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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > What temp control would you use for this setup
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default What temp control would you use for this setup

I have seen many threads on temperature control here but I am wondering what you all would recommend for my current setup. Let me explain what I have, what I am planning to do, and then see what method of control you think would be best.

I have a room that is pretty much dedicated to fermentation. Technically it is my office but I rarely use it for that. It has its own AC which can keep the ambient temperature in the room at about 60F. It was great for fermenting my first ale. I have also just placed a tall, skinny refrigerator in there that can hold three fermenters. This refrigerator can get down to 40F. I plan to use two of the fridge spaces for lagering and one space for cold crashing my ales.

I would like to start tailoring the temperatures to the specific beer styles and yeasts that I am using. This means I need a way to vary the temperatures among my ales as well as the temperatures among my lagers in the fridge.

My current plan is to purchase a few carboy heaters like this one:


Link with description

I don’t use carboys, only buckets and these can be used with plastic buckets. I would place the heaters on all my fermenters so they could each ferment at their own temperatures.

So how do I control how much they are heated up? The description says you can control it by how much of the mesh you put in contact with the fermenter. That isn’t precise enough for my tastes. What I would prefer is a way to hook a thermometer up to the fermenter that tells the power supply to the heater when to turn on and off. What is the best way to do that with buckets that will work both in and out of a fridge? I realize doing it for each of my future fermenters may be pricey but I won’t do it all at once. Thanks!

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Old 10-19-2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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You could have a temp probe that is inserted like this one:

http://morebeer.com/view_product/166...per_Thermowell

and have that linked to a ranco or maybe a LOVE controller somehow...

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Old 10-19-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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I would purchase this box:


http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=166

and this PID controller:


http://www.auberins.com/index.php?ma...&products_id=1

Then either wire in a receptacle to plug your heater into, or just wire the plug directly to the PID output.

Alternatively, if you are a bit more technosavvy, you could use either a Fermtroller (http://www.brewtroller.com/wiki/doku...es:fermtroller) or a BCS-460 (http://www.embeddedcontrolconcepts.com/index.php/).

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Old 10-19-2010, 04:58 PM   #4
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I love my Auber PID... I would highly recommend

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Old 10-19-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
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So these Auber PIDs, how do they work? Is there a place in the back for the heaters to be plugged into? I'm not that electrically inclined. I mean, when I look at an image like this:



I understand what I'm seeing. I can see one plug goes into the wall, one plug receives the plug from the heater, and then there is a thermometer that goes on the fermenter.

I certainly like the prices of the Auber PIDs but could someone explain to me how I would actually set it up to work? Are there plugs in the back or will I have to some modifications?

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Old 10-19-2010, 06:24 PM   #6
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The PID route is more custom. You would need to wire it up yourself. You could either mount a receptacle on the back of the box (like #8036K5), or some other receptacle, or you could just wire the heater directly to the PID controller. You will also need to wire a power cord into the box. I would suggest, going with the receptacle because then you can use the controller for whatever purpose up to the 10A max of the relay.

If this is all too much for you, a pre-wired option (like the Johnson you showed) would work.

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Old 10-19-2010, 06:38 PM   #7
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You would need to wire them up... something like this.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/anot...-build-195713/

It isn't a hard thing to do even if you are electrically challenged.

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Old 10-19-2010, 07:33 PM   #8
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^^^ I'm electrically challenged and with the guidance from board members here and other places i built an Electric Brewing Set up... E-HERMS

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