Monday, April 26, 2010

Brewing Equipment: Fermentation Cabinet - Step 1

After many hours of internet research I have decided on my plan for my fermentation cabinet. I have reviewed all the different options available to me. I spent quite a few hours on the Homebrew Talk.
I live in a condo in Downtown San Diego so I don't have a ton of room. Plus the wife has limited my beer equipment to the closet in the office. I needed a way to organize all my equipment in the closet so I figured this would be a great time to build myself a temperature controlled fermentation cabinet.
I really liked the cabinets that used the fridge guts. The look clean and seem to be a fun DIY project. One step that many of the fridge gutted cabinets was how to get the guts out. They simply say it was hard but here it is. So I decided to document myself doing the demo.
Here is the first fridge:
I busted this one in 2 places. First I punctured the freezer unit with the Reciprocating saw then I broke the cooper line while trying to pull it out. Any break in the system and you are done. The price to fix it and recharge with new coolant is more expensive and time consuming then starting over. I did salvage a few parts that I may use on another project.
Lessons Learned:
1) Try to find a mini fridge that only the freezer compartment does the cooling
2) Don't use a Recipicating Saw - its just too out of control
3) Be careful and take your time, don't take shortcuts

So I listened to my own advice and found a cheap mini fridge off of Craigslist:

I took my time with this one and used far simplier tools. I cut the outside sheeting off with shears which was very easy. And used the Reciprocating saw blade by hand to cut through insulation or a drywall knife would be perfect. If you have any questions, I feel like an expert now.
Step 2 - Cabinet Build
Step 3 - Painting and Insulation
Step 4 - Wiring and Organization


  1. Hey, I wanted to say thanks for this blog. I only started brewing this year, and I used your info the most of any blog I found to help design my own fermentation cabinet. Most importantly, it's working great!

    Thanks again!

    If you care to check mine out:

    1. Great job. And glad my write-up helped you out. Good luck with your brewing.


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