Author Topic: Fermentation Temperature Control  (Read 7878 times)

Offline micsager

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Fermentation Temperature Control
« on: May 10, 2013, 08:33:23 AM »
As many of you know, we are a very small brewery.  Basically homebrewers that can sell our beer.  We brew 10 gallon batches on a Top Tier stand with keggles.  (upgrading soon to 1bbl)  Fermenting in buckets in temp controled chest freezers. 

well, over the past week, two of the freezers finally gave up the ghost.  So, rather than try to get more, we've decided to build a little fermentation room inside the brewery.  Planning about a 10X8 room, framed and insulated.  We plan on using an airconditioner and space heater.  As we generally have 8-10 buckets fermenting at one time, it's not really feasible to tape a temp probe to the side of a bucket. 

So, we will keep the room at 67 for all fermentation for all beers (no lagers of course)

Does anyone have first hand experience going this route? 

 

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 08:37:25 AM »
Stop by Bluebird and I can show your our setup.  Our air conditioner keeps the space at 40F (it struggles when it's hot) so 67F shouldn't be a problem.  Although I would aim lower, like 64F to offset the heat generated by the fermentation, and pitch at 62F.

I highly recommend a coolbot to keep the air conditioner working well
http://www.amazon.com/CoolBot-Walk-In-Cooler-Controller-conditioner/dp/B003VSLTAI
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hamiltont

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 08:51:11 AM »
Here's how I have my Fermentation Box set up. It's 4Wx6Lx6H. The Temp Controller Probe rests next to the conical. The AC is 5000 btu rated. All I did is reposition the copper override sensor from the front (behind the filter) to the back so it never thought it was below 60F. You can sorta see it in one of the pics. Cheers!!!

The small fan above the AC moves the warm air out of the room.






If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline majorvices

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Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 09:12:08 AM »
I have used fermwrap around carboys in a cold room with great success, if you have a cold room you could just go that route.
Keith Y.
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Offline micsager

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 08:14:26 AM »
Stop by Bluebird and I can show your our setup.  Our air conditioner keeps the space at 40F (it struggles when it's hot) so 67F shouldn't be a problem.  Although I would aim lower, like 64F to offset the heat generated by the fermentation, and pitch at 62F.

I highly recommend a coolbot to keep the air conditioner working well
http://www.amazon.com/CoolBot-Walk-In-Cooler-Controller-conditioner/dp/B003VSLTAI

I checked out the coolbots.  Do you think they are necessary for fermenting temperatures?  It's not gonna take too much Control. 

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 09:38:57 AM »
How hot and humid does it get in the brewery?  You can probably start without one but know it is there if you have problems.  Doug at Malt and Vine went with a beefed up AC unit for his walk in after he blew out a smaller one, he might be using a coolbot too.  Shoot him an email and ask, tell him I mentioned it.  He has a bigger temp drop, but I think you want a bigger space he has.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline micsager

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 10:36:17 AM »
How hot and humid does it get in the brewery?  You can probably start without one but know it is there if you have problems.  Doug at Malt and Vine went with a beefed up AC unit for his walk in after he blew out a smaller one, he might be using a coolbot too.  Shoot him an email and ask, tell him I mentioned it.  He has a bigger temp drop, but I think you want a bigger space he has.

I've never measured humidity, but even in the day or two that hits 80 over here, the brewery stays a cool 70-75.  And our space will be 8X12, and 8 feet tall.  Not all that big, we oprdered a 5,000 BTU air conditioner.  The heater will be used more often than the cooler to keep it at the 64 you recommended.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 01:50:52 PM »
I think you're right you'll be using the heater more :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline jjflash

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 07:33:53 PM »
I highly recommend a coolbot to keep the air conditioner working well
http://www.amazon.com/CoolBot-Walk-In-Cooler-Controller-conditioner/dp/B003VSLTAI

Tom, that is a way cool device, pun intended. Never seen this gadget before.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 08:00:14 PM »
I highly recommend a coolbot to keep the air conditioner working well
http://www.amazon.com/CoolBot-Walk-In-Cooler-Controller-conditioner/dp/B003VSLTAI

Tom, that is a way cool device, pun intended. Never seen this gadget before.

Very cool, indeed.  I've considered getting a coolbot to make a lagering room in my basement.  Right now, I've got a nice little mini fridge "lagerator," but I'd like to have the freedom to ferment multiple lagers at the same time.
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 04:34:33 PM »
People talk about the product but I have never heard any feed back from users (it there are any).
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 06:25:12 AM by Thirsty_Monk »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:38 PM »
We have one at the brewery for the walk in.  It works, but I don't have anything to compare it to, I haven't tried it without it.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 06:05:32 AM »
I highly recommend a coolbot to keep the air conditioner working well
http://www.amazon.com/CoolBot-Walk-In-Cooler-Controller-conditioner/dp/B003VSLTAI

Tom, that is a way cool device, pun intended. Never seen this gadget before.

That is very cool.  I've been thinking about converting a part of my basement in to a walk-in for storage.  I can even use one at my mortuary!   ::)

Dave
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Offline micsager

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 10:04:26 AM »
We finished the fermenting room Saturday, and already have eight buckets in their fermenting away.  And still have room for 16 more. 

We can brew much more often, and it's nice because we can see what's in each bucket without having to lift it up. 

The airconditioner is barely used, and this little heater we got keeps it very nice.  We have the heater set to turn off at 65 degress, and the air conditioner to come on at 70.

And all for just over $1,000.  We are very happy.  There's pictures at our facebook page, just search Dungeness Brewing.


Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermentation Temperature Control
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 11:57:07 AM »
Are you monitoring the actual temperature in each bucket?
Tom Schmidlin