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Temperature Control for Brewing

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Dimellon

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I'm just getting started on this with a Mr. Beer kit my wife gave me for Christmas. ( I see many of you have no respect for Mr. Beer, but hey, a guy has to start somewhere!) Anyway, living near Rochester, NY means cold weather for the next few months and I'm not content to wait until the weather warms up to get a good temp for the yeast that comes with the kits. I have a cube fridge and I'm wondering if anyone has ever used the thermostats available to override the fridge thermostat. It seems with this, I could set the temp inside the fridge to 72 degrees for fermentation and any wide range of temps for conditioning. The catch is that the thermostat costs $80 - $130 (from what I've found). I don't mind doing this if I know it will work well. Does anyone have any tips about this subject?
 

Yooper

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Dimellon said:
I'm just getting started on this with a Mr. Beer kit my wife gave me for Christmas. ( I see many of you have no respect for Mr. Beer, but hey, a guy has to start somewhere!) Anyway, living near Rochester, NY means cold weather for the next few months and I'm not content to wait until the weather warms up to get a good temp for the yeast that comes with the kits. I have a cube fridge and I'm wondering if anyone has ever used the thermostats available to override the fridge thermostat. It seems with this, I could set the temp inside the fridge to 72 degrees for fermentation and any wide range of temps for conditioning. The catch is that the thermostat costs $80 - $130 (from what I've found). I don't mind doing this if I know it will work well. Does anyone have any tips about this subject?
How would you heat it up to 72 degrees?
 

Brewsmith

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You can use a heating pad to heat. Just make sure you get one that does not auto shut-off.
 

Jeffro

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I just use and old chest freezer that I put a "line Voltage" thermostat inside of to control my heat source. If you go to your local hardware store, just tell them that you want a thermostat for baseboard heaters.

My heat source is just a 60 watt lightbulb and it's been maintaining 62-75 degrees just fine in my non heated storage shed that had gotten down into the upper 20's.

Here's a pic of my set up.

 

gruntingfrog

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If you don't keep your house above 65 - 70 degrees in the winter you can just put the fermenter in a closet and forget about it for a couple of weeks. That's actually perfect. Just make sure to put it where the temperature doesn't fluctuate more than a couple of degrees.
 
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Dimellon

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A big thanks to all for the responses. For the immediate future, I've found that my laundry room is warmer than the rest of the house. I think I can use this room for now and just need to plan for the future. I like the pic of the fridge with the thermostat and lightbulb. I think I'm going to put something like this together for future batches.
 

yezzo

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Brewsmith said:
You can use a heating pad to heat. Just make sure you get one that does not auto shut-off.
How would you use a heating pad? wrap it around the fermenter or rest the fermenter on top?

I was going to start a thread with this question but why waste space :)
 
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