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-   -   Fridge & Fermenting Temp Control - Quick Question (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/fridge-fermenting-temp-control-quick-question-292899/)

brumer0 01-08-2012 07:12 PM

Fridge & Fermenting Temp Control - Quick Question

Quick question for those of you who have a fridge for fermenting. I have a fridge and a stainless conical fermenter that I am going to marry up. I am looking at buying the 'Johnson Digital Temperature Controller' so I can control the cooling & heating. Right now in NC it is no warmer than 60 degrees, so I will need a heater for my fridge. Ive seen heat lamps used, but am looking for other ideas.

Could I tape the Temperature Controller thermometer on the stainless conical, and get a good reading of the beer temp, or do I need a thermowell?

Could I use a brew belt to warm the beer in the fridge (I have one), or is there another cheap way of doing this?

Thanks everybody!

Murray 01-08-2012 08:00 PM

I have one of those temperature controllers, and use the fridge for cooling and an immersion heater for heating. The relay switches between the two, and I house my fermenter (glass carboy) in the fridge with the temperature sensor taped to the side of the side of the carboy and then covered with insulation so the only temperature it reads is the carboy glass it is touching after than the air in the fridge etc. I find this works ok, but you can get sensors for the Johnsson controller which are waterproof. You stick it right not your batch and that is the bat I guess.

brumer0 01-09-2012 11:16 PM

Thanks for the comment Murray!

I probably wont deal with the immersion heater right now. I saw a previous post about using a hair dryer for heating, and this morning I got a breeze of my wife's hair dryer -boy that thing can be hot! Whats better for the brewing application, hair dryer or heat lamp?

Thanks again!

Brulosopher 01-09-2012 11:20 PM

This works amazingly well, and it's cheap as hell: http://brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html


Murray 01-11-2012 08:24 PM

This is awesome! I am chucking out my immersion heater and moving to this.

Brulosopher 01-11-2012 08:28 PM


Originally Posted by Murray
This is awesome! I am chucking out my immersion heater and moving to this.

It's pretty remarkable.

canyonbrewer 01-11-2012 11:54 PM

I use an old hair dryer. Heat and fan to circulate in one.

brumer0 01-15-2012 09:18 PM

Thanks everybody. Ill definitely check that out, Murray!

Piratwolf 01-19-2012 04:50 PM

Sorry to bring this back, and probably to do so with what may be a stupid question... but here it goes:

Why not get an aquarium heater and just stick the tube of the heater into my carboy so it warms up the beer from within? The one I have is slim enough to fit, but also pretty well covers the glass carboy opening. Seems like that's more directly effective than putting the heater into a pool of water around the carboy itself. If I sanitize the tube thoroughly with StarSan, that shouldn't be a problem.

I feel like there might be huge obvious problems with this theory, but I can't pin 'em down. Help?

brumer0 02-02-2012 02:11 AM

Heater concerns
The biggest negative thing I am concerned about, with any heater solution, is how hot the beer gets that is closest to the heater. So in the aquarium heater idea (if I remember back about 15 years to when I had fish) the heater its self gets quite warm if not HOT. This would likely affect the beer that is touching the heater. Likewise, the beer that is touching the outside of the fermenter would be affected by a heat lamp or other heating device. Thus, a slow temperature change such as the light bulb in a paint can, or possibly even a hair dryer, would be the best solution.

I still haven't pulled the trigger on a specific heat source, but I am leaning towards a heat lamp due to ease of use and installation.

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