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View Poll Results: What you do use to control your fermentation temperature?
Nothing, I rely on the ambient air or my house's AC 41 18.81%
Swamp cooler or other water bath type setup 57 26.15%
Converted fridge or freezer 88 40.37%
Separate climate controlled room or fermentation chamber 22 10.09%
Other 10 4.59%
Voters: 218. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-30-2010, 06:33 PM   #21
Aug 2010
Austin, TX
Posts: 81
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I made a controller for my chest freezer using a microcontroller, an LM335, and a relay.

I've been thinking that I will make a smaller / lower cost temp controlled water bath using a Peltier cooler in an 18 gallon tub. Rough back-of-the-envelope calculations* imply I can easily keep it down to lager temperatures with a couple 300W Peltier junctions with ambient temps around 80F. If/when I test this out I'll post a thread about it.

*Assume we have 20 kg (about 5.5gal) of a 1.070 beer that ferments out completely in 48 hours (this overestimates the power output), and that it's fermenting at a more or less constant rate (not quite true, but close). This means that there are 1300 g of sugar being processed. 1 g of sugar metabolized completely results in ~17 kJ energy released, so in total 22 MJ will be released during fermentation. If this is spread over 48 hours, we have a constant power output from the fermenting beer of about 130W. In addition, there is some thermal loss to ambient. With reasonable approximations for exposed surface area, with a 20*C differential we'll have to overcome about 300W of heating from the outside world.

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Old 08-30-2010, 06:41 PM   #22
Registered User
Nov 2009
Posts: 12,960
Liked 1671 Times on 1251 Posts

OOOOOOOOH!! a poll!!!

I like polls.

The ambient temp in my basement is 65F or so, and the concrete floor is even cooler, or else I would use something more than just AC.

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Old 08-30-2010, 06:45 PM   #23
Sep 2008
Posts: 2,059
Liked 176 Times on 133 Posts

I use a tub of water and immerse the carboy in that. I also added a 75W aquarium heater so I can keep the water 65-75 degrees depending on the fermentation. I use this in a unheated, detached garage at the beach in SoCal. It works great!! If we have a hot spell I just throw some frozen water bottles in.

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Old 08-30-2010, 06:49 PM   #24
AnOldUR's Avatar
Mar 2007
, New Jersey
Posts: 6,887
Liked 846 Times on 611 Posts

Flawed poll. Regularly use all the methods mentioned plus others (such as a heat blanket for Saison.)

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Old 08-30-2010, 07:22 PM   #25
Jun 2010
West Chester, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 242
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

My basement holds 70 in the Summer, be interesting to see what it gets to in the winter. But I built a SOFC (see my album in my profile) that will get down 58-60F with 1 -1/2g frozen milk jug, swapped out every 12 hrs. The fan, placed is on a timer and runs 2hrs on, 2hrs off.

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Old 09-02-2010, 03:17 PM   #26
Oct 2007
Louisville, KY
Posts: 165

Does anyone use their keezer and depend upon the yeasts producing enough heat to keep them going?

I keep my keezer around 40, and have been toying with doing this until we can get into the next house.

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:31 PM   #27
Feb 2009
Tulsa, OK
Posts: 124
Liked 5 Times on 2 Posts

I built a fermentation cabinet out of an old dorm fridge and lumber I already had on hand. With the temp probe taped to the side of my carboy, I can maintain temps within a degree of my target and it'll hold down to at least the upper 30's. I cold crash all my beers at 38* before kegging in it.

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:41 PM   #28
Oct 2009
Oregon City, OR
Posts: 250

I use a wet bath towel and a fan. This works reasonably well as long as you can get re-soak the towel before the beer temp rises too far.

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