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Fridge-Freezer Incubator

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#1 phalanx



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Posted 12 March 2005 - 01:55 PM

I built one a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I had to throw it away when I moved house. I took some lovely pictures I planned to post here before dumping it but I threw them out a few months ago during a panic.:( All I can do is describe it in detail.


I used an old average-sized fridge freezer with the freezer compartment on the bottom and fridge part on top. The door seals were still in good condition which is important for keeping in the heat. I found some large plastic containers with snap-on lids which fitted nicely into both compartments, 2 in the top and 2 in the bottom. I made sure I found these BEFORE going ahead with the conversion.

First I removed the compressor thing on the bottom to make it much lighter, and took off the big grille thing on the back to make it a bit shallower. I drilled small holes in the walls for wires coming in and out, and sealed around them when finished wiring.


The bottom freezer part I used as the spawn/case run incubator because it was better insulated for keeping in the higher temperature. On the floor of the freezer I wired up a 4" bathroom extractor fan and had it blowing past a domestic room thermostat onto a low wattage lightbulb.

The fan circulated the air to make sure of even heating throughout the freezer. The low wattage bulb made sure it didn't heat too fast for the thermostat to accurately respond when the temp got too high. Having the fan blowing straight over the thermostat made sure it reacted quickly at the right air temperature.


The fridge part I used for fruiting only. It was more complicated to build. I had a 4" fan attached to the roof blowing over a thermostat onto a small 14w aquarium tube lamp with a sun spectrum. The light tube was along the top of the back wall so it was out of the way and less likely to get broken accidentally. I put the power supply unit for the light hanging on the outside of the fridge to save space and avoid overheating.

I also wired in a socket to this circuit which only had power when the light turned on. I put it on the outside of the fridge to save space. I plugged a regular analog timer into the socket and ever day at the same time I reset it to midnight. The next day I would look at the timer and it would tell me how much light my shrooms had got in the last 24 hours.


The spawn incubator worked great. I colonised pf jars in it successfully despite fears that the draught of the fan would contaminate them or cause excessive drying. I tried doing grain jars with tyvek filters but I made the lid holes too big and they dried up. Making smaller holes or putting them in sealed tubs would solve all that. I did some super case-runs with small trays in the big tubs with perlite humidification. Colonised like lightning.

The fruiting chamber worked brilliantly. Cakes/casings were sealed in the tubs with perlite and the circulating air warmed them. They were translucent to let the aquarium light in. Shrooms grew real fast. The bottom tub was sitting on one of the old wire shelves laying on the floor of the compartment. This was so the air could circulate underneath it too.

Because of the good insulation, I didn't seem to have any problems with excessive heat passing up from the spawn incubator through the floor of the fruiting chamber.

Unfortunately my cultivation skills weren't great and I didn't have much experience with using it before it had to be dumped, so I can't say what the full potential of it would have been. The future looked very bright though.

The whole unit made very little noise. The low power fans were fairly quiet and the insulation acted as soundproofing.


I'm so pissed off I dumped those pics of my beautiful creation. It may sound like a load of unnecessary work to most people, and for most people that may be true. You need the space for it. The fruiting part will really only work in a cold climate or cool/cold weather. Otherwise it will stay too warm for the light to come on. I live in a cool climate and had the space and F/F lying around. If I ever start growing seriously again, I would build another one.

#2 destroy_erase_improve



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Posted 12 March 2005 - 03:59 PM

sounds pretty cool. kinda sux that you dont have the pics to show us, and it definately sux that you had to toss it after all that rigging.

#3 spacecake



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Posted 12 March 2005 - 05:03 PM

Thanks for the nice report... !
I'm also working with an old fridge, that I'm gonne use for growin Azurescens and such !
Just cleaned it, and bought a aquarium heater,that I will put in water with a air pomp to raise humidity and to raise the temp from 4 to 10 degrees !
The fridge has an water storage on the bottom.
I'm also gonne put in a grow-lux bulb on a timer, for lighting and a little more heat !
The reason for growing indoors,is to alow me to take clean prints !
Phalanx...just start all over again...and show us new pictures !
At this moment i'm using a fridge as's realy worth it !!!

#4 phalanx



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Posted 12 March 2005 - 06:07 PM

"Just cleaned it, and bought a aquarium heater,that I will put in water with a air pomp to raise humidity and to raise the temp from 4 to 10 degrees !"

I tried that method with another smaller fridge but it didn't work too good. The inside of the fridge was covered in condensation and the humidity wasn't high enough for fruiting exposed cakes or casings. It heats the fridge unevenly which is a very bad thing. All that condensation is dangerous around electrics.

Best to go with dry fan heating of sealed humidified containers. More efficient and safer.

#5 mickyboy


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Posted 13 March 2005 - 01:07 AM

damn! that is exactly what i wanted to do. if you ever come up with some new pics or decide to do a new one drop me a pm, so i can watch ur thread.

#6 phalanx



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Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:41 PM

Here is a diagram

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#7 python


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Posted 15 March 2005 - 10:25 PM

nice little idea, stealthy too............

any pics of a finished product would be nice.........

#8 phalanx



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Posted 10 June 2005 - 05:57 PM

I found some pics of it on an old film i forgot to develop! I will post them as soon as i can get them scanned.

#9 Hippie3



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Posted 10 June 2005 - 06:00 PM

can't wait

#10 hella



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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:28 AM

I have been using a cool mist ported into a dead upright freezer and am able to acheive around 95% RH. I'm using a bulb-thermostat-fan combination to control the temperature. the freezer light comes on for 12 hr. per day and still lights up when I open the door....

has anyone else had sucess using a martha type humidication/FAE system on a fridge. This does away with the fruiting bins as shown in the diagrams above which leaves more space for trays.


#11 phalanx



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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:10 PM

I posted the pics of it here in this thread ages ago but they are gone now. Strange. Were they removed for some reason?

#12 Hippie3



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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:36 PM

all i see is that .bmp file,
nothing else has been 'removed'

#13 phalanx



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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:42 PM

Here they are again.

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#14 laborer



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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:50 PM

Sweeeeeettttt setup man. This is definately an inspiring post. Thanx for sharing :D

#15 Hippie3



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Posted 21 October 2005 - 11:57 AM

re-copied to the vaults with pix


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