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Old 10-27-2008, 05:16 PM   #1
Sheep_Dog
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Default Garage Brewing Year Round....

So being new the the sport of home brewing my head is already full of ideas. I've seen a lot of ideas on keeping a low temperature in fermentation chambers but what about warming it up a little. I would like to use my garage for year round brewing, here in North Carolina working in the garage in the winter isn't going to be much of an issue. But maintaining a good fermenting temperature is going to take a little work.

So here's my idea, use a stand up frig or freezer with a Ranco 2-Stage ETC with one line to the frig and the other to some sort of heat source inside the frig. Maybe some sort of very small forced air heater.


What do you think? Feel free to throw rocks as well as point and laugh if it's to much!


One last questing does it make a difference if I use a frig or freezer for a fermentation chamber?

Thanks.....

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Old 10-27-2008, 05:30 PM   #2
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I've been having the same thoughts as you. I just started brewing in March, so haven't had any temperatures lower than 50F to deal with while brewing. I currently use a standing freezer for my fermentation chamber with a Johnson analog controller. I think I'll pick up a dual-temp controller, and place a heat lamp of some sort inside the freezer to maintain a minimum temperature. I'd get a "fermwrap" heater, but I typically ferment 2-3 batches at a time.

I don't imagine this is a unique problem, and I bet some of the other more experienced brewers can help us out.

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Old 10-27-2008, 05:44 PM   #3
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My cellar is often around 55 in the winter. I use a love tc and a heating pad to raise the fermentation temperature to my desired level. I do the same in the summer by having my fermenting beer in the Keezer and use the heating blanket to raise the temperature and then shut if off once fermentation is done to cold crash. I use one controller for the Freezer and one for the heating pad. I am not sure how the 2 stage Ranco works. but I think what you are describing will work. Just keep in mind 2 love's will cost you $100, not sure what the dual stage goes for. With the love's you will need to do a little wiring.

You could also use a light bulb inside the fridge. I would just shield the carboy from the light.

As for a fermentation chamber I think the freezer makes a better one because you can get them free or cheap and they are insulated better so they stay at temperature better. Of course this is just my opinion.

Mike

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Old 10-27-2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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Heat lamp....... now that's an idea I didn't think about. I was thinking something along the lines of a Portable Heater, but I guess the heat lamp would be more efficient as long as it could maintain about 65 degrees.

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Old 10-27-2008, 05:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheep_Dog View Post
Heat lamp....... now that's an idea I didn't think about. I was thinking something along the lines of a Portable Heater, but I guess the heat lamp would be more efficient as long as it could maintain about 65 degrees.
Once fermentation starts it will create heat naturaly and then heat unit will not really come on after that. At least that is what I have foudn.

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Old 10-27-2008, 06:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
. I'd get a "fermwrap" heater, but I typically ferment 2-3 batches at a time.
I use a fermwrap in my chest freezer for my heat. I have it just heats the area and not a specific carboy. I think the fermwrap is 40-60 watts.

Edit: I have the heater just taped to the back wall
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:28 PM   #7
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In your case I'd look into "Son of Fermentation Chiller"...

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Old 10-27-2008, 08:44 PM   #8
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All you need is the temp controller and a small lamp with a lower wattage bulb.

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Old 10-27-2008, 08:52 PM   #9
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I ferment in a chest freezer that is located in my uninsulated, detached garage. A 25watt lightbulb in the freezer works just fine. Turn it on and leave it on; the controller will run the freezer and cool things off if it gets too warm.

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Old 10-27-2008, 08:54 PM   #10
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Right on Beerthoven, being just down the road with the same situation I'll give it a shot. Thanks!

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