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Old 01-24-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
Hsocain
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Default Fermentation temp control

Forgive me if this is answered in another post. I'm interested in how others handle this. I currently have a dedicated fridge and Johnson controller for fermentation. I tape the probe to my carboy with a towel to insulate so I can measure wort temp during fermentation. This does fine for cooling, but now the issue is heating. My last 2 batches began dropping below set point after initial activity. Temp dropped to the low 60's although initial set point was 67. Last night I put a heating pad in the fridge, near the carboy and this seemed to help warm things up. But I don't have a way to regulate this like I do with my fridge. Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated. Am I on the right track or not? Thanks, Steve

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Old 01-24-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
TwoCanSam
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Default Temp control

I make only ales so don't need temp control below 60F. I have a 2-way controller (controls both heating and cooling). Heating is accomplished through a silicone heating element strapped to the outside of the fermenter.. Cooling is by a small stainless coil inside the fermenter. When cooling is needed, a very small pump runs ice water throrugh the coil. I ferment in a modified Sabco.

The setup works very well.

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Old 01-24-2014, 04:30 PM   #3
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Many people use the two way controllers, STC-1000. They are fairly easy to use and setup, and only cost about $20 from Amazon. There are multiple threads about them and how to wire it. A heating pad, lightbulb in a paint can, a cheap space heater, and more have been used for heating. If you don't have a way to control it though, you're going to have your freezer fighting with your heater, and that's a no win.

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Old 01-24-2014, 04:35 PM   #4
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On cold nights I put a wall transformer (i.e. for cell phones, etc.) inside the chest freezer and plug it in using an extension cord. It doesn't give off much heat, but just enough to keep it from dropping below the set point. It's hardly any load on the chest freezer. I found the largest one I could find. It works okay for cold nights in Florida with the chest freezer in the garage. I don't think it would be enough much north of here.

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Old 01-24-2014, 05:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCanSam View Post
I make only ales so don't need temp control below 60F. I have a 2-way controller (controls both heating and cooling). Heating is accomplished through a silicone heating element strapped to the outside of the fermenter.. Cooling is by a small stainless coil inside the fermenter. When cooling is needed, a very small pump runs ice water throrugh the coil. I ferment in a modified Sabco.

The setup works very well.
Interesting, could you share more info about your Cooling setup?
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:01 PM   #6
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Default Fermentation temp control

I have a microcontroller that switches the freezer relay to keep an ambient temp (usually around 55). And then I have temp probes in each beer that the microcontroller reads constantly and switches a heat blanket around each individual beer to control the temp to the set temp. I can have a beer at 60 and a beer at 90F this way. Not the most energy efficient, but after 2-3 days I turn the freezer off because my house is about 64 degrees in winter!

I control 16 beers this way. 54CuFt freezer. Energy hog, but man do I love him.

Lops

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Old 01-24-2014, 07:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input. It gives me some ideas.

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Old 01-28-2014, 10:17 PM   #8
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I have an stc-1000 with a fridge hooked into the cold and I made one of these on the weekend that sits in the fridge and plugs in to the hot:

http://www.brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html

It probably cost me less than $20 and took less than 15 minutes to rig up.

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