Author Topic: Fermenting Warm in Cold Temps - My Setup  (Read 679 times)

Offline scruffymmh

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Fermenting Warm in Cold Temps - My Setup
« on: February 02, 2011, 02:26:14 PM »
Since I appreciate it so much when people who have good ideas that work post them for people like me to copy, I thought I'd offer my setup (currently being used now for the first time) for fermenting warm in cold temps in hopes that someone might benefit.  I heard talks of a Fermwrap being able to control up to about 20F temp differential between ambient air and beer temp, but I needed more.  With this setup, I'm fermenting at 62F in my garage which hovers between 19F and 26F currently. See picture, followed by further explanation (right click and save for larger version).

The 3g. glass carboy is wrapped with a Fermwrap, secured by electrical tape, and placed into a 5gal orange paint bucket from Home Depot.  I cut a hole in the lid of the 5gal bucket to allow the carboy neck and power cord to the fermwrap pass through.  This configuration gives a decent amount of airspace as an insulator; the Fermwrap heats the beer through the glass and heats the airspace at the same time.

The 5gal bucket with the carboy inside and the top on is basically wrapped in fleece blanket(s) and placed into an outdoor trash can (any size really but I use the heavy duty kind you get in the gardening area of Home Depot for about $17. - probably about 2.5 feet tall).

The Fermwrap power cord is fed through the gap in the lid of the 5gal bucket and then I just setup the temp controller,  thermowell/temp probe as normal.

I have a 3 degree differential set.  I can't tell exactly how much it's cycling but I know it's not constantly running and I believe it takes at least several hours to go from the 64F setpoint to 61F, which is where it turns on.  Does anyone know how often is too often, in terms of power cycling a Fermwrap??

I'm interested in any comments and/or suggestions for further improvements, if you have them.

Offline onthekeg

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
    • View Profile
Re: Fermenting Warm in Cold Temps - My Setup
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 10:48:17 AM »
Nice!  The Fermwrap is just a heater so cycling it multiple times won't hurt it at all.

Offline dcbc

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 278
    • View Profile
Re: Fermenting Warm in Cold Temps - My Setup
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2011, 08:03:53 PM »
I have checked my fermentation chamber a lot in the past few days.  The current setup is a dual stage temperature controller from Ranco.  The hot side is plugged into a 40 watt bulb that is clipped onto the side rack of the chest freezer.  The probe is under some bubble wrap on the side of the 15 g corny keg fermenter.  Temps were spot on using the light bulb in the chest freezer.

In the past, when I only had a single stage controller.  I just left the light bulb on in the chest freezer.  The freezer kept up and temps held solid, but it was obviously more work and there was a lot of condensation in the freezer from the heat during cooling.
I've consumed all of my home brew and still can't relax!  Now what!