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i want to build an insulated cabinet

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olusteebus

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so I come to you guys and gals. I know it has been asked a million times.

First of all, I am in Florida. My wine room has a window unit ac. I was going to get a window unit that also has a heat pump but instead of paying about $450, I think I will just get a regular window unit. I don't plan on using the heat strip in the ac.

My cabinet will be two levels and about 4 or 5 carboys on each level. I am building it against an insulated wall. I am going to build the frame out of 2x4.

So, I need insulation on the sides, bottom, back and top and also in the cabinet doors.

I will have a small electric heater in the cabinets with a thermostat control that will send current to the heater when the temp gets too cold. The heater will stay on all the time but no current going to it until it gets too cold.

It can get cold here in North Florida sometimes.

I am primarily worried about too cold during fermentation which will sometimes be in the winter.

Previously I have used a heated tub of water but don't want to do that now.

Any suggestions
 

Mismost

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olusteelbus....check out the reptile heating mats, or heat tape strips....heck I just use an heating pad and sit the carboy on it....works just fine. If your house is insulated and air conditioned, I doubt you need to insulated your cabinet with much more that about an inch of rigid foam...but that is your decision. Don't forget to allow that thickness.

Sounds like it is going to be like a free standing cabinet/closet. You might consider building it on castors...might want to move it for cleaning or what ever reason.

I want to do something similar and am flip flopping around between site built and just buying one of those wall type cooler units. The ones at the MiniMart, reach in upright Coke boxes.
 
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olusteebus

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I see your ac discharges in the wine room. Does that cause a lot of heat. I plan on cooling the room itself but I would not be opposed to having a small unit just for the box to keep the temp at a cooler rate.

Thanks. I meant to find your post about this.
 

AZMDTed

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Are you trying to build a fermentation area, a wine storage cellar, or an all in one area?

Here's what I did for a fermentation area to keep temps at 73-75 degrees. If I had the space I would have insulated it and added the reflectix foil, but for my small closet the foil works well enough.

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55372
 

Redbird1

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Others seem to have provided lots of good info, but this is a fairly common build for beer brewers. You can search for "fermentation chamber" for general build design ideas. A lot of them use foam insulation sheets for insulation and don't even bother finishing over it.

An Inkbird controller lets you plug in a cooling unit and a heating unit and you can set upper and lower temperature limits which will kick on the appropriate device.

I have an old dorm fridge that I plan to use to build a small one (at some point in the future). There are some designs that incorporate them, even taking off the door and using it as the door for the chamber. Not sure what sort of door you have in mind. If you plan to have 8-10 carboys in there at once, you'll probably need the power of that window unit.

Will you be actively fermenting that many wines at one time? Will they all need the same temp? Just some things to consider when sizing.
 

Engler

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so I come to you guys and gals. I know it has been asked a million times.

First of all, I am in Florida. My wine room has a window unit ac. I was going to get a window unit that also has a heat pump but instead of paying about $450, I think I will just get a regular window unit. I don't plan on using the heat strip in the ac.

My cabinet will be two levels and about 4 or 5 carboys on each level. I am building it against an insulated wall. I am going to build the frame out of 2x4.

So, I need insulation on the sides, bottom, back and top and also in the cabinet doors.

I will have a small electric heater in the cabinets with a thermostat control that will send current to the heater when the temp gets too cold. The heater will stay on all the time but no current going to it until it gets too cold.

It can get cold here in North Florida sometimes.

I am primarily worried about too cold during fermentation which will sometimes be in the winter.

Previously I have used a heated tub of water but don't want to do that now.

Any suggestions
I live in Tampa Bay and in winter under cold spell the temp in my house never goes under 65 even without heat turned on, then during the day after cold night would go up no matter what. I am thinking about building a cabinet with A/C for my summer wine fermentation, especially white wines.

The temp of liquid inside the carboy is not going to fluctuate much during day/night cycles due to relatively large volume.

Unless you keep your wine in your garage or porch I would never imagine a need for "heated " space for wine in Florida home.
 
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