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Old 04-19-2010, 08:52 PM   #1
Apr 2010
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 54


With summer approaching here in WA state, I was thinking about putting together a fridge that I could not only use for lagering, but also a temp controlled space where I could ferment 10 gallons at a time and hold a good temp. I have been having low attenuation numbers with wyeast 1056, and i think that it is due to a higher fermentation temp and fluctuations in my house (65-74).

I recently converted to a chest freezer set-up so my old side by side fridge has nothing to do. here is my idea and I would love to hear some thoughts:

first, I work in HVAC, so my idea might be a little hard-core:

I was going to install a 1 heat/ 1 cool thermostat with a remote sensor for the fridge, energize the compresser off of a 24v coil relay that would power the entire fridge, and another relay that would energize a heat lamp and maybe a fan inside the fridge for heat in the winter months and maybe at night. the only thing that I am worried about is too drastic a temp gradient inside of the fridge. The only place that I have room for a lamp would be mounted in the top with a small fan blowing on it and if i placed the remote sensor halway down the side. I think that with a little fan circulating air I might take care of that... here is my big worry: light.

has anyone in the forum tried a heat lamp in this application, and if so will the light it produces have ill effects on my brew in either primary or secondary? I was planning on setting the heat/cool setpoints to 60 heat/ 66 cool. thanks in advance guys!

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:05 PM   #2
May 2009
Posts: 134
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Taping a temperature probe to the side of the bucket or carboy and then taping some bubble wrap or other insulation over the temp probe works well for many of us. As for the light, I wouldn't risk it. You could cover the fermentor to keep the light out but some kind of heating pad secured to a side wall would probably be a better option. Something like this.
Mountain View Brewery

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Old 04-20-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
Apr 2010
Ocala, FL
Posts: 183

I rigged up a 4 cubic foot mini fridge by drilling a hole in the side of it then feeding a temp probe from my Ronco ETC as well as the electric cord from a small space heater and then plugged in the heater as well as the fridge into the prewired ETC. Set the temp, walk away and never worry about temp again. Got the fridge for free and the Ronco for $150 prewired. Living in Florida I can't ferment at room temp unfortunately.

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