Keezer/Ferm Chamber in one

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Antler

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Im about to build a keezer soon, and also planned on having a fermentation chamber down the road. Id probably have my keezer set at about 7-8*C. If I wanted to ferment in the keezer, could I pick up another temp controller and use a brew pad under the fermenter?

Probably be inefficient but would this work?
 

BadNewsBrewery

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I don't see why not. I'd suggest maybe using some reptile enclosure heating rap around the carboy / fermenter, rather than something just sitting under it. Wrap the fermenter with the heating rap and then some insulation and you should have pretty solid control of the temperature in the fermenter.
 

BadNewsBrewery

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If you used a rap though, and insulated it - you'd keep more heat in the fermenter and out of the keezer - each would run for a shorter duration, though arguably more so than if you weren't trying to heat and cool in the same environment.
-Kevin
 
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Antler

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Some good points there. I do have some of the carboy insulation I could put on them, so that wouldn't be a problem. I guess a dedicated freezer would be best, swmbo won't approve of that anytime soon after just spending a lot on kegging stuff and buying a freezer in a few weeks lol

I also though of putting a swamp bucket into the keezer and using an aquarium heater to heat the water.
 

Huaco

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I ran down this road of thought recently. I was given a chest freezer and was just told it was HUGE. I thought it was a 21 or 23 cu ft by the description. It turned out to be a 15 cu ft, so my plans for it changed.
-- I was going to partition the serving end from the ferm chamber with 3" thick foam board insulation. I got some of that free as well...
-- Use an STS-1000 to controll serving temps (installed in collar)
-- Purchase the reptile heating tape in a quantity to wrap each carboy/bucket with 2 feet of heating tape.
-- Purchase (2) of the single stage controllers that look like the STC-1000 temp controllers and install them in the collar.
-- If my chest had been the 23 cu ft capacity, I was going to be able to have serving corny kegs on one end and up to 4 fermentors in the other end. I was going to gang two of the reptile tapes together to be controlled by one of the single stage controllers. So, the controller would be labeled "Serving Temp", "Fermentation-A", "Fermentation-B".

With this setup, you could ferment up to 22 gallons at separate temps (ale and lager if you wanted) AND serve in one chest. A large chest that is...
 

BadNewsBrewery

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For what it's worth - a 6.5 gallon glass carboy needs nearly 5' of tape to get all the way around it. Love the idea of the serving and fermenting in one keezer, if it's big enough.
 

Huaco

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For what it's worth - a 6.5 gallon glass carboy needs nearly 5' of tape to get all the way around it. Love the idea of the serving and fermenting in one keezer, if it's big enough.
Great point!

One could run (2) pieces of tape per carboy. One on each side, attached with some type of conductor so as to act as one unit.

That darned Pi always makes things more complicated...!!! lol.
 

BadNewsBrewery

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It looks like they changed the design since I purchased, but the best price I could find was at Reptile Basics - you can order the tape as long as you want, so I ordered 10' and 2 connectors, told them it was for two 5' sections, they cut it and installed the connectors for free. Easy day. Connector plugs straight into my digital Johnson's controller, thermowell in the carboy for the temp probe, and the rest is history. :mug:

Unfortunately, I don't have a keezer anymore so I haven't been able to put it to the test. Craigslist, don't fail me now!
 

Huaco

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^^^^^
Why run with 5' lengths? That is what, 100 watts PER CARBOY? seems excessive. Wouldn't it work to do (2) segments, (1) on each side at only 40 watts per carboy? Seems like a more gentle heating also...

Oh yes... Forgot the Thermowell part. If you want to run 2 batches like I suggested you would need a thermowell in each batch. The second carboy of it's batch would (should) follow right along with the "controlled" carboy
 

BadNewsBrewery

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My thought was to have even heating on all sides - sure, it's close to 100w, but it will heat evenly and shouldn't be on very long. It's nowhere near hot enough to scorch or burn anything. If anything, I think it will run for less time than a shorter section, meaning the area of the carboy directly next to the element won't get as hot as if you were running a smaller piece that had to heat the entire volume.

Regarding the thermowell - I have two carboys but one controller. Assuming I'm fermenting at identical temperatures, and assuming both carboys have essentially the same volume in them, I would only need one thermowell. You need one thermowell / temperature probe per controller, and you can wire up that controller to heat as many carboys as you want as long as you want them all heated the same.
 

Huaco

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I agree... seems like a valid point on the heat tape.

With the thermowell, I was suggesting that one could theoretically ferment ale AND lager in this setup because the keezer is set to serving temps which COULD be laggering temps as well. You would need to have 2 fermentation controllers to ferment separate temp batches.
 
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