Author Topic: Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?  (Read 470 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?
« on: October 30, 2013, 09:17:29 AM »
I have a Brewhemoth conical and I made a modest fermentation chamber for it out of 2" blue foam.  The inside dimensions are 2'x2'x6', so 24cubic feet.  I bought a Johnson controller and originally was thinking I'd put a small window AC unit in it, but I've seen some chambers that were cooled by a dorm fridge and that would let me site this thing wherever I want instead of at a window.  So my question now is, how big of a dorm fridge do I need to get the chamber to 50F?  Would one of the really small ones be enough?  How might I go about figuring this out?  I may not need to cool until spring since this unit is in a basement garage that is relatively cool in the winter.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 10:09:33 AM »
I saw a video of one that a guy used a frozen gallon jug of water and a computer fan. He had no Johnson and had to change the ice out every day, but it would give you an idea of how much more cooling power you will need.

Offline yso191

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Re: Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 10:24:34 AM »
I was thinking about doing the same thing.  But besides chilling to fermentation temps I also wanted the unit to chill to lagering/cold conditioning temperatures.  I talked to a refrigeration guy who said a window AC unit would freeze up if set that low.  So now I am looking for a freezer/fridge to set my conical in. 

But if you only want to ferment, not lager, I'm sure the smallest AC unit you can find would chill that much area down to even lager fermentation temps - assuming it is insulated well.
Steve

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 10:30:49 AM »
I'm sure that even a 5K BTU AC unit would be overkill, which is why I'm wanting to go with the smallest dorm fridge I can get away with.  I found several builds on another forum and they almost all used the slightly larger under-counter style fridges.  Their chambers were larger but then again I didn't find anybody running them at 50F.  I can lager kegs in my keezer, I just want to have a ferm chamber for this conical.  I'm going to shop around for a used dorm fridge.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Online denny

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Re: Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 10:41:00 AM »
He had no Johnson

 :o   :'(   ;D

I'm sorry...I couldn't help myself!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2013, 11:09:18 AM »
He had no Johnson

 :o   :'(   ;D

I'm sorry...I couldn't help myself!

He might have had a Johnson and I just could see it with all the extra insulation

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 03:44:13 PM »
I don't think you'll get to lagering temperatures in a fridge because the internal temperature control doesn't go lower than the 40s. I have a small fridge (it's not that small) that I can get down to about 44F but then the fridge cuts itself off regardless of what the Johnson controller is telling it to do. I imagine you could bypass the internal controller but I have zero electrical knowledge so I have no idea how low a fridge could go or how that might affect the compressor.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Ferm Chamber, What Size Fridge?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2013, 06:17:17 PM »
I only need 50F for fermenting lagers.  I priced the 2cuft vs 4cuft models and theres not that much difference so I'm going to go with the slightly larger model to be on the safe side.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO