Author Topic: Fermentation Chamber Design  (Read 685 times)

Offline TrivialPursuit

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Fermentation Chamber Design
« on: October 16, 2014, 07:32:50 PM »
Hey Everybody, newb to the forum here. I need some advice about a current build. I recently got a new 3 head automated keg washer at my job and it came in a pretty heavy duty crate so I threw it on the trailer and took it home. Luckily it squeezed right under my a/c duct and is a perfect fit. For now its an open crate and I'm having a hell of a time deciding how to section it off.

I originally was going to split it in half side by side but more recently i thought about top and bottom split (top for ales/bottom for lagers) mainly for more surface area - more fermenters. Currently I use 1/2bbl kegs to ferment in, which wouldn't be a problem for the top/bottom split but id like to up my game and use a 15 gal conical or two so i can harvest/rack properly etc, which in turn need height.
If i were to do the top/bottom split i was planning on using two a/c units one keeping ale temp on keeping lager/secondary temp and then use my two fridges like I do now for my carbing/lagering.

Anyone out there have an opinion? Ive been wondering if it would be possible to control two separate temperature sections with one unit, and how would you exactly do that.

Cant wait to hear some ideas!
thanks again

Dimensions: 56"wide, 53" deep, 70" high
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 07:36:01 PM by TrivialPursuit »
“Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire” - David Wallace

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Fermentation Chamber Design
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 09:19:04 PM »
if you had the ac going into the lager area and a vent and fan going between the lager area and ale area you should be able to control the fan with a second temp controller set to ale temps so it only draws cold air in from the lager area when the ale area has exceeded set temp.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Fermentation Chamber Design
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 07:45:47 AM »
People have had success with computer fans from what I've seen.
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Online Stevie

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Re: Fermentation Chamber Design
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2014, 08:17:47 AM »
Personally, I would split it so the back half (less or more if you need it) is cold and the front half is warmer. This will allow you to have working space in the front chamber and the back chamber can be filled as much as possible with easy access. Think of the "wasted" space in a walk-in cooler, it allows people to work easily and safely.


I wouldn't split top to bottom as that would take a lot of support and be very difficult to get stuff in an out. Front to back as to have two chambers side by side wouldn't be a great idea as both chambers will be very narrow making moving around difficult.



Fans between with separate controllers should work well. That is how most home fridges work. The compressor cools the freezer and a separate thermostat controls baffles and/or fans between the two allowing the cold air to cool the fridge.

Offline TrivialPursuit

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Re: Fermentation Chamber Design
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 11:53:02 AM »
Thanks guys! Never thought of the fan idea, I will research it a bit and see what size would be best. I don't want to have to big of an opening for atmosphere to flow through I'm guessing. Steve I dig your idea of front to back, I'm having a bit of a hard time picturing access to the back area tho, would you do a separate door on the side? Maybe a side entrance (for rear chamber) and front entrance (for front chamber).
“Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire” - David Wallace

Online Stevie

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Re: Fermentation Chamber Design
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 11:57:40 AM »
I was thinking a door on the inside of the first chamber, but side isn't a bad idea at all. Access is key. Don't want to have to move hundreds of pounds around every time you need to get something or look at something.


One thing to consider, be mindful of the amount of effort you are putting into modifying something existing so it will work for your needs compared to making something that fits your needs from scratch.

Offline TrivialPursuit

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Re: Fermentation Chamber Design
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2014, 12:06:49 PM »
One thing to consider, be mindful of the amount of effort you are putting into modifying something existing so it will work for your needs compared to making something that fits your needs from scratch.

I hear ya on that, I have somewhat of a problem with going to big. Im also currently building a new brew stand, all out of super strut. Incorporating 2 plate chillers, 2 pumps, an old Blichmann 15 gal pot w/ false bottom as hop back, 150 qt capacity MLT, multiple burners for decoction... There will probably be a time machine and cold fusion catalyzer in there somewhere too....
“Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire” - David Wallace