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Old 07-10-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
amellors
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Default Fermentation Chamber & you...

Hey All-

I've just started my journey into home brewing (AKA I've only made one batch so far, and even that is still fermenting). But the one thing I seem to have noticed is that a reliable and steady fermentation temp is very important.

This brings me to wanting to make my own fermentation chamber. I've seen lots of discussion & basic concepts about how to keep the temp down. But living in New England there is about 1/2 a years worth of weather where we actually need to keep the temp up.

What have other cold weather/climate people used in their fermentation chambers to keep their fermentors warm.

Things I've seen:
Carboy warmer - would need one per fermentor in the chamber
Reptile warmer - would be used to heat the air & then blown in to each chamber similar to the mini-fridge/AC based chambers.
Water bath with fish tank warmer - would be very difficult to include in a fermentation chamber

Any other thoughts out there?

Thanks!

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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I built a chamber and used the guts of a mini fridge for cooling and a hair dryer for heating. It's controlled by a PID controller from MyPin (really cheap on Amazon). It works great for me.

Here's a link to the thread: Fermentation Chamber

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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Best thing I ever did regarding improving my beer quality was building a fermetation chamber. Cost me a total of $75 or so (with a free chest freezer).

- CL freezer (<$100 if you shop around, mine was free from a buddy)
- Aquarium Temperature Controller - The EBay thing that has the huge thread here. ~$30
- Reptile Lamp (<$5)
- Replacement Fan for bathroom vent ($15 at Lowe's)
- Assorted electrical boxes, SO cord, etc from Lowe's ($25)

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Old 07-10-2012, 01:02 PM   #4
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When needed, I keep my fermentation chamber (old freezer) warm with a desk lamp. A single 60W incandescent light bulb puts out a LOT of heat. Best of all, I needed no additional equipment.

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Old 07-10-2012, 09:44 PM   #5
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Doesn't the light from the bulb mess with the beer?

Or do incandescent lights not give off enough UV?

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Old 07-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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I built my chamber out of a fridge I got cheap from the paper. I use a dual temperature Ranco to control the temps. To chill, I of course use the fridge itself. For heating in the winter I use a fermwrap heating pad tywrapped across the back of the inside of the fridge. With a little computer fan circulating the air, I have no problems maintaining any temperature.

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Old 07-11-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Do remember that if you get any kind of heater, you'll need a fan to circulate the air so you don't have one side of the chamber much hotter than the other.

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Old 07-11-2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amellors View Post
Doesn't the light from the bulb mess with the beer?

Or do incandescent lights not give off enough UV?
The one we built has the light bulb in a paint bucket, so the light isn't shining out much. Otherwise, yes, I think it would be bad.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:37 PM   #9
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I have a chest freezer with a dual stage temp controller and a brew belt.

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Old 07-11-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amellors View Post
Doesn't the light from the bulb mess with the beer?

Or do incandescent lights not give off enough UV?
I'm not shining the light on the beer, and I've never had any issues.
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Beyond the Pale Ale, Cut and Dry Stout

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Hoptoberfest IPA, Oktoberfest Ale, Blonde Ale, Scottish Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Edwort's Apfelwein, Janet's Brown Ale, Irish Red Ale, Strawberry Wheat, ESB, Belgian Pale Ale

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