Author Topic: Cheap Temperature Control  (Read 789 times)

Online flbrewer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1812
    • View Profile
Cheap Temperature Control
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:00:28 PM »
Just wanted to share an idea that has been working great for me that may help out newer brewers looking for a cheap temp. control option.
I've got my fermenter sitting inside of a 70 quart Igloo Max Cold cooler filled partway with water. I will sometimes add ice, but the cooler maintains the temp for long periods of time. Best of all, testing the temperature of the wort was exactly the same as the surrounding water.


Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1121
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 06:15:35 PM »
Water baths are especially great if ambient is cooler than what you want for fermentation.  Stick a small and cheap aquarium heater in there and you are good.

Sent from my SGH-T839 using Tapatalk 2

Brewers of South Suburbia
Brixie's Brewers
Oak Park Homebrewers

Offline dzlater

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
  • Dan S. New Jersey
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 05:52:14 AM »
That's exactly what I've been doing for years.
I set my kettle in the same cooler with an ice bath in the summer when the chiller refuses to chill below 80 degrees.

Dan S. from NJ

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13853
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2014, 08:31:11 AM »
That's what I did for 16 years.  Cheap and effective.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline miteshah

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 11:37:56 PM »
Hi, am a new brewer and live in Sydney / Australia. The temp at this time of the year is low for Ale fermentation, night temp are around 5-6 C and day temperatures are around 17 - 18 C. Best temperature for Ale's are around 18 - 20 C. First i kept it covered with bubble wrap that came as packing, that seemed to work but could not keep the temp from going down. I had a spare queen electric blanket, only 1 side was working so we had retired it, came in pretty handy. Wrapped the fermenter and plugged it to a time controlled switch. Have had consistent temperature of 20 for last 3 days regardless of the outside temp.

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7466
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 08:02:47 AM »
Hi, am a new brewer and live in Sydney / Australia. The temp at this time of the year is low for Ale fermentation, night temp are around 5-6 C and day temperatures are around 17 - 18 C. Best temperature for Ale's are around 18 - 20 C. First i kept it covered with bubble wrap that came as packing, that seemed to work but could not keep the temp from going down. I had a spare queen electric blanket, only 1 side was working so we had retired it, came in pretty handy. Wrapped the fermenter and plugged it to a time controlled switch. Have had consistent temperature of 20 for last 3 days regardless of the outside temp.

it sounds like you are in the heart of brewing season to me (which makes sense as it's hot as... well it's hot here on the other side). 20c ambient is the max I would want to ferment an ale at. if you had a space you could isolate you might even be able to capture some of the chilly night air and ferment a lager.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1346
  • Saint Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 08:58:23 AM »
$50 Speidel fermenter / carboy in a $50 cooler?

Why not use a $10 bucket and buy a $90 temp controller?
Twitter/Instagram: @southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments: http://SouthHouseBeer.com/

Offline 69franx

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1239
  • Hidden Valley Lake, IN: Greater Cincinnati
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 10:33:06 AM »
$50 Speidel fermenter / carboy in a $50 cooler?

Why not use a $10 bucket and buy a $90 temp controller?
Great question!
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting:
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW, Ringler Pilsner, American Blonde Ale(Blondie's Ale)
In Bottles: House IPA, German Themed IPA
In the works: 2 different Saison's inspired by/created by forum members, You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Online flbrewer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1812
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 01:09:09 PM »
How would a temp controller and bucket work by themselves?

Offline alestateyall

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 02:49:28 PM »

How would a temp controller and bucket work by themselves?

Good question.
Tommy M.
Starkville, MS

Offline youngdh

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap Temperature Control
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2014, 06:19:03 AM »
I have a similar setup using a 25 G Rubbermaid heavy duty storage container I put my 3 G conical ferm in with water. I've got an analog Johnson Controls SPDT controller I've rigged up with another SPDT external switch to either control a submersible 100W aquarium heater and small pond pump (from Home Depot) to recirc the water when ambient temps are below desired ferm temps (winter in the basement); heat mode. In the summer when basement temps are at or above desired ferm temps I flip to Cool mode where the recirc pump pumps water through a small DIY copper immersion chiller in a 10 G round Igloo cooler submerged in an ice bath. The only caveat with the JC controller is that it has about 5 deg F of deadband between set temp and when controller switches off power, so you can only maintain temps in about a 5F range. You also would not use this controller to both heat and cool as it would be constantly switching from heat to cool mode; chasing itself.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 06:13:13 AM by youngdh »