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Old 03-16-2012, 11:19 PM   #1
adworld
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Default ferm temp control air or water?

what is the most economical and effictive way to control temps during fermentation? I know lots of folks use old fridges or freezers with a temp controller. but does anyone place their carboys in a water bath (not swamp cooler) to maintain temps?

am courious as I feel that because your using the same medium, liquid, that it would better hold temps and have more control compared to using air to cool or warm the wort.

maybe I am just buzzed but am courious what you all think

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Old 03-16-2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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I think they are both equally effective. As far as the most economical I think it would depending on how you are cooling/heating the water or chamber.

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Old 03-17-2012, 12:31 AM   #3
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I ferment in sanke kegs which are kept in large plastic containers with wheels. I fill the container with water and maintain the temperature with an aquarium heater. Cooling is only needed during the hottest part of the summer. It is nice since I have two of these setups I can have different fermentation temps. I agree that the water bath is much better at handling temperature swings than air. One thing that I have found that some plastic/glass fermentors are poor conductors of heat/cold so your cooling medium will have to be warmer or colder to get your fermenting beer at the right temperature. That is why I love fermenting in stainless sanke kegs...direct temperature transmission. When I take a temperature reading of my water bath I know that it will match the temperature of my fermenting beer.

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Old 03-17-2012, 12:48 AM   #4
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While water may be the best medium for maintaining temperature, the mess factor makes me glad I went with the dry fermentation chamber.

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Old 03-17-2012, 12:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adworld View Post
what is the most economical and effictive way to control temps during fermentation? I know lots of folks use old fridges or freezers with a temp controller. but does anyone place their carboys in a water bath (not swamp cooler) to maintain temps?

am courious as I feel that because your using the same medium, liquid, that it would better hold temps and have more control compared to using air to cool or warm the wort.

maybe I am just buzzed but am courious what you all think
Sure, I do that. If it's cold, I add an aquarium heater to the water bath but I haven't needed to do that in a couple of years. When it's hot, I add a frozen water bottle to the water bath. I float a floating thermometer in the water bath so I can check the temperatures.

I think this would be most effective when the ambient temperature isn't too much different than the desired fermentation temperature. It's easy to do it in a room temperature of 70 degrees, and add a frozen water bottle or two to get it to 64 degrees. It would be much harder in a warm climate, to get it to 64 degrees and keep it there with an ambient of 90 degrees.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:06 AM   #6
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i have DIY water based temp control system, so far it has been great but im waiting for hot summer days to test it under stress conditions (i guess then i will put the lid on with cut outs for carboys)
You can take a look at it here, post 18 is a summary:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/offi...08/index2.html

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Old 03-17-2012, 01:31 AM   #7
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so it seems a lot of people use the water bath method. I haven't set my mind on which process i plan on building but going with a liquid medium seems to make sense to me for more optimal control.

I'm diggin Polboys set-n-forget method

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Old 03-17-2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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I have used both. Seems like ice in water produces more drastic temp swings.

For me it seems easier to use a wet towel and a fan to keep temps down. I can add water and vary the fan as needed.

Toy4Rick

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Old 03-17-2012, 11:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I have used both. Seems like ice in water produces more drastic temp swings.

For me it seems easier to use a wet towel and a fan to keep temps down. I can add water and vary the fan as needed.

Toy4Rick
I can see the temp swings if your just dropping in a frozen water bottle. I'm specifically talking about a temp controller to move warm/cold water as needed like one would use for a air cooled unit.

thermal dynamics would tell me that heat/cold transfer between equal mediums would be more efficient and more effective than non equal mediums. it's all very interesting to me.

I've decided to pick up a used water cooler/heater and go that route. wish me luck
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