Author Topic: Fermentation temp control  (Read 842 times)

Offline n518lf

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Fermentation temp control
« on: September 05, 2013, 07:47:06 AM »
I have a couple of batches under my belt and it is time for me to get a better handle on my fermentation temps.

I live in the San Diego area so it never gets very cold, so the question is, should I get a single stage controller or a dual stage? I have a small freezer that I will be using with the controller, just big enough for a 5 gal bucket and airlock.

Thanks.

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Online theDarkSide

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 07:52:22 AM »
I still like to flexibility of a two-stage controller in making adjustments to fermentation temperature.  I have a fermwrap taped to the inside of my chest freezer and can adjust to exactly where I need to be, rather than waiting on the ambient air to get me where I want to be.

Of course, I'm in NH so it gets cold here.
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Offline slarkin712

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 08:15:15 AM »
I'd go with the 2 stage just because it allows for more flexibility.  If you're just using a small freezer, and are looking to save a little money I would consider getting the stc-1000 temp controller.  It's less than $30, is simple to wire up and use, and comes with dual stage functionality.

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 08:17:36 AM »
In San Diego I'd stick with the single stage, the likelihood you'll ever use the heater is nil.  I use a 2 stage here in NM, but in the winter my garage hovers around 30-40F so I do need the heater option occasionally.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 10:02:01 AM »
In San Diego I'd stick with the single stage, the likelihood you'll ever use the heater is nil.

But what about the Belgians??  ;)
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Offline n518lf

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 10:35:10 AM »
I'm still learning my ales :o

Yes, in SD I am thinking I might not heat a heater, does really get below 50 or so in my garage, and that is during our really really cold months 8)

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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 10:39:41 AM »
I would at least go with a controller that can be switched from cooling to heating. I think that is basically any of the digital controllers (usually a jumper or an option) and not the Johnson Controls analog controller.

Offline yugamrap

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 10:54:50 AM »
If the extra expense isn't a problem, go with the two-stage controller.  I have single-stage which works fine most of the year here near Cleveland, OH, but one of my fermenting fridges is in my garage and it can get too cold for fermenting (even for lagers) in the winter.  I solve that problem by putting a work lamp with a 15- or 25-watt light bulb in the fridge.  I ferment in stainless vessels, so light isn't an issue.  The low-wattage bulb makes just enough heat to keep things warm enough for fermenting and to let the fridge cycle a bit to keep temps in range.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 01:16:27 PM »
2 stage all day. Worth the extra

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 01:44:23 PM »
I bought the Johnson controller.  Wish I had gone in for the two stage controller.

Having to buy two eliminates any perceived savings from the initial purchase.
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Offline n518lf

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 02:33:42 PM »
Thanks everyone, I think I will start looking into my options for the dual stage. How does the saying go... Better to have and not need than to need and not have.

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Offline duncan

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 04:04:01 PM »
I'd go with the 2 stage just because it allows for more flexibility.  If you're just using a small freezer, and are looking to save a little money I would consider getting the stc-1000 temp controller.  It's less than $30, is simple to wire up and use, and comes with dual stage functionality.

I'm going to recommend the stc-1000, too. Cheap and easy dual stage controller. You can probably build the whole thing for $50 or less. I have zero wiring experience, and it was super simple. It gave me the guts to make a heat stick, too. Now that was a scary thing to plug in...

Offline macbrews

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Re: Fermentation temp control
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 07:09:42 PM »
Remember that the 2-stage doesn't double your fun.  You only have one sensor and the second stage only allows you to control a second device based upon the same sensor.  Yes, you can fine tune things, but I have found that is overkill in most situations.  But if you have the dough.....go for it.