add the 2nd layer of a thicker R rated foam.  I also added 2 DC computer fans in the freezer area that I think are one of the most important elements of this chamber.




On the door I have a white board that I can write carboy information and gravity readings before transfering them into Beersmith.  I can get 5 carboys inside the chamber area.  Normally I run this with 2 at a time.  


All that is left is the top plywood to finish it off.  The sides will be left unfinished for the time being. 

10 comments:

  1. This is awesome! Thanks fo sharing this - very pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  2. can you post all the materials that you used please i woul like to do one for me!! thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do you have any dimensions on your cuts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not anymore. Its long gone. Sorry man.

      Delete
  4. For the floor, did you just use the styro board or did you drop some plywood on it first?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used a thin 1/4 ply board, covered with the foam board then the plastic sheeting.

      Delete
  5. I would have put the door in the middle so you would have a shorter reach left and right.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey just saw this post. Awesome! Wondering how cold you can get this box? I grow cut flowers and was thinking of doing something similar just a little longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fridge struggled to keep anything below 64°. I would look into a chest freezer with a temp controller. Which is what I have now

      Delete

Thanks for Commenting, Prost!