My Brew Box

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MrEric
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My Brew Box

Post by MrEric » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:05 pm

Hey Guys,

Been using the BCS 460 for a few months now, and I thought I would finally put up some pics of my custom made brew box. It has been a project going on for about 4-5 months now. I really enjoy these little projects and just seeing how you can use all of these gadgets. :P

So, basically the brew box I built back in December. I opted to build one myself (Instead of using a chest freezer, although that would have been easier...) because: 1: A chest freezer was hard to find at the time, nothing on craigslist for a reasonable price. Put the word out to friends and family for months with no bites. 2: I've seen a lot of chest freezer conversions and many are too small to fit more than a few cornies. So I could build one myself to the specs I need. 3: Buying a new chest freezer was wayy too expensive.

Anyways, I build one out of plywood and 2" thick Styrofoam (Went with thinner and polystyrene instead of foamular to save $$$). Acrylic bottom to ease cleaning up spills. I found a brand new unused 5000BTU air conditioner on craigslist for just $25 (This was during December :D ), and got 4 faucets from micromatic.

Anyways... My latest project was embedding an old Eeepc 701 in the lid to act as a touch input for the BCS! I already had the Eeepc sitting around unused for years, and the touch screen digitizer was only $34 from DealExtreme. (Unfortunately the one I got was DOA, working on getting it replaced).

Pics!!

Took the Eeepc all apart, did a crappy job with routing out the hole for it... I'll fix it with some wood filler once the touch screen is in place. I have a dogfish head metal sign I will put over the computer to hopefully avoid overheating problems.
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Size check... It is like it was made to fit it. :)
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Foam makes a mess. :D
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All milled out, too about 1/2" from the top of the foam...
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8GB SD card for storage
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Making sure that the thing still worked after I tore it apart. I used just a cardboard envelope underneath for padding...
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Done until the new touch digitizer comes in. Secured with hot glue...
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For now it is using the built in Wifi, if that drops out I may consider hard wiring an Ethernet cable, but just more cables to hide. But I've installed remote desktop on the PC to make it easier for me to access it.
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Here is my whole setup
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Here is the inside. Some notes...
1. Yes those are christmas lights. Now that it is getting warmer outside I'm getting problems with sealing the box and getting frost buildup on the AC. (Which I now have worked out with sealing the lid better). This is what I meant when I said a chest freezer would have been easier...
2. Over the next few days I'm replacing the X-mas lights with a heated waterproof cord (used to keep pipes from freezing during the winter). Improving the sealing has helped immensely, but if there is ever the situation where it does need to defrost it should be able to do it much faster.
3. When I get time I am going to sand down the "great stuff" foam. :P
4. A leaky liquid post put the acrylic bottom to good use. Once the kegs get empty it will get cleaned up.

The way I designed it is you can have two cornies side by side, or two buckets, better bottles, or carboys, but for air flow I've been putting them diagonal.

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The AC has a pretty small footprint. And it isn't too fancy, no circuit boards so the thermostat was disabled just by splicing two wires together.

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One of my projects was a nice Co2 distribution system. This allows me to have seperate carb pressures and serving pressures. The quick disconnects work great and seal well.
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Serving pressure & Regulator. I would have liked a 20 PSI gauge but this is the lowest harbor freight had.
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Serving Section
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I've also designed the box to have a movable, or removable compartment divider to have serving and fermenting seperated. So you can have any of the following configurations:

-2 Fermentations, and 5 or 6 serving kegs
-0 Fermentations, and 8 serving kegs
-6 Fermentations, and 0 serving kegs
-Any mix and match of the above (4 fermenting, 2 kegs, etc.)

The divider has two fans to cool the fermentation, and a light bulb for heating.
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Entire system, still working on the sealing so ignore the mess on the lid and sides. :D Also going to embed the Eeepc power cable in the foam (You see it in the lid)
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Overall it is a lot of fun, I just enjoy messing with this stuff. Once I get my current tweaks done my next one will be to find a place to embed an arduino controller and make it so that I can have a display saying the keg levels and stuff. :D

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ECC
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Re: My Brew Box

Post by ECC » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:06 pm

awesome

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