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DIY walk-in cooler from refrigerator?

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by smokinq13, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. So with hunting season approaching for our region, and in for many... A lot of the mindsets set to go towards hunting relating topics, bows, guns, gears anything that revolves around hunting. I've looked into these before but they were usually build with a AC window unit with the Coolbot mod attached to it.

    Some people might be confused from the beginning, so let me explain.... What I mean by a walk in cooler is basically a room strictly made/build for hanging meat( usually from hunting season or even a head of beef or pork) before butchering. This room is usually insulated inside and out so the temperature stays cool inside so the meat can age, drain and stay dry and cool until ready for processing. A lot of the DIY walk-in coolers I've seen are made using a AC window Unit to cool down the room but that's where the Coolbot comes into play. Since the AC Units are limited to how "low" of a temperature they can produce... usually max 50 or 55 degrees, you would need to some how bypass this and allow the unit to continue to run for temperatures to become lower than that. This is what the Coolbot mod attachment comes into play. You wire the Coolbot into the AC unit and it bypassing the sense to tell the unit to "shut off its cold enough in here" and it becomes the control for the temperature and allows the temperature to get down to where you would want it.

    So my questions is how many of you have a walk-in cooler and how many of you use the coolbot mod?? And I was thinking, do you think it would be possible to instead of using a AC unit, use a refrigerator instead, by keeping the doors open on them to let the cooling to enter the room? I just thought if you could use a refrigerator, you could get more use out of it since when you dont need the walk-in cooler, you could close the doors to the fridge and use it as just a fridge then?

    Just a random thing going through my mind, any input would be great!

    Happy Hunting to all hunters, be safe, smart and bring the meat home!
  2. oldsmokerdude

    oldsmokerdude Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Have not done this, but I have a thought.

    If a refrigerator could cool a room sufficiently to hang meat just by leaving the door(s) open, that refrigerator would be grossly inefficient with the doors closed. Not only do you need the coils to remove the heat, but you need a mechanism to move the air across the coils. While no an engineer so you can take this for what it's worth, the refrigerator method would probably not work.

    Have never heard of the Coolbot mod but it is an interesting concept. I'll be following the thread to learn more about that.
  3. flatbroke

    flatbroke Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use a commercial stainless 2 door fridge. Made a hanging rack inside. I slit the animal bottom to top with a sawzall and hang s half hog or deer on each rear leg. The front leg hits the floor though. But works. And doesn’t take a lot of room
  4. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    No on the fridge question . Even the window unit would have to be large enough to cool the space , or it will freeze up .
    Now depending on the size of the cooler and the ambient air temp , yes it can be done with window unit(s) . I've installed several commercial walk ins , and have also built them from metal studs and drywall . Easy enough to do and a great idea. Just figure the size of the area and get a unit to match . Do your bypass thing for the therm .
  5. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yup. Just did it (built a hanging room) for slaughtering our hogs a few weeks back. Never heard of the coolbot mod, but will look into it now. They weren't hung for very long as the temps weren't below 40. Just broke them down and stuffed them into a fridge.
  6. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hang a light bulb by the thermo on the unit . Should give you an Idea what temp it will pull down to .
  7. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well, that Coolbot is way overpriced for what it is doing. Its just a controller for the compressor. I already have a $15 dollar ITC 2000 controller that I use for my home made Sous Vide set-up that will do the same thing. Of course this will work. Dunno why I didn't think of it sooner! Going to need more insulation though.
  8. archeryrob

    archeryrob Smoking Fanatic

    The the coolbot is expensive. My buddy and I built a walking cooler to hang deer in and used a window unit, an inkbird temperature sensor with relay and a Johnson controls freeze sensor.

    The inkbird uses the relay to close the yellow wire to the compressor and the fan stays on all the time. The compressor cycles on when called for from temp. The air conditioner is not made to be a real cooler and the coils will freeze. The Johnson controls freeze sensor gets mounted on the AC coils where the original freeze sensor was and when the coils freeze it opens the yellow wire turning off the compressor. The fan continues to blow still cooling the room and de-icing the coils still.

    Click the link in my signature on DIY Coolbot and read all about it.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018