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jakehale 05-24-2011 07:06 PM

Temperature Controllers
 
Hey folks,,

basically new here but have been reading my butt off! I have a question about these temp controller i see on here to help control Ferm temp.

Building a Keezer is way down the road but theres nothing wrong will trying to get a handle on something before I make the move.

If i have a Freezer (never owned a stand alone freezer of an type), how do i go about about keeping it "warm", i guess... when i think of a freezer i think of ice, cold, freezing. so if i want to "warm" it up for the fermentation......????? i take it that a freezer will stay cold with out actually freezing?? trust me, im not trying to be a smart a** here...

that is the question i have about the temp controller. if i put a controller on my "freezer". Does it warm it up (per my setting) and cool it down, to maintain that constant ideal fermentation temperature? in other words, i dont have a HEATER in my freezer to warm it up???

thanks for listening to me bable..

jake

MalFet 05-24-2011 07:09 PM

You certainly can put a heater in there. Usually a lightbulb or a fermwrap. But, if your target temperatures are below your ambient temperatures, you shouldn't need to.

Homercidal 05-24-2011 07:57 PM

The controller overrides the thermostat in the freezer. Set the freezer to MAX and the controller will turn the compressor on and off as needed to maintain your temp.

IF your temps are too cold, and you need to warm instead of cool, you can place a small heater of a sort, and switch the controller to "HEAT" mode.

If you are both too cold and too warm for just one or the other, you can buy a controller that can turn on both the freezer when it needs it, and a heater when it needs it. These Dual Stage controllers are a little more than the single stage variety.
But judging on where your location is, I think you will probably not have to worry about it being to cold down there.

You can buy a temp controller for around $80 or less. And small freezer can probably be had for less than $100. The price is a bit of money, but honestly, temp control is debatably the most important aspect of brewing the best beer you can. Most everything else is technique oriented, rather than a additional cost.

With a temp controller fermentation chamber, it's almost a "set it and forget it" deal. No maintenance or fiddly stuff required. Very nice if you can spare the money.

jakehale 05-24-2011 08:14 PM

thanks. I was just wondering thats all. Oh it does get cold here. we had almost a foot of snow this winter?. haha

This thing will have to be in the garage. in the summer it is DANG hot, winter it is cold. the heater. do you actually put it in the freezer? like a little portable heater?

milldoggy 05-24-2011 08:23 PM

I use a hairdryer, built in gfci, built in fan

Insomniac 05-24-2011 08:26 PM

Don't see why not! I'm just trying to get one of these set up too, if I end up putting it somewhere that gets cold i was planning on getting one of those brew belts to warm it up.

fall-line 05-24-2011 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by milldoggy (Post 2949945)
I use a hairdryer, built in gfci, built in fan

That's a pretty good idea. How large is your chamber if you don't mind me asking? I'd imagine even with a large chest freezer, the hair dryer wouldn't need to run very long to raise the overall temp. Do you have it mounted to the side to keep it out of the way?

I've just been hanging a brew belt in my ferm chamber (just hanging in the chamber, not wrapped around the vessel), but my chamber is a small converted wine fridge only big enough for one brew at a time, so it does the job.

Chrisl77 05-24-2011 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Insomniac (Post 2949953)
Don't see why not! I'm just trying to get one of these set up too, if I end up putting it somewhere that gets cold i was planning on getting one of those brew belts to warm it up.

In the section of my fermentation chamber where only one fermenter is i use a brewers belt connected to an aquarium temp control and it works well. The section that holds 2 fermenters has a 36 inch rope reptile aquarium run under the slide out shelves. Just waiting on the parts to finish my second aquarium temp controller build.

milldoggy 05-24-2011 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fall-line

That's a pretty good idea. How large is your chamber if you don't mind me asking? I'd imagine even with a large chest freezer, the hair dryer wouldn't need to run very long to raise the overall temp. Do you have it mounted to the side to keep it out of the way?

I've just been hanging a brew belt in my ferm chamber (just hanging in the chamber, not wrapped around the vessel), but my chamber is a small converted wine fridge only big enough for one brew at a time, so it does the job.

Around a 22 cf upright freezer. I mounted it under the middle shelf

fall-line 05-24-2011 11:50 PM

Thanks - definitely something I'll keep in mind for the future.


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