Basic fermentation cupboard

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Tensbrewer

Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by Tensbrewer » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:22 am

Hi there

I'm thinking about building a basic fermentation cupboard in my garage for fermentation and also priming post-bottling. I am not worried about an ability to cool at this stage, it's not that warm up here in the far North, I don't make lager and ain't worried about crash cooling. Anyway, I am thinking of about 1.5cubic metres in volume, ply and 50x50 walls with 50mm of kingspan insulation. Heated by an appropriate length of heating cable clipped around the walls controlled by a STC1000. Does this sound like a reasonable set up? Any views appreciated!

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StrontiumDog
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by StrontiumDog » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:25 am

I'd just frecycle an old fridge, doesn't need to be turned on but you've got the option for cooling then if you do need it. That's what I did and it works a treat!

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Jim
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by Jim » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:45 am

Unless you need a pretty massive fermenting space, an old fridge (often available for free on freecycle) a cheap tube heater and an inexpensive temperature controller is definitely the way to go. You'll struggle to build something with such good insulation yourself for one thing, and kingspan is expensive.
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by Tensbrewer » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:52 am

I think space is the challenge, I often work with two 13 Gallon bins which I think wouldn't fit in a fridge. I am pretty handy at the woodwork side of the job and can get damaged kingspan sheets fairly cheap, it's more the technical/ electrical side I am less certain about.... happy to do the wiring etc just need to be happy that the dirt of set up described will work ok.

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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by aamcle » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:01 am

It sounds fine, there is one thing I'd suggest though make sure it's tall enough to lift the FV in and out easily and check when its working that the heat is the same top and bottom. If there turns out that there is a problem a small fan will stir the air about.


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Jocky
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by Jocky » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:05 am

It'll work. The only other addition you might want is a small fan to help circulate the air around your fermenter, but if you're clipping the heating cable all over then it's less necessary.

To be honest I'd imagine even a plywood box with tin foil on the inside would work pretty well too. Any further insulation will only help.
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by spook100 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:23 am

I use one of these 50w fan heaters and it works brilliantly for heating. Takes no space and circulates the air as well as heating.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Handhel ... 2749.l2649
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by Tensbrewer » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:34 am

That's a very neat heating solution!

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Jim
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by Jim » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:46 am

spook100 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:23 am
I use one of these 50w fan heaters and it works brilliantly for heating. Takes no space and circulates the air as well as heating.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Handhel ... 2749.l2649
Nice! :)
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by aamcle » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:35 pm

+1 on the fan heater :)


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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by sonicated » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:50 pm

I built something similar for the garage. It's a big box made out of 18mm MDF and lined with 50mm Celotex (including under the bottom). It's heated with a 1 foot greenhouse heater and a USB fan to keep the air moving, for the summer I added a semiconductor refridgerator which managed to keep it at 20C even when the garage was 30C+, all controlled by an Inkbird. I can fit three 25 litre FVs in there. I really like it, but it is my baby :)

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floydmeddler
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by floydmeddler » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:02 pm

Nice build Sonicated

Tensbrewer, buy one of these and there will be no need for wiring anything. Just plug and go!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inkbird-Temper ... controller

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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by steviebobs83 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:50 pm

[quote="Tensbrewer"]Hi there

I'm thinking about building a basic fermentation cupboard in my garage for fermentation and also priming post-bottling. I am not worried about an ability to cool at this stage, it's not that warm up here in the far North, I don't make lager and ain't worried about crash cooling. Anyway, I am thinking of about 1.5cubic metres in volume, ply and 50x50 walls with 50mm of kingspan insulation. Heated by an appropriate length of heating cable clipped around the walls controlled by a STC1000. Does this sound like a reasonable set up? Any views appreciated![/quote]I'd still do the fridge option... you could take the door off and build an insulatee extension onto it to fit 2 or 3 fermenting vessels into it. You're already doing the hard work with the stc-1000 so may as well chuck the cooling element in too. I've rigged up a little PC fan to mine to circulate the air and it works a treat.

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sonicated
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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by sonicated » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:00 pm

Thanks! Yes the Inkbird is brilliant, here's a shot from the summer showing the semiconductor refrigerator keeping everything cool:

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Re: Basic fermentation cupboard

Post by johnnyboy1965 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:31 pm

A old/broken upright 6ft wine fridge is ideal. These are easier to come by, than you think. Contact any commercial refridgeration company, that deals with wine fridges and they will let you have one for free ( they have to pay £50.00 to have them de-commisioned ) Add a small electric fan heater, available from BandQ for £10.00 and a plug in digital temp controller (£15.00) and way you go...If I knew how to post a picture, Id show you mine.

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