Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > The Ultimate Fermentation Controller for $140?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-10-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
blackcows
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 136
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default The Ultimate Fermentation Controller for $140?

I have more hobbies than I care to admit, two of my favorite are brewing beer and my reef tank (saltwater aquarium). In the past few years one of the trends in the reef hobby has been aquarium controllers. Recently I purchased and received my first controller, an Apex Jr which cost about $140. There are more advanced systems that go up to about $500 but this fits my needs. My controller has 4 outlets along with a processor and web server which allows me to control lights, heater, and pumps. It also includes a temperature probe. Here is a picture:

http://bostonreef.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/neptune_apex_jr.jpg

I am able to control and view stats on my reef tank via any computer with a web browser and there are also apps for iOS and Android. The outlets are each highly programable for instance you can set the heater to operate or not operate based on the temperature of the water taken by the temperature probe. The unit also keeps a record of temperature and can show it in a graph form. From the dashboard or apps you can instantly see the status of any outlet and also control it. Here is a picture of the dashboard, as you can see you can also add a feed from an ip camera:

http://reefbuilders.com/files/2012/10/apex-ready-dashboard.jpeg

So as I am driving today and excited about my new reef tank controller I begin to wonder if it wouldn't be the ultimate fermentation temperature controller? A Ranco two stage temperature controller cost $140...same price as the Apex Jr. but I think the Apex Jr would offer so much more.

1. The Apex Jr has 4 outlets so it could control two fermentation chambers...two coolers and two heaters. No different than what the majority of us do with our temperature controllers now. Plug the freezer in one outlet and in my case a small heater in the other.

2. The Apex Jr comes with a temperature probe that is submersible in saltwater so I would assume the same would be true for the wort. No more worrying about taping the probe to the side of your fermenter or buying a thermowell just drop it in the fermenting wort.

3. The Apex Jr is HIGHLY configurable...I have only had mine a day so I have a lot to learn but you can set up emails alarms...maybe an alarm if you temperature gets over 80 degrees or something similar. Maybe you are out of town and you want to move your temperature down 2 degrees...you can do that from your phone. How about an IP camera in your fermentation chamber so you can see it from work? If it's dark you could use on of the 4 outlets on the controller to turn a bulb on and off from anywhere you are.

I think for the same price as we are now paying for ranco this offers much more. Another think that interests me that I need to learn more about is an expansion module for the system that checks salinity which is measured in specific gravity although the module reports a conductivity value which would need to be converted...here is the module:

http://www.neptunesystems.com/product/salinity-module-pm2/

Not sure if it would work for beer but how cool would it be to monitor SG from your comptuer? I am going to post on the Neptune forum to get a little input as to how the temperature probe would fair in wort but I may just buy a second one of these and give it a try with my beer.

Mike

__________________
blackcows is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
dannyhawkins
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 184
Liked 15 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Subscribing


This is great!

__________________
dannyhawkins is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #3
Brewcrew02
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 188
Liked 43 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 93

Default

Leeegiiittttt!

__________________
If you love your motorcycle, set it free. If it comes back and hits you, you high sided.

"Gave my 500ml Pacman starter that I made last night a hug and wished it a good day before I headed off to work. He's growing up so fast!! Will be a 2liter starter by Saturday and will probably start ignoring me, think he knows it all and end up knocking up some skanky belgain strain before I know it." ~BigTerp
Brewcrew02 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
jerrodm
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 636
Liked 117 Times on 87 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I'm listening.

__________________
For they garner the succulent berries of the hop and mass and sift and bruise and brew them and they mix therewith sour juices and bring the must to the sacred fire and cease not night or day from their toil, those cunning brothers, lords of the vat. -James Joyce

On deck: Orange Cranberry Wit, Dusseldorf Altbier
Primary: Belgian Partigyle Tripel/Saison, 1/1
Secondary: none
Bottles: Northern Brown Ale, 1/10; English IPA, 12/31; Cider, 12/9; White House Honey Ale AG, 12/9;
jerrodm is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #5
Jhoss
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ortonville, MI
Posts: 130
Liked 11 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default Real Cool!

[QUOTE how cool would it be to monitor SG from your comptuer? Mike[/QUOTE]

Real Cool! I'm all ears.
Jhoss

__________________
Jhoss is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 07:32 PM   #6
Psych
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 761
Liked 30 Times on 28 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

I was going to come in here and denounce your controller for being subpar to the STC-1000 Ebay Temp/Aquarium Controller but you win, this looks sweet action if you feel OK with putting out $120 more than the STC-1000. That's a nice feature set for sure and no wiring needed.

Good find!

Psych is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 07:46 PM   #7
CloverBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: waterloo, iowa
Posts: 117
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

PLEASE for the love of god. Keep us updated. Thank you for the info

__________________
CloverBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
QuaffableQuips
Hopfen und Malz, Gott erhalt's.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
QuaffableQuips's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 389
Liked 27 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 31

Default

This sounds fantastic. Look forward to hearing what you do with it!

__________________
QuaffableQuips is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 08:06 PM   #9
blange3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Woodbridge, NJ
Posts: 17
Likes Given: 11

Default

We share hobbies and I have often thought of doing the same thing with a leftover AC Jr. But I also bought an STC-1000.

__________________

Peace Love Brew Crew

blange3 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2013, 08:09 PM   #10
blackcows
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 136
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

OK....so I missed one thing, you would only be able to control one fermentation because you only have one temperature probe, but you still have 4 outlets.

Check out this video....although it obviously talks about controlling a fish tank the controller doesn't care what it controls it's just a box following instructions.

http://www.youtube.com/neptunesystemsvideo

I posted over on the neptune forum to see if I could get a bit more information about the probe and if it could be submerged in wort.

__________________
blackcows is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ultimate Son-of-Fermentation ice jugs BetterSense DIY Projects 4 08-07-2011 09:10 PM
The best Temperature Controller for Fermentation? gregpio85 Fermentation & Yeast 4 02-23-2011 12:51 AM
Fermentation Temperature Controller? crypt0 DIY Projects 10 09-16-2010 11:10 PM
Attic Fan Temp Controller = Inexpensive Fermentation Controller???? Beernip General Techniques 5 06-16-2009 04:30 PM
Fermentation Controller II - Anybody used it? hal simmons Equipment/Sanitation 3 06-03-2008 05:28 PM