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Using styrofam for fermentation chamber build

I am thinking about building a fermentation chamber using styrofoam. I was wondering if there is a particular brand, type, or thickness that works best. The big question is what do I cut it with to make good clean cuts without making a mess.

Brand new razor blade and a straight edge will give you nice clean cuts. Just let the blade do the work and don’t force it thru.

I use the high density (pink or blue) and cut it with a table saw to get good square cuts.

I built one a while back using foam insulation board that you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes. Do a google search for “Son of Fermentation Chiller” and there are several websites and plans you can check out. Pretty simple project that uses 2 sheets of foam board if I remember correctly, a small computer fan, an adjustable power supply and frozen jugs of water to manage the temperature of the fermentation chamber. You can even mount a thermostat on it so it cycles on and off automatically.

I used the rigid pink foam board, but instead of trying to use it to build the chamber, I used it to line a large moving box, which made it unnecessary to build the foam into a box.

I’ve been working on building a fermentation chamber / kegerator out of an old fridge. It had a bunch of styrofoam insulation on the door that I had to square off (was filled into the door’s shelving), and the thing I used was just a serrated bread knife. It worked surprisingly well and gave me pretty good control.

I’m sure these other options would work just as well as (and most likely better than) that, but that just shows you that you can really use anything you have if you need to.

The thicker the styrofoam you use, the better it will hold temperature and the less energy you will need to maintain your target temp. And in general, the lower the density of the foam, the harder it is to work with but the better it holds temp.

When I built mine, I used 100 mm (4") sheets that came in 1 m x 1.2 m size. Being that thick, it was pretty easy to just glue the pieces together to make the box. I designed the thing to ensure minimum cutting, but just used a serated knife to saw through what I needed to and it was pretty easy and cleaner cuts than I was expecting.

i have cut many pieces of foam insulation and my favorite method believe it of not is an electric carving knife for small jobs but for bigger i use a table saw and a carpet knife.

I built the Mother of Fermentation Chiller, which I highly recommend. The plans were really easy to follow. Just google it.

I went with a big T-square and razor knife for the large pieces, and used a table saw for the smaller pieces. The table saw was the clear winner for me. Also, do NOT use wood glue, as the website recommends. There is a special adhesive for foam board. I want to say it’s called PL-300 or something like that. Check your construction store and ask around.

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