Instructables

Make a Fermentation Chamber from a Broken Wine Fridge

Fermentation is a big deal in our household. Several times a month we find ourselves making the following items:

- bread
- kimchi
- yogurt
- kombucha
- tempeh

These different foods require specific temperatures which can be hard to maintain for long periods of time during the extremes of winter and summer. 

This instructable explains how we made a stylish fermentation chamber by combining our home made temperature controller kit and a wine fridge from the dumpster. 

Step 1: Remove the Backplate

Picture of Remove the Backplate
There are over a dozen phillips head screws holding the back plate on the "Haier" fridge I was working with. They are sheet metal screws which come off quickly. I used a drill.

Once the metal plate is loose cut the wires holding the back plate to the fridge. 


Step 2: Unscrew and Remove Everything Else

You will find a circuit board and peltier unit on the back of the fridge. Lots more screws and wires are holding them in place. Just keep on cutting and unscrewing until they can easily be removed from the back of the fridge.

On my unit I'm not sure if the peltier had burned out or the driver circuit was dead. I boxed them up to look at later. 

Step 3: Mount Light and Temperature Controller

This fermentation is primarily for holding temperature above normal room temps. Bread being the lowest at 75F and yogurt being the highest I typically make at 110F. We only need heating for this application so I installed a clip lamp in place of the peltier unit with a 75W bulb. I also included a temperature controller to drive the light whenever the temperature goes more than 3 degrees below the desires set point.

Step 4: Videos

I used to use a chest cooler for these warm fermentations, but it looked pretty lame in comparison to this setup. You can see some of my earlier videos explaining how this lamp + temp controller setup works for different foods.





 
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