Controlling fermentation temp in winter - Home Brew Forums
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
ImperialStout
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Apr 2011
Litchfield, Maine
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Want to control ale fermentation temp at about 70F in winter. Fermenting in house is OK but temp fluctuates from 65 to 80. Have fridge and controller.

Question: What have you used to raise temp in fridge from about 40F to about 70F?
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
rigglet
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Jan 2011
Westfiled, IN
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You can go as simple or as complex as you like. Many guys set up dual temperature controls with both a cooling and heating source. I went the simple route. I built a small box that fits in my fermentation chamber and rigged it up with a light bulb outlet. I then put a 40 watt bulb in the socket, cover the whole thing with tin foil so no light gets out and place it in the chamber. I'm currently fermenting at 75 degrees in my garage, which is between 30-50 degrees right now. Downside to my method is that your fermentation chamber cooling will kick on occasionally to keep the temperature down and the light bulb is always drawing electricity. I experimented with different bulb wattage and found the 40 watt was right for my chamber. Kept is warm enough, but not so warm that the cooler was running constantly. If the chamber is larger you may need a larger bulb.

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:46 PM   #3
rekoob
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Feb 2011
Norfolk, VA
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I did the same thing as rigglet. However, i was using a chest freezer. worked pretty good. I know some use a small heater in place of the light.

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:41 PM   #4
drob
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Jan 2011
Southern Pines, NC
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I use a mini fridge for my fermentation chamber and rigged up a light socket inside like mentioned previous, but use a reptile ceramic bulb from petsmart: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=3876121

 
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:05 AM   #5
cchell
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Apr 2010
San Diego
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I use a seedling heat mat and a temperature controller meant for controlling them. Heat mat for 20 and controller for 40 on amazon or at local hydro shop. I just wrap the matt around the carboy with a towel, works great and less fire risk than a light bulb...

 
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:28 PM   #6
heckels
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Jan 2011
Sioux Falls, SD
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I use an eBay temp controller, brew belt and my crawlspace's low winter temps.

 
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:19 PM   #7
gbrewing
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Nov 2008
Washington State
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I use the fermwrap heater on my carboy and it works great! Best and most accurate method I have ever used. I fermented an ale at 68 degrees in my 40 degree garage. I do leave the carboy inside a freezer with the door closed. It's the same freezer I use during the summer time for fermentation. You could also use a couple of these on a conical fermentor if needed.

IT was the best $30 present my wife ever bought. http://morebeer.com/view_product/166...ermWrap_Heater

I bought a stainless steel dip tube which sits in the middle of my carboy. Here's a link to the picture.

http://www.gbrewing.com/2009/11/02/c...erature-probe/
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
ImperialStout
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Apr 2011
Litchfield, Maine
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Thanks drob. Just bought that ceramic heater from Petco, $26 on sale. Fit right into the light bulb socket set up in the fridge. Will finish wiring it up tomorrow and test run before making the next brew.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:47 PM   #9
gswartley
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for winter brewing I use a large tub with water in it. Place in the fermenter and use a fish tank heater to keep the water at the correct temperature.

I made a thermostat temp controller to control the fish tank heater as the heater is not made for the temps of fermentation it is made for tropical fish tanks.

 
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