Author Topic: Temperature control for begginers  (Read 885 times)

Offline makemorebeer

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Temperature control for begginers
« on: April 28, 2016, 05:59:24 PM »
I've been doing extract brewing for about a year and a half now with some not so successful batches and others that were very successful.  Aside form my first two 5gal. batches (learning techniques), the only two major failures i had were an Oktoberfest and an Pilsner.  the commonality there is temperature control as both were supposed to have been lagered, which i didn't have a means to do. 

I've been doing some research and it seems the easiest way to begin doing temperature control is with some type of interrupt controller that you plug your refrigerator into.  so while considering this i wondered what a heater would be used for, and then if there would ever be a scenario in which you want to have both hooked up to a carboy at the same time?  what is the general consensus here on temperature controlling fermentation and how do other members do it?

Thanks,

Offline dilluh98

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Re: Temperature control for begginers
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 06:10:01 PM »
Whether you need a heater or not largely depends on where your fermentation chamber is going to reside. If you want to brew ales in the winter where it truly gets cold and you keep your chamber in the garage, you may need the heat option to keep a stable 65-68F.

Most commonly, people primarily need the chilling option (chest freezer, mini fridge, etc) to cool the wort to pitching temperature before inoculation with yeast and to deal with the early fermentation process producing a considerable amount of heat.

If your chamber is going to reside in your garage and you live somewhere hot, you'll probably almost never need the heating component unless you want to get nuts with high temp saison fermentations.

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Temperature control for begginers
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2016, 06:33:42 PM »
I use an old under counter fridge, with a 60w tube heater, controlled by an inkbird temp controller. I ferment indoors, so I primarily use it to keep the fv below room temp. Though I'm currently fermenting a saison at 28c.


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Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Temperature control for begginers
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2016, 07:10:28 PM »
I'm in Austin, TX and brew both ales and lagers in chest freezers in my garage. There are one or two odd weeks in a year when I might need heat, but the rest of the time I'm cooling only.

I'm playing around with a couple of different programmable temperature controllers -- the OhmBrew Fermostat and the BrewPi Spark. I like being able to remotely control the BrewPi via WiFi, as I'm not always at home when I want to make a temperature adjustment. That said, most people seem plenty happy with the tried and true, less complicated temperature controllers.

RPIScotty

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Re: Temperature control for begginers
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 11:53:02 PM »
The easiest way to begin controlling temperature is a water bath with intermittent ice.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Temperature control for begginers
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2016, 12:34:17 AM »
I'm in Austin, TX and brew both ales and lagers in chest freezers in my garage. There are one or two odd weeks in a year when I might need heat, but the rest of the time I'm cooling only.

I'm playing around with a couple of different programmable temperature controllers -- the OhmBrew Fermostat and the BrewPi Spark. I like being able to remotely control the BrewPi via WiFi, as I'm not always at home when I want to make a temperature adjustment. That said, most people seem plenty happy with the tried and true, less complicated temperature controllers.
Rate the over all difficulty in building and controlling the BrewPi? Does it seem stable?

I've always wanted one, but the OhmBrew is nearly as good, about the same price overall, and doesn't require any effort.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Temperature control for begginers
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2016, 01:38:27 AM »
I'm in Austin, TX and brew both ales and lagers in chest freezers in my garage. There are one or two odd weeks in a year when I might need heat, but the rest of the time I'm cooling only.

I'm playing around with a couple of different programmable temperature controllers -- the OhmBrew Fermostat and the BrewPi Spark. I like being able to remotely control the BrewPi via WiFi, as I'm not always at home when I want to make a temperature adjustment. That said, most people seem plenty happy with the tried and true, less complicated temperature controllers.
Rate the over all difficulty in building and controlling the BrewPi? Does it seem stable?

I've always wanted one, but the OhmBrew is nearly as good, about the same price overall, and doesn't require any effort.
I use Linux at work so on a 1 to 10 scale I'd rate the complexity of setting up the BrewPi as about a 3. That said, if you don't want to configure an entire computer system to deal with this stuff, Fermostat is an easy thing to use right out of the box.

Both will run pre-programmed routines with time and/or temperature targets. I tend to like controlling over the Internet since I'm usually not at home when I hit my desired SG target and want to start ramping temperature. My Fermostat is one of the originals. I know at one point Caleb was talking about adding WiFi but I'm not sure if that ever happened.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Temperature control for begginers
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2016, 01:42:03 AM »
I forgot to comment on the stability question. I feel like BrewPi is stable, but there are some rough edges.

Based on reading their forums it appears that he's working on some RIMS/HERMS stuff at the moment, so hasn't modified the temp control stuff heavily in a few months (except bug fixes).

Let me know if you want more detail and I can share what I ended up buying, setup tips, etc.