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Old 10-23-2011, 02:09 AM   #1
ImperialStout
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Default Fermentation chamber temp control

Saw this posted here on HBT back on 2/19/10

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay-aquarium-temp-controller-build-163849/

Most fermentation chamber systems seem to rely on aquarium heaters. Wondering if this or a similar controller can be used to regulate temp, using the fridge cooling system for cold and a couple of 100 watt light bulbs for heat?

I heat a water well holding tank in the winter with two 100 watt light bulbs. Only one is really needed but put in two incase one burns out. The tank is inside a 9 cubic foot styrofoam box. Just need to keep the tank from freezing but the system works great. Wondering if the same system wouldn't work for a fermentation chamber.

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Old 10-23-2011, 02:14 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ImperialStout View Post
Saw this posted here on HBT back on 2/19/10

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay-aquarium-temp-controller-build-163849/

Most fermentation chamber systems seem to rely on aquarium heaters. Wondering if this or a similar controller can be used to regulate temp, using the fridge cooling system for cold and a couple of 100 watt light bulbs for heat?

I heat a water well holding tank in the winter with two 100 watt light bulbs. Only one is really needed but put in two incase one burns out. The tank is inside a 9 cubic foot styrofoam box. Just need to keep the tank from freezing but the system works great. Wondering if the same system wouldn't work for a fermentation chamber.
That's exactly what it is made for. It has a heat and cool cycle. As you can see in the build thread, if you hook it up to an outlet, you can have one half of the outlet control your cooling option (fridge) and one half control the heating option (light bulb). It's a simple, cheap build and it works great. It's what I use on my fermentation chamber.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:12 PM   #3
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Yep. I use one on a chest freezer. Freezer itself gives cooling while an infrared reptile bulb and fan supply heat. Works great. My beer has really gained with the addition of temperature controlled fermentation.

Note: Tape the temperature probe to the side of your carboy and insulate it somehow from the ambient inside the freezer. This will have you more-closely controlling the temperature of the beer and not the ambient inside the freezer. You're beer will hold a more-constant temp and you'll reduce cycling of your freezer.

Note#2: You wouldn't need two 100W bulbs. One 60W would work better as you don't need alot of heating power. Also, if you heat too quickly, you'll overshoot and then needlessly cycle your freezer to cool back down.

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Old 10-23-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
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Yep, I've been using a single 60w bulb for 2 years now in my ferm chamber that holds 4 carboys. Just make sure you leave enough space between it and your pink foam (if that's what you use).

Also, 2 100w is overkill as mentioned. If you are really worried about one burning out, use 2 25w, or 2 40w bulbs. I guess it will also depend on where you ferment, I ferment in a 60* room, so I don't need to heat much, if you ferment in a 42* garage, you might need more.

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