Temperature Controled Insulated Box - need advice.

CrealCritter

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I built a simple insulated plywood box. internally it measures 26" L x 26" W x 30" H (11.736 cubic feet)

I have an old cermaic space heater 1000/1500 watt and I also purchased a small 120mm 38mm 110 CFM Cooling (HS1238A-X). I also have a inkbird temperature controller (ITC-308) on order.

Although my initial use now that it's winter is to lager beer @35 degrees. But I also want to use it to sprout veggie seeds and hatch chicken and turkey eggs, come spring time. "The Box" will remain in my unheated workshop.

I'm wondering about placement of the cermaic space heater which has a fan and the exhaust fan. Should the heat come in low, since heat rises and the exhaust fan be high since cool air falls? Placement of the temperature probe should be somewhat center, I would think? I also think there really needs to be a baffle for the cermaic space heater so it doesn't excessively warm up what's right in front of it.

For the heat I was thinking I would build a short tunnel with a V baffle to direct the heat. both exhaust and heat would be pushing air through the box, either cold ambient air or heated up ambient air. Is this a wrong approach (Push/Push)?

Any thoughts or advice would be most appreciated - thanks
 
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YourRabbitGirl

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@Chic Rustler built an awesome incubator and he's an HVAC guy. Maybe he has some advice...
Can't we just buy those kinds of machines? Devices? I had a bad experience of asking a "professional" to build us a hanging cabinet above our kid's cabinet before. (I know, completely unrelated to what you guys trying to build) after 8 to 9 months it fell off. Good thing the kids are in school when it happened. :|:|:|:|
 

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Where's the challenge of paying big bucks to buy something when you can MacGuyver it?

I'm a DIY all the way. No great feat to build an insulated box. And the digital thermostats cost $10 - 15.00. If you can re-wire a table lamp with decent instructions, you should be able to wire in a thermostat. This will work with or without extra venting. So... the only thing left to do is the homework re: the most efficient use of venting. When I built my incubators, I just played around with the venting until I got the best air circulation. In the case of the styrofoam incubator, I used a pencil to poke holes here and there where the heat was building up. If I had too much ventilation, i just shoved an ear plug in the hole, or covered it with duct tape. tin foil baffles were also great assists to prevent hot spots in the bators.
 

CrealCritter

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I made it out of scrap, including hinges and the heater. I did purchase a small fan off eBay and put it in the heating chamber. I tested it last night. Ambient air temp was 48 at the time. I was able to get the box to 105 degrees in less than 1 minutes and cool it back down to ambient air temp in also less then 1 minute. So I "think" its good to go. I'm waiting for the mail main to deliver my inkbird temperature controller (ITC-308) and that should about do it. Then I'll be ready to load 5 gallon kegs of beer in it, to lager.

Being made of wood I can mount shelves pretty easy and turn it into a incubator and geminate seeds. It should come in pretty handy.

IMG_20200110_150616753.jpg


Speaking about the mailman :)
IMG_20200110_152620091.jpg
 
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CrealCritter

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EZ I like EZ. Box heats up nice, but being 57 degrees outside, that's as about as cool as I can get it. I need to start lagering at 55 degrees and step down 5 degrees a day to 35 and hold it there as close as possible for 4 weeks.

It's very warm for January here in Southern IL. But the weather guessers are saying it's supposed to change next week.

Assuming the weather cooperates, I think the box should be ok for a lagering chamber.
IMG_20200110_161456081.jpg
 

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I made it out of scrap, including hinges and the heater. I did purchase a small fan off eBay and put it in the heating chamber. I tested it last night. Ambient air temp was 48 at the time. I was able to get the box to 105 degrees in less than 1 minutes and cool it back down to ambient air temp in also less then 1 minute. So I "think" its good to go. I'm waiting for the mail main to deliver my inkbird temperature controller (ITC-308) and that should about do it. Then I'll be ready to load 5 gallon kegs of beer in it, to lager.

Being made of wood I can mount shelves pretty easy and turn it into a incubator and geminate seeds. It should come in pretty handy.

View attachment 13005

Speaking about the mailman :)
View attachment 13006
So... tell me about this inkbird. I think that's the company that made the thermostat we used in last incubator build. But, it had to be wired in. It looks like yours is already pre-wired??? Just plug in your heat source??? How is the wiring set up? Does it have a heating and cooling thermostatic option?
 

CrealCritter

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So... tell me about this inkbird. I think that's the company that made the thermostat we used in last incubator build. But, it had to be wired in. It looks like yours is already pre-wired??? Just plug in your heat source??? How is the wiring set up? Does it have a heating and cooling thermostatic option?
It's programmable plug and play. The probe works in air or liquid. Has a plug for heat source and a cooling source. It's just the same as the northern brewery controller on my keezer build. One thing to note though is it has a 1000 watt rating so beware how many amps your heat / cooling source pull that you plug into it. My little ceramic heater is a 750/1500 watt so I'm running the heater on the 750 watt setting. All the info you want is here, including the manual for download ---> https://www.ink-bird.com/products-temperature-controller-itc308.html
 

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So, if I'm reading the specs correctly... I could plug a light into it, and set it for 100*F. And it would hold that temp inside the box within +/- 1* of that temp? Do you realize how stupid simple it would be to build an incubator with this? Not that I need to... I already have 2. But... why would anyone buy an incubator, when they could MacGuyver one... and not even need to pick up a screwdriver??? I'm loving it!
 
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