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Old 02-28-2012, 05:30 AM   #1
buckley28
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Jan 2011
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In the process of beginning the fermentation chamber build. Will post progress pics starting tomorrow. Just started today w/ the framing and have a minor question. Chamber is going to be able to house 4 6.5gal carboys, STC-1000 temperature controller (2 stage) w/ a magic chef fridge for cooling. Gonna be a beast.

Have a couple questions questions:
1) My STC-1000 is on its way from over seas (110V version) but it probably won't be here for another week and I'll be done with the grunt of the build. I need to cut out the dimension for the STC...anyone know the actual size of this unit from prior builds?

2) What recommendations do you all have for a heating source? Was thinking the Brewers Edge Heating pad or an actual space heater? Total space is about 6cf.

3) go with a thermawell w/ probe inside one of the carboys or the temp probe inside the actual chamber itself?

Thanks all.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:04 AM   #2
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From Google
1) Specification and Size:
a.Front panel size75(L)34.5(W)mm;
b.Mounting size:71(L)29(W)mm;
c.Product size75(L)34.5(W)85(D)mm;

2) I had a friend use a reptile heating pad, once, taped to the carboy. He said he wouldnt do it again.

3) That depends on whether you want precise temp control or just a variable temperature range. I, personally, dont care about precision in my temp controls as long as the temperature sticker is in the 60's for my ales.

Others, tend to want precise temp measurements. Be careful about dropping your thermistor into your wort, I have heard that they can be damaged or at least disrupted if they aren't water-tight but I have not had that happen. Like I said before, I bought a $0.98 aquarium thermometer that I stuck to the carboy and use that to adjust my STC-1000. I have found that I have to set my STC to around 62 at its lowest to get my active fermentation temp around 68

Yeast: those exothermic bastards.
-Jeff-
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:11 AM   #3
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2) Food dehydrator works good if you have room. Low heat and a built in fan. Also thought about a hair dryer or air popper.

3) Thermowell works great, but you can also just tape the probe to the side of your carboy with some bubble wrap or foam covering the probe.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
buckley28
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Jan 2011
Elk Grove, CA
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Heard, not so good things, about the reptile heating pad. The one I was eye balling is from Williamsbrewing.com here http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWE...-P518C100.aspx
Says it can heat a 25cf space...hmm really? Anyone have any experience with this product or something like it?

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:02 PM   #5
gregkeller
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Feb 2011
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I'm in the same place as you. I think i'm going to go with a ceramic heating element for a reptile tank or something along those lines. I've heard some people use plain old 100 watt lightbulbs, but a ceramic element made to put out nothing but heat seams like a better idea.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:06 PM   #6
CourtHouseBrewing
 
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If you want cheap I saw a 100 watt light bulb inside a paint can. A very small amount of light where the ac cord came through the grommet so he could see when it was on.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:16 PM   #7
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I've got a small heater (non ceramic) that works well inside my fridge. You could also use an old hair dryer or anything that puts out heat. It doesn't take much heat to keep a temp if you have even a decent amount of insulation.

I like the dehydrator idea (mine doesn't have a fan though).

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:18 PM   #8
tknice
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CourtHouseBrewing View Post
If you want cheap I saw a 100 watt light bulb inside a paint can. A very small amount of light where the ac cord came through the grommet so he could see when it was on.
I made a few of these for my chambers and they work great. It heated the chamber all the way up to 120F during my testing.

The pics are about halfway down the guide.
http://www.brewgeeks.com/build-a-ferm-chamber.html

The thermowells work great too!

Can't wait to see your pics buckley!

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
rekoob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tknice View Post
I made a few of these for my chambers and they work great. It heated the chamber all the way up to 120F during my testing.

The pics are about halfway down the guide.
http://brewgeeks.weebly.com/build-a-ferm-chamber.html

The thermowells work great too!

Can't wait to see your pics buckley!

Nice link, thanks...

 
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
buckley28
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Jan 2011
Elk Grove, CA
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Here are some updated photos of the build:

Rough framing of the unit (6.5'x33.5''x24'')




Start of install w/ outside sheathing (1/2'' plywood) and first layer of 1.5'' insulation




Showing the detail to which I'm sealing all exterior and interior joints (zero ability to loose any thermal energy. I used metal studs again (like my brew rig build) and filled the inside part of the stud cavity w/ spray foam.









More pics to come tomorrow. Working on the build today again. I'll also throw up a cut detail on the layers of the build for more clarity.
Hopefully the temp controller comes soon as I'm up S$%^ on using this bad boy until it arrives and installed.
Cheers.

 
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