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Old 10-10-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
HopSong
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Default Controlling Temperature???

I'm also a noob. I have my fermenter on the kitchen counter. The house is getting cold and we haven't turned on the heater yet.. and even then, the temps fluctuate quite a bit. Generally, the temps at this time of year are in the low to mid 60's in the morning and warming to the high 60's-low 70's during the day.

Currently, I have an inexpensive (ebay) cable type thermometer attached to the side of he fermenter under some foam. I've added an electric heating pad around it but can only leave it on for a few hours before I'm at 80*.. and then it starts the cycle down to ambient.

Sooooooooo, what do you folks use to maintain a desirable temp? I've thought of a few things like putting the fermenter into an ice chest with water and an aquarium heater.. but, if I close the lid, I'm possibly not helping if it needs fresh air. On one site, I think I saw some sort of low wattage heater that is flexible and straps around the fermenter.. but, I don't see a way to control it. I guess I could also put it in a cardboard box with a low wattage light bulb inside a mason jar wrapped with foil to stop light from possibly spoiling the elixer.

What say you all???

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Old 10-11-2012, 12:01 AM   #2
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Hi there. Kombucha for me the sweet spot of fermentation is between 78-80F. So that means yes in the cooler months I need heat. I use continuous brewers (water crocks), so I sit two side by side and interlace a seedling heat mat between them. Then I wrap that in a layer of Reflectix insulation. Right now I'm using Hydrofarm seedling heat mat thermostats (about $35) to control those. Downsides: this controller has like a 4 degree differential and it is not adjustable. To do over I would make STC-1000 builds for this application.

Heat supposedly should NOT be from underneath for kombucha, something to do with the way the yeast dies.

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Old 10-11-2012, 12:39 AM   #3
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great.. thanks for the pointer.. Hydrofarm is just a few miles down the road.. but, I think Amazon is a bunch cheaper. I'm going with the combo to avoid the hassle of another build at this time ..

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Old 10-11-2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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Bill, I use a swamp cooler to maintain temps. Ice bottles to cool, aquarium heater to warm. Works like a charm and was ~$20-25 total.

Edit: sorry the pics aren't posting in my link. I can PM them to you if you really want to see.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:12 AM   #5
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I do my version of a swamp cooler for beer.. but, brewing only a gallon of KT. I'd need something smaller for the 1G g pickle jar.. not sure my aquarium heater would work in that. I was at the pet store and they had a small submersible heater that might be a good ticket. Still leaning toward porcupine's suggestion at the moment.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HbgBill View Post
I do my version of a swamp cooler for beer.. but, brewing only a gallon of KT. I'd need something smaller for the 1G g pickle jar.. not sure my aquarium heater would work in that. I was at the pet store and they had a small submersible heater that might be a good ticket. Still leaning toward porcupine's suggestion at the moment.
Probably a much better idea for small batches. Good luck!
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