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First Brew....oops!


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#21 damoninja

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 10:21 AM

The glad wrap is great, also lets you see down in to the fermenter and have a look at what's going on without having to remove lids, condensation and krausen being a much more reliable indicator of fermentation health than the ploop ploop sound



#22 decr

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:53 PM

Are you saying that it's a non working fridge?


Nah, it works fine, previous owners got rid of it as apparently it was freezing the veggies and got a new one. Not too old and in decent nick, not dirty and no smells etc.

What I meant to say was I use it for the insulation, not cooling. Free and no running costs = win.

#23 damoninja

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:11 PM

no running costs

 

My last ferm fridge costed me about 60 cents a month run in summer, when it was sitting around 18 degrees... tested with a watt meter...

 

I will benchmark my new one again this one this summer over a hot week. I should have done this over winter too.

 

Costs considerably less to run at 18C than it will at say 2C. 



#24 decr

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 03:47 PM

Costs considerably less to run at 18C than it will at say 2C.


For sure. However where mine is it hardly reaches a stable 20c ambient anyway even in summer so for my use it's for the insulation for winter when it hits ~13c at worst. It's in the old boiler room in the middle of the house so temps are quite stable anyway. A very good idea though, picked up on it from someone on here :)

#25 Rocker1986

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 08:54 PM

I highly doubt it would cost a few hundred dollars a year to run a fridge for fermentation temp control...



#26 pablo_h

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 11:53 PM

Not for most, see decr gets along fine gets along fine without running one at all.  For me though it may, since 35-43C temps here Nov-April and the only place I could put one is in direct sunlight or a tin shed.  A running fridge would cost to run, a non running fridge worse than an esky/insulated box that I could have inside the house for me.  But feel free to miss the point.


Edited by pablo_h, 07 December 2016 - 11:57 PM.


#27 Stouter

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 12:38 AM

I dunno about 'a few hundred dollars a year'. Even in direct sunlight, out in the exposed area of my black bitumen driveway with some reflective mirrors shining their arses off, I reckon any shitty old fridge would still only add up to a few shillings.

I think we need Choice to run a comparative test on this one Pablo :) .



#28 damoninja

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 08:37 AM

Not for most, see decr gets along fine gets along fine without running one at all.  For me though it may, since 35-43C temps here Nov-April and the only place I could put one is in direct sunlight or a tin shed.  A running fridge would cost to run, a non running fridge worse than an esky/insulated box that I could have inside the house for me.  But feel free to miss the point.

 

Likewise, miss the point

 

The point being I don't see how you can keep it at say 18-20C on a 35-43C day unless the ambient temperature in your house is 18-20. I mean, if that's the case then fine. Must be refrigeration since evaporative won't get near that low. 

 

Run RCAC 24x7 for a whole room that's got to be more cost effective than a fridge  :ph34r: :ph34r:



#29 The Flyingscrapyard

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 08:44 PM

Don't even need an airlock with the lid either. Been using gaffa tape over the hole in the lid on my FV for ages with no problems at all. Just don't tighten the lid on fully.

As I don't have enough height in my bar fridge to fit an airlock, I resorted to spraying some sanitiser on a freezer bag, and on the outside of the fermenter lid around the airlock hole, then putting the bag over the hole to seal the hole and used a small weight to hold it in place. If there is positive pressure in the fermenter, the gas can force its way out from under the freezer bag, but remain closed the rest of the time. I haven't had the bag suck into the fermenter (even when I forget to take it off during transfer for bulk priming), so I count that as a win.



#30 Quokka42

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 10:08 PM

I find the airlock is handy to monitor action of the yeast. I have had brews which blow out the airlock at 18C - certain European yeasts are rather vigourous!

 

Unfortunately for the OP, his problem was too high a temperature - the main cause of crap beers even back when we draped a towel over the bucket!

 

The tip I would give for noobs in warmer weather is to stick the fermenter in the laundry trough, fill it with water, wrap a towel around it and put a fan on it during the day (the bulk of water and wort will keep it warm enough at night.)

 

When I lived in Perth I bought a fridge and equipped it with a temperature control, but I had terrible trouble with mould and other infections.  Up North it was just plain too hot to try to brew most of the year and I had to buy stubbies like everyone else. In Kalgoorlie, I used the trough method quite successfully.

 

I picked up a wine fridge on ebay for $4.50, ripped out the guts and added stacked Peltiers. The cooling heatsink gets cold enough to suck moisture out of the air to prevent the mould and bacteria, and the running costs are reasonable. As a bonus, the seller gave me another small wine cooler which I fixed for about $15, so my wine and chocolate are doing well this summer also.



#31 Rocker1986

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 06:22 AM

Airlocks are very unreliable though. Sometimes they don't bubble at all (mine never did once) due to seals not being completely airtight, sometimes they bubble when no fermentation is happening. A hydrometer is a much better tool for telling what the fermentation is doing.

 

Calcium chloride is apparently quite effective at removing moisture from the air to prevent mould buildup. I do get a small amount of mould in my brew fridge but it's nothing major. I wipe it out every batch, but after this next one is kegged I might put some CaCl in there with the next batch and see if it stops the mould from appearing.