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Old 05-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #1
Mar 2012
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 57

Hi all,

I have an un heated garage and where I live winter temperatures can go down to -30 C (-22 F). Summer temperatures can get up to 30 C (85 F). I would like to control temperature for fermentation.

If I got a big fridge and a dual channel temp controller. Could I put some kind of heater in the fridge (e.g. a high wattage light bulb) and leave the fridge unplugged in winter to keep beer warm enough.

In summer I could plug the fridge into the temp controller.

I'll bet someone has tried something like this before.

Does it sound like my idea might work? Any advice for improving the plan?


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Old 05-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
bad67z's Avatar
Feb 2009
Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,875
Liked 110 Times on 77 Posts

Depending on the light source it may not be "hop" friendly ie: the UV will cause a reaction that will make your beer "skunky". If you like it as some do it will work very well.

You could also use a heating pad or a small ceramic space heater.

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Old 05-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
bucfanmike's Avatar
Apr 2010
Posts: 1,023
Liked 27 Times on 24 Posts

i live in duluth, mn. I have a big chest freezer in an unheated shed. I built a 2 stage temp control using a cheap ebay controller. I use a small ceramic heater inside. 2 winters so far, no issues.
Mike in Duluth

Currently on Tap
1. Hefeweizen
2. BM Centennial Blonde
3. LHMS Clone

Next on Tap-Denny Conn Rye IPA
Kegged and aging Ed Worts Apfelwine, Denny Conn BVIP
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
Mar 2012
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 57

Thanks for the point about UV, Bad67.

Mike in Duluth, do you run the freezer in winter?


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Old 05-29-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
Huaco's Avatar
Dec 2011
Just south of Cow Town, Tx
Posts: 1,377
Liked 146 Times on 90 Posts

Incandescent light bulbs put out VERY little UV. Like almost none. Even that said, I plan to encase mine in a metal paint can on a ceramic bulb base. Or... I will just go with the ceramic reptile heater. I will control the heater and the fridge with my controller I just built this weekend. Link here
Unplugging a refrigerator or freezer and just leaving it for a while is bad for them. It would be best to actually allow the freezer to cycle once every once in a while...

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