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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through March 07, 2005 * How cold with window-side A/C? < Previous Next >

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q-ceps
Member
Username: Qceps

Post Number: 106
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 03:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am planning to improvise a primary/lagering fridge by insulating an existing two-level shelf (2x2ft, 6ft tall) and feeding cold air from a small window-side AC unit. The air flow would ideally be designed so that the bottom shelf has carboys at lagering temps from direct air stream and the top shelf holds carboys in primary, maintaining 9-13*C from indirect "residual cold".

How cold could this get? Did anyone try lagering this way?
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 543
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 04:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In theory, it would be almost as cold as the exit air from the unit. If your insulation is really good, the only other heat source is the yeast, which isn't much.

I am planning a very similar project, but my main concern is the larg amount of turbulent, "dirty" air. Probably not a major concern.
 

q-ceps
Member
Username: Qceps

Post Number: 107
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 04:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It seems none of the specs for AC units quote air temperatures (probably because it all depends on ambient and fan speed), but I would at least like to know if it could ever get below, say 5*C. Anyone ever measured AC output temp?
 

J. Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 510
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 05:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've never measured outlet, but with a floor length tablecloth, the space under my dining room table would stay 50-55F with one central A/C vent under the table. I don't think I would want to count on the A/C for lagering at the 30F, as icing may be a problem. Chest freezers aren't that expensive.
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 1194
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 05:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In general, the coils should not fall below 32F unless you are low on freon. That said, I have seen an overworked window unit spit ice off the coils once and work just fine the rest of the time I stayed there. So it must have been just the right conditions to get the coils to or below 32F just that one time.

-Doug
 

J. Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 511
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 11:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whether it ices or not also, I think, depends on the humidity inside the space being chilled. If window a/c units dehumidify (like central units and modern frostless freezers), and if the space is sealed, then it is probably okay. The a/c will still have to have some surfaces somewhere below freezing to maintain lagering temps in the low 30's. I would like to hear from those with experience, though.
 

Michael Boyd
Intermediate Member
Username: Mlboyd

Post Number: 272
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 10:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are cooler-humidty controllers made for wine cellars. A bit pricey but they do exactly what you'd want for a lagering/storing box.
 

Ben Schy
Member
Username: Bens

Post Number: 126
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 10:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Qceps:
I bnuilt a cold room using a wall AC unit to cool it. It stays between 35F and 38F.

http://www.beanblog.org/cold.html