I am going to dedicate my fridge but have questions

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G-E-R-M-A-N

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Ok I have a fridge that im gonna use to ferment in. I figured that I can get better fermenting temp control this way, even though im not doing lagers at the moment.

I know I can use a controller to control the cold temp, but what if it is too cold in my garage and I needed some kind of warm adjustment? I am going to be brewing a heff and It seems they ferment at 70 ish. I live in houston , so it is not that cold, but want to make sure.

I am thinking that I have seen some heating pads in a few setups, but what keeps the two controllers from fighting each other?
 

Beer Weevel

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Try a digital temp controller from More Beer or any good brew store that controls both high and low temps, both hot and cold.
 

cyberjoey80

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I just set up a fridge in my garage and set the temp control (fridge control, not aftermarket) to a very low setting (keeps it about 50 degrees for carbonating my keg) and I checked it many many times the first couple of days to make sure it did'nt fluctuate to much. I live in San Diego but have had a few cool nights lately and the temp in the fridge only dropped about 5-7 degrees. I would'nt worry about getting a heating element yet, especially living in Houston. Thats my 2 cents. I would just hook up the unit with a thermometer inside and monitor the change like at 8am 12 noon 4pm midnight and maybe once in the middle of the night during a bathroom break..since this would be the coldest time of the day in your garage. Good luck.
 
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Read the brew closet thread in my signature. A space heater like I'm using would probably be a bit much for your fridge, but a small heat lamp or heating pad would work.
 

david_42

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Something like a Ranco dual controller would be your best bet. In warm weather you would use it to operate the refrigeration. In cold weather, unplug the fridge and connect a 25 watt light/heating pad.
 

JnJ

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Is there a way to wire up the controller to operate the heat and cooling at the same time?
I'm in San Antonio and right now we get temp swings from the 30s to 70s in the same day. I think you need the heat and cooling to both be funtional to maintain ideal temps.
 

zoebisch01

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JnJ said:
Is there a way to wire up the controller to operate the heat and cooling at the same time?
I'm in San Antonio and right now we get temp swings from the 30s to 70s in the same day. I think you need the heat and cooling to both be funtional to maintain ideal temps.

I would tend to think that a large volume of liquid inside of an insulated box, kept in the garage/basement/etc. would be fairly good at preventing most temperature swings. By the time the heat flow has created a significant change in your actual fermentor, it will most likely have begun to drop again outside. I would just try an experiment before you spend any money. Just put a floating thermometer inside of the fridge, inside of a 5 gallon water bucket and record the temperature of the water and outside the fridge maybe 3-4 times a day for a week. That will give you a rough idea of how it responds. Granted, this will change seasonally but to get rolling it should give you an idea. If you are hitting low all the time, just add a bulb as mentioned above ( I have seen folks wire them to thermostats) and if you are hitting high then just use your cooling controller of choice.
 
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