Temperture Control

26Sep08

I am 34, and due to diligence and dumb luck, Ive still got an intact backbone. So, every time I lug a 5 gallon + carbouy from point A to B, I worry about my back, about disturbing the beer, about the glass shrapnel grenade if I drop it, etc. It was these concerns, plus my obsesssion with making the best beer I can, that led me into dropping half a grand on a stainless conical fermentor. I got a Fermenator, which is a name brand quality unit. I got the 14.5 gallon model so i could do both 5 and 10 gallon batches. Since it has a dump and a racking arm, no more secondary, no more moving the carbouy. But alas, the temperatures in interior Alaska, even in summer, fluxuate so much, that I decided to go with a  temperature controlled setup. Thanks to that  useful tool craigslist, I found a $150.00 refridgerator that was perfect. First thing I did was pull the door shelving, so that I could get another 5 inches of room on the inside. I bought a sheet of plastic and cut a replacement panel to cover the insulation.

The main reason to replace the panel as opposed to leaving the insulation exposed, is that the panel holds the door seal in place, so you dont have toglue it in which is NOT how it is meant to be installed. I saved the original panel, as well as all the shelves and drawers, in case I need to turn it back into a dedicated fridge. 

 Once I got the fermenator installed, the next thing to do was deal with the blow tube. A 1 inch ID tube is required for the blowoff. Since this thing can be a sealed bomb if your not careful, they recomend using a blow off tube. I got the optional tri lock blow off tube/ co2 pressurizer to replace the stopper and bubbler. But, in using that, the fridge would have to be vented to keep the co2 from blowing the door open. So……

I drilled a 1 1/4 inch hole in the side of the fridge for the blowoff tube to exit. I also took the time to glue 2 magnets to the back of the temperature control device, so I could stick it to the fridge as opposed to mounting it permanently via screws. 

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