This post is long overdue, but here is a quick recap of my AC replacement.
About a year ago the window AC unit in the fermentation chamber went out when I was making batch +8. I’m pretty sure this is the reason that batch ended in bottle bombs. I wasn’t too disappointed in the AC failing because I felt that it was working more than it should. It appeared to let a lot of cool air out of the unit itself causing it to kick on more than I thought it should. So I decided I’d reuse the guts of a small cube fridge. In hindsight, I wish I had used a bit larger of a cooler as it appears that I can only hold a 35 degree temperature difference. This is sufficient for fermenting, but not good enough to get a good cold crash when the garage is in the 80s.
Taking apart the mini-fridge was pretty easy once I bought a pair of sheet metal scissors. From there it was pretty easy to mount the cooling tray and add the insulation. I certainly didn’t sand and paint as good as I did in the original build, but it works. Finally, I added a pc fan to continually blow across the cooling tray; without it I noticed that it would ice up when trying to cool. I’m seeing a bit more condensation that I expected and have a towel to catch things. I’m trying to limit the amount of times I open and close the fridge for now, but this is something I’ll have to keep an eye on. All in all, it works and I’m back to brewing!