Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

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brewbrew
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Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by brewbrew » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:30 pm

I'm putting together a fermentation fridge.

I have just watched the Malt Miller video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDLvEuZ4qEo&t=75s which is very helpful - but I'm surprised that they advocate using just the original glass base shelf as the base support for the fermenter.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge regarding the load bearing capacity of fridge glass shelves? I can't help thinking that 25kg on the shelf will risk shattering it and/or buckling the liner slots that support it.

I was thinking of constructing some sort of wooden contraption to level out the base - but buying timber is really difficult at the moment and I have limited carpentry skills - so reliance on the glass shelf is tempting.

What does everyone else do to level out the step at the base of fridges?

My fridge is a circa 2012 Indesit tall larder model if that makes any difference.

Thanks for any advice that anyone can offer.

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bitter_dave
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by bitter_dave » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:46 am

I made a wooden base for the bottom of my fridge to hold the fermenter / barrel. I am far from handy with these things but I managed to put something together (admittedly I had access to wood!). I would not trust a glass shelf to hold that kind of weight. I think I remember googling the load baring of a fridge shelf and it was something like 10 kilos (although my memory about this is hazy).

Rankin_leigh
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by Rankin_leigh » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:21 am

I sort of the glass shelf.
But there is the lip at the back of mine for the condensation drain, I had to raise it by 1/2 cm to fit mine flat. So added just an old bit of ply.
But the other main thing I did was using a old bit of 2x4 I have a support leg in the middle propped underneath the glass shelf. Means that vertical bit of wood is taking most of the weight - never had any issues.

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alexlark
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by alexlark » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:51 pm

I swapped my glass shelf for a wooden one. I used pine board and rebated the ends so it slid into the grooves that the glass shelf was in.

f00b4r
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by f00b4r » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:56 pm

This design works quite well too, is very easy to create, has good airflow and keeps the tube heater off the floor:

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brewbrew
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by brewbrew » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:03 pm

Many thanks f00b4r - I'm inspired by your design and managed to source some wood today - I will be replicating your design and dispensing with the glass shelf. Thanks also to the other responses - your help is much appreciated.

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wmfd
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by wmfd » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:24 pm

I agree, it does look good.

Also you clearly thought through the need for air circulation. I built one using plywood then had to drill holes to allow the warm air through!

David
Planning: Summer Lightning, Election interference Russian Imperial Cocoa Stout
Fermenting: Nothing beery (there is a kombucha going though)
Conditioning: Nothing
Bottled (Drinking): Exmoor Autumn Glory, 1936 Mackesons, Weissbeer

My supplies from http://www.themaltmiller.co.uk

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bitter_dave
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by bitter_dave » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:41 pm

f00b4r wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:56 pm
This design works quite well too, is very easy to create, has good airflow and keeps the tube heater off the floor:

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I made something similar (although mine looks more amateurish!). Works a treat and wasn’t all that tricky to do (even for me!)

f00b4r
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Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by f00b4r » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:50 pm

I’m pretty sure I nicked the idea from seeing it on here years ago. My other one looks neater asi used all the same wood but the beauty of the design is that you just need a basic saw, a decent length of wood and drill to screw it together. If you measure carefully you can even get the wood cut for you at most DIY stores and if the height is off it’s easy to adjust with a saw after the fact.
I do intend to yacht varnish mine though, as it makes it easier to clean any leaks/spills. I’ve just been way too distracted building a house for the last couple of years; you can spot the new brewery room in the background (a thread will be following “soon”).

brewbrew
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by brewbrew » Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:59 pm

I have now completed my fermentation fridge - based on the wooden base design. I have mounted my heater high but under a USB fan.
I did a practice run with and measured temperature distributions in the chamber and in a 25l bucket of water using a 4 channel Inkbird BBQ bluetooth thermometer (only to the decimal point resolution) and with an Elitech logger that has 0.1 degC resolution (calibrated against melting ice and boiling water). The controller is an Inkbird ITC 308 plug and play with the control sensor under the fan. The 4 channel logger showed very even temperature distribution when set to run at 18 deg C - some variations of around 0.7 deg C in the air chamber depending on position - but the water held a rock steady 18 deg C.
The side drilling was done by using a soldering iron to melt a pilot hole in the liner that was the picked open to remove insulation with tweezers (all clear - no pipes or cables). A punch and hammer from the inside marked the spot on the steel shell and a stepped drill made a neat hole for a pipe spigot to flush fit.
It will dual function as a fermentation chamber and Cornie temp controller for the finished product when not fermenting.

f00b4r
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Re: Fermentation fridge base reinforcement

Post by f00b4r » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:02 pm

Sounds like a good job.

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