Controlling fermentation temps

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nasmeyer

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I am going to buy a small fridge to help control my fermentation temps for use in the summer months, but was thinking of an idea for the winter months where my basement is between 55-60*. Has anyone had any luck with simply using a swamp bucket filled to a few inches below the 5 gallon mark on the primary, and then use an aquarium heater to achieve a steady water/wort temp of 65-70*? Seems like it would work and not cost much or be much trouble to set up.

Another question on temps. During primary fermentation, say my ambient air temp is 64* and the wort fermentation temp is 68* the first few days, as the wort temp starts to decrease due to completion of fermentation, should I try to incerease the air temp back to 68* to keep the wort at 68* through the entire fermentation process? or is it better to allow the wort temp to drop down to the ambient air temp?
 

dontman

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Yes. It works. Only problem is that the aquarium can get at most a delta of maybe 12 degrees from ambient.
 

Weezknight

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I'm going to go the aquarium heater route, also. I just need to find one that can handle temps into the 60's, since most of the ones I see have thermostat ranges from 75-85 for tropical fish.

My only question is where to put the sticky "fermometer?" I don't want it to get into the water bath, as I've heard that will ruin it. Can I stick it horizontally above the 5-gallon mark (above the water bath level) and still get an accurate temperature?
 
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nasmeyer

nasmeyer

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I'm going to go the aquarium heater route, also. I just need to find one that can handle temps into the 60's, since most of the ones I see have thermostat ranges from 75-85 for tropical fish.

My only question is where to put the sticky "fermometer?" I don't want it to get into the water bath, as I've heard that will ruin it. Can I stick it horizontally above the 5-gallon mark (above the water bath level) and still get an accurate temperature?
Might just be able to put it on the swamp bucket assuming it will be the same temp as the fermentation vessel. Another way would be to use the type of thermometer that can have the probe in the water since the water should be the same temp as the wort.
 

humann_brewing

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I am a believer and is what I use. I ferment between 66 and 68 with it and probably the lowest the ambient air has been is about 50* F and the heater kept the water at 66 no problems.

Also, I am only using a 25 gallon container, the 18 gallon ones won't fit 2 fermentors, but the 25 is just the right size and don't have to get something bigger.

 
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nasmeyer

nasmeyer

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I am a believer and is what I use. I ferment between 66 and 68 with it and probably the lowest the ambient air has been is about 50* F and the heater kept the water at 66 no problems.
What type/brand of heater do you use? do you have setpoints on the heater for a specific temp, or do you just leave it on high?
 

humann_brewing

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What type/brand of heater do you use? do you have setpoints on the heater for a specific temp, or do you just leave it on high?
Actually I had a tough time finding a heater that went below 70*, so I usually have it on the lowest it will go. The dial says 68* is the lowest, but the thermometer usually says 66 or 67.

I got the 100W model my marineland or visi-therm stealth. This is it:
Visi-Therm Stealth Heater - 100W - 10 in. - up to 30 gallon

They also have another 100W model on sale for $15 right now that would do the trick just fine.
 
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nasmeyer

nasmeyer

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Actually I had a tough time finding a heater that went below 70*, so I usually have it on the lowest it will go. The dial says 68* is the lowest, but the thermometer usually says 66 or 67.

I got the 100W model my marineland or visi-therm stealth. This is it:
Visi-Therm Stealth Heater - 100W - 10 in. - up to 30 gallon

They also have another 100W model on sale for $15 right now that would do the trick just fine.
I found one that claims to go down to 65* here Ebo Jager Heater 12" 100W and another that has a claim of 60* here WON Pro-Heat IC Heater
 

fixie

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Actually I had a tough time finding a heater that went below 70*, so I usually have it on the lowest it will go. The dial says 68* is the lowest, but the thermometer usually says 66 or 67.

I got the 100W model my marineland or visi-therm stealth. This is it:
Visi-Therm Stealth Heater - 100W - 10 in. - up to 30 gallon

They also have another 100W model on sale for $15 right now that would do the trick just fine.
Nice I have a very similar system and it works great. I keep mine at 67 degrees and it works perfect.:mug:
 

humann_brewing

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fixie

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That is cool, I wish I had that for more flexibility in the winter time. I want to start using PACMAN yeast in some brews and want to try to ferment at 60* like Rogue supposedly does.
I have been waning to use some PACMAN, but I am not sure how to get the temp to 60 and stay there.:drunk: Mabye I will figure some thing out. Do you have any ideas?
 

JamieT

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I use an aquarium chiller (in TX our problem is keeping cool not worming up) in an extra bath tub (havent figured out why the wife allows it..) I can keep 6 carboys at any temp between 55 and 75 degrees without any issue. I have been experimenting with designing some flow through jackets for my fermenters to allow scaling of the ssytem on demand and also free up the guest bathroom before the wife wises up..
 
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