Cooled Fermentation on a budget

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kiteD

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All,

I'm looking at building a fermentation chamber on a budget and had a few ideas. The closest to my project is:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/433436998/brewjacket-immersion-lager-beer-without-a-refriger

My thought is, why can't you just ferment in a cooler. I have some probes out with manufactures, but the internet is pretty well suggesting they're made of food grade plastic.

I'd want to use a Peltier Thermo electric cooler, TEC. I've seen this talked about with just a solid state relay type device to control it, but the manufacture website says cycling the Peltier on and off is bad and you want to use a PWM PID control. This individual posted they were trying it, but didn't follow up:
http://makezine.com/2014/03/28/arduino-controlled-tec-coolingheating-system-for-beer-fermentation/

Heard any more stories similar to this? If I'm missing something, please tell me. I'm here asking.

Thanks,
-dB
 
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kiteD

kiteD

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I had read that one. Duh, I should have jumped in on it. Thanks!
 
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kiteD

kiteD

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So, I bought a bunch of Thermo Electric Cooling diodes and as a quick experiment, I put together the pictured cooler/fermenter. It's just salvaged computer PS, fan and cooling plate sandwiching the TEC to an angle of aluminum. The aluminum bends into the cooler and submerges about 1cm into wort for better heat transfer than air.

The plan was to control it with a Spark microcontroller for PID loop temp control. I did some wet experimentation with plain water. It took a long time to cool down, but it settled at keeping the water at 50 degF in a 71degF house. This is running full tilt all the time.

I'd never lagered, and didn't have time yet for the programming, so I just lagered in it at the 50 deg. It worked. Decent beer.

The expirements are back shelved (as well as brewing in general these days) but I thought I might through this out there before I completely forget.
:fro:

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