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Old 10-25-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
mrlisk
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Default The "Ferm-tainer"

Hello all! Just want to start off by saying how much of a great resource this site has been to me. I'm on my second batch of homebrew beer as of yesterday (NB Spiced Winter Ale). On to the post...

I have somewhat of a temperature problem in my house, especially when it comes to fermenting ales. The first batch of brew I made had some pretty big swings in temperature during primary, and had stopped and picked up again late. The beer had some funny tastes to it (not sure if the temps caused it or something else), but I decided I needed a better solution for keeping primary at temp.

I ordered the Thermowell Fermentation kit from northern brewer, and taped it up to the carboy. Then I got to thinking (I'm a worrier; murphy's law), what if the the glass breaks (from the temperature stress) and not only do I have a mess in my living room, but I also have an electrical hazard to deal with. I decided the best route to take was to put the carboy into a rubbermaid storage container, which would capture any of the liquid and glass debris from a broken carboy, plus keep most of the wiring up out of the way. I plugged my Johnson controller into a plug in GFCI adapter to switch off the circuit in the event of breakage as well.

As it turns out, the container has provided a means of heat capture from the heating element (so not only direct heat through the glass, but it also heats the air in the container, making it easier to maintain temps).

some of the improvements I see doing include:

- Better insulation/closure of top (poorly cut) holes
- means of collecting blowoff (if any)

Here's a few pictures (sorry for the long drawn out post):





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Old 10-25-2009, 11:45 AM   #2
Hammy71
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Seems like a workable solution. The directions say you can use the pads without taping directly to the carboy. So per the directions I'm going to use them on the wall of my fermentation fridge to raise the ambient temp in the fridge.....hopefully.....



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Old 10-25-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
mrlisk
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nice idea! I know the heaters are typically used in reptile tank applications, which would primarily be to raise ambient temps. Have you thought about wiring in a ceramic heat bulb instead?

http://exoticpets.about.com/od/herpresources/ss/thermalgradient_5.htm

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Old 10-25-2009, 11:59 AM   #4
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I use an aquarium heater in a water bath. Works great. The setup works great for bottle carbing too. The water adds a ton of thermal mass, which prevents temp swings.

(Nice to see another CT brewer! I live in an old house and have to work to maintain correct ferm temps during winter too.)

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