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Old 08-20-2012, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default Fermentation chamber, HELP!

Hi all, i have just bought a small second hand fridge big enough to hold my 30ltr bucket, i have a temp controller. I think im over thinking this but if i want to ferment my beer around the mid 60's do i need a heat pad in there as well?
Or can the fridge actually get that warm all by itself?

sorry for the "noobness" of this question!

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Old 08-20-2012, 02:03 AM   #2
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I don't currently have a heater in my ferm chamber, a fridge, and it is holding steady at the temp set. But, it has been in the 80's and 90's here lately and the chamber is in the garage so only cooling needed at this time. As long as the ambient temp is above where you want to ferment, then there should be no problem with keeping the ferm temp stable without heat.

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Old 08-20-2012, 02:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by PissyFingers View Post
Hi all, i have just bought a small second hand fridge big enough to hold my 30ltr bucket, i have a temp controller. I think im over thinking this but if i want to ferment my beer around the mid 60's do i need a heat pad in there as well?
Or can the fridge actually get that warm all by itself?

sorry for the "noobness" of this question!

What's the ambient temp (temp outside the fridge)?
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:44 AM   #4
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What's the ambient temp (temp outside the fridge)?
about 59-60 during the day and lower at night....
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
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Fermentation is an exothermic reaction (it produces heat). Typically, your fermentation space is going to heat up all by itself and the real task is keeping everything cool enough. Inside an insulted box (refrigerator or whatever), I think the heat of fermentation will keep everything warm enough. I suppose if you really put it to the test and lived in the UP of Michigan and tried to ferment outside in January, heat might be in order. But for civilized conditions, a heater shouldn't be necessary.

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Old 08-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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I suppose if you really put it to the test and lived in the UP of Michigan and tried to ferment outside in January, heat might be in order. But for civilized conditions, a heater shouldn't be necessary.
Hey! We're "civilized" here. Almost. It even gets above 0 here in January sometimes.

One thing you'll need for your fermentation chamber (and maybe you already know this and have it) is a temperature controller. It'll just turn the fridge off when you're above the set temperature. If you need to warm, though, you'll need a dual temperature controller and a way to warm. Some people have used lightbulbs for a little warming, which may work perfectly in a garage chamber or in a basement.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:11 PM   #7
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Hey! We're "civilized" here. Almost. It even gets above 0 here in January sometimes.
I knew all I needed to do was mention the UP and Yooper would pipe up. My dear girl, I didn't say YOU weren't civilized - far from it, you folks are great . I said your weather was uncivilized. And I'm right. I remember a business trip to SOUTH Michigan in 1994 where the temp was -15 F with a windchill of -70 F for the 2 days I was there. I was under dressed and unprepared. I still refer to those conditions to this day as "stoopid cold". The conditions in the UP can only be described as insane. I don't know how you folks do it. Anytime you have to make the distinction between below or above zero, it's too flippin' cold for me. Single digits on either side of the "donut" is uncivilized in my book. But somebody's got to live there, right?

Yes, I feel the cold wind blowing up my skirt.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:56 PM   #8
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Anytime you have to make the distinction between below or above zero, it's too flippin' cold for me. Single digits on either side of the "donut" is uncivilized in my book. But somebody's got to live there, right?

Yes, I feel the cold wind blowing up my skirt.
I know- I'm just teasing! It's true that when anybody asks the temperature in December- March, it is always given as "____ below" or "_____ above". Because when it's 4 degrees, that's such an important distinction!

This is also why I'm a Winter Texan in retirement!
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:03 PM   #9
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OP: All dependent on ambient temp. Eventually, any fridge with the power off will get to ambient temps. Of course, as mentioned, during the peak of fermentation the beer will create it's own heat...but I wouldn't rely on that to keep you ABOVE your minimum temp...how will you know when it's done generating it's own heat and you need to apply your own? If you get too cold, the yeast will drop out sooner.

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