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Old 02-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
jmoney05
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Default Building Temp Controlled Fermentor, Need Input

Since my Keezer is coming along nicely I thought it was time to turn my attention to another issue, fermentation. Right now I simply use a closet to store my fermenting carboys, but the temperature swings a bit in there so I am wanting to make something a bit more precise.

I am going out and tracking down a cheap used refrigerator this weekend. In order to control heat, I plan on using the carboy heater from NB, attached to a Ranco Dual Temperature controller. I figured this way I can have the heater and refrigerator plugged into one unit that controls everything.

Is there a better way to go about this?

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Old 02-12-2013, 02:50 PM   #2
microbusbrewery
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I use a similar setup on a chest freezer and it's worked great for me. I went with the ebay aquarium controller which is a bit cheaper than the Ranco (I think I paid $25, plus another $10-ish for misc parts). Unless you already have a Ranco it's worth checking into as it might save you some coin.

As for the heating, I use a variety of fermenters (stainless conical, glass carboys, Better Bottles) so I went with the Brewers Edge Space Heater stuck to the wall of the freezer.

I'd recommend using a small fan to keep the air moving, and make sure your temp probe is in contact with your fermenter and preferably insulated. For mine I sandwiched the probe between the fermenter and a spare piece of rigid foam insulation.

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Old 02-12-2013, 11:22 PM   #3
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Thanks, the temp probe attachment point was something I forgot to ask about. I guess I should track down a few simple CPU fans and get them in there for air circulation. I have a feeling the wall heater mike work better than the NB one.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:59 AM   #4
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Yeah I bought an 120v AC muffin fan off of eBay for mine...just something to keep the air moving.

Re the heater, it just kind of depends. I know lots of guys use fermwraps and brew belts and love them. The only problem is they're not recommended for all fermenters...like the brew belt wasn't recommended for glass and the fermwrap wasn't recommended for stainless conicals. The Brewers Edge one was basically compatible with all of the fermenters I use so that's why I went with it. Plus it takes up zero space in my ferm chamber. BTW, you can also pick up a car battery warmer that's very similar, and I think they tend to provide more wattage than the BE ones.

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