Author Topic: Controlling fermentation temperatures  (Read 1969 times)

vorlaufthegreat

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Controlling fermentation temperatures
« on: July 25, 2011, 08:03:36 PM »
I've just purchased a Ranco 2 stage temperature controller and I'm a little undecided on what I want to use for the heating side of it. I will be fermenting inside of a chest freezer. I'm looking for a good piece of equipment that will not damage the inside of the freezer but still do a good job of keeping the temps up. I was thinking about getting a ferm wrap and using a stopper thermowell inside the carboy. Just looking to see if there is a better option for equipment that might get the job done more efficiently or cheaper.

Offline Pinski

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Re: Controlling fermentation temperatures
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 08:52:38 PM »
I've seen folks use a "heating bulb" that screws into a light socket fixture.
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Offline euge

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Re: Controlling fermentation temperatures
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 10:57:45 PM »
Congrats on the smart move. I take it that you'll be doing lagers and ales in the same freezer?
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Offline glastctbrew

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Re: Controlling fermentation temperatures
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 04:44:00 AM »
Grats, you won't regret it!

I've been using Northern Brewer's Fermentation Heater in my chest freezer.  http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/fermenting-equipment/fermentation-temperature-control/electric-fermentation-heater.html  Wrap a later of foam for insulation around it and It just heats the carboy, not the entire freezer.  I've been very satisfied with it.

I use a Love TSS2 with 2 probes so I can keep the freezer at lager or low ale temps while maintaining a higher temp on a second carboy so the yeast can clean things up or because I want to ferment it warmer.  I don't use thermowells, I just tape an inch thick layer of fairly dense foam onto the outside and slide the probe into the pocket.

edited to fix hyper link
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Controlling fermentation temperatures
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 09:53:55 AM »
I just started using a cheap, low-powered (400W on "Lo") hair dryer that I got at Wal-Mart for something like $9. You can't beat the price, there's no potential for skunking like with a light bulb, and it has a built-in fan to circulate the air in the fermentation chamber.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Controlling fermentation temperatures
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2011, 10:25:46 AM »
Interesting idea--I've never heard of that before. 
Will the moisture and condensation in the fridge cause problems with the hair dryer (i.e., rust) over time?
Is there any potential for electric shock if the whole $9 hairdryer is slightly damp?

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Re: Controlling fermentation temperatures
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2011, 11:57:34 AM »
Interesting idea--I've never heard of that before. 
Will the moisture and condensation in the fridge cause problems with the hair dryer (i.e., rust) over time?
Is there any potential for electric shock if the whole $9 hairdryer is slightly damp?

I couldn't really say since I don't have it in a fridge. I only have to heat, not cool, my fermentations. It's a cheap plastic POS though - there's almost no metal in it to rust.

A GFCI outlet would be a must if there's going to be any condensation, but I don't think you'd need to take any precautions beyond that. If you had to touch it while it was running you could always just unplug it first.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Controlling fermentation temperatures
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2011, 12:00:19 PM »
OK, thanks.  I just assumed it was going to be in the fridge since everyone was talking about 2-stage temp controllers.

vorlaufthegreat

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Re: Controlling fermentation temperatures
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2011, 06:12:31 PM »
Congrats on the smart move. I take it that you'll be doing lagers and ales in the same freezer?
Yes sir I will be!

Thanks for all the info guys. Think I'm gonna go with Brewers Edge space heater from Williams Brewing.