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Old 09-18-2009, 07:19 AM   #1
Jun 2008
Beaverton, OR
Posts: 203

After using a water with ice method for temperature control I have been thinking about using a more efficient less tedious method to ferment my beer with. I read a little about this Son of a fermantation chiller and am wondering if I should try and make one.

For those who have built one, is it very difficult? Will a hacksaw work to cut the foam? How much room is there in one? I was thinking about just buying a used fridge but eventually would like to keg the beer I make once I move to AG brewing and I don't think I have room for two more refrigerators. This could be a good option for me, just was wondering what anyone else thinks about it.

I am not a handyman by any means, but I was thinking I could probably handle this project. No wood is required right? Just the foam, fan, thermostat, thermometer, and grommets? Also, say I have a 73 degree room. Is it possible to hit lagering temps with this thing. Those are pretty low temps of 40 or less.

Thanks for reading my long post.

Secondary empty

Belgian ale

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:30 AM   #2
Aug 2008
Posts: 166
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I built one a few months ago. It's quite easy and the instructions are good. You don't really need the grommets and dowels. Mine stays closed by friction alone. The trickiest part is getting the thermostat wired correctly, but there's lots of guidance available if you search online.

My one complaint about the SOFC is that it controls the ambient temp, not the temp of the wort. As a result, you have to monitor the thermostat setting and play with it to control the wort temp as fermentation progresses (i.e. as the fermenting wort generates different amounts of heat). I've recently modified mine (per the instructions on the Mother of Fermentation Chiller) to have a remote temp sensor (just a modified thermostat with longer wires on the thermistor). I haven't tried it yet (next batch), but I'm hoping that putting the temp sensor directly on the bucket helps.

I have noticed that good temperature control is probably the biggest contributor to the improvement in the quality of my beers. Clearly, more improvements are needed, but temp control made a huge difference.

A note on thermostats: I would not recommend Honeywell thermostats. They work great, but the thermistor is a little tiny carbon-ish thing on the circuit board. In my experience, it is un-modifiable without destroying the thermistor. The RiteTemp models (6020, if I remember right) uses a normal-sized thermistor that's on wires and easily modifiable.

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:42 AM   #3
Dec 2006
Doylestown, PA
Posts: 3,725
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts

One thing to consider is that you need the freezer space to freeze your ice containers. Depending on how frequently you are changing your ice in the chamber, as I've found, that usually means at least one set is always going to be in the freezer while your fermenting.

It's all relative but it is a pretty simple build.

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