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Let's see your fermentation chambers!

Discussion in 'Gear and Equipment' started by devoutharpist, 27/5/19.

 

  1. devoutharpist

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    Posted 27/5/19
    Did a search, couldn't find any thread with a collection of peoples' fermentation chambers. Happy to be corrected and send this thread into the void.

    I am keen to see what people have for fermenting and temperature control. I had a secondhand fridge for a couple of years, but that one just crapped out. So it's time to get a new one and i would love to see what everyone else is doing. Also keen to see if there is an option i haven't come across yet.

    Anyway, here is mine before it died (barleywine up top, milk stout down bottom)...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 2/6/19
    I have found the purpose built room for continual brewing worked out better than a bank of fridges, and cheap to run.
    Temperature control is the most difficult for the home brewer, without a thermowell through which temperature adjustments taking into consideration where the fermentation's exothermic reaction could be logged and the temperature adjusted to keep it constant we are all just winging it.
    Dependent on yeast viability, temperature, oxygen level, and yeast strain the internal temperature of the fermenting wort could go up as high as 8 degrees in a 20 litre batch. So I guess we just do the best we can in controlling temperature.
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  3. The Mack

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    Posted 3/6/19
    Where did you get the 8c number from? I know I am just one data point but I've compared my thermowell to a probe taped to the side (with camping mat over the top of that) and they measured within a degree of each other.. This was across English, American, Belgian ales and a few different lager strains. My Fv's are stainless though so whether that makes a difference?
     
  4. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 3/6/19
    It is well covered in the book Brewing Yeast and Fermentation by David Quain and Chris Boulton, it varies also with the ABV the higher the ABV the more energy produced.
    Here is another article from BYO for the home brewer.
    https://byo.com/article/controlling-fermentation-temperature-techniques/
     
  5. Dozer71

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    Posted 4/6/19
    The BYO infers that it is 8c compared to ambient temp - not from the middle of wort to the edge of the wort. It would be an issue if you are just measuring the ambient temp to control the heat of the wort (thermomenter hanging in fridge/closet or even in bottle of water), but if taped and insulated to the FV, will be reasonably close.
     
  6. lost at sea

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    Posted 4/6/19
    crikey, how much do you drink weal?
     
  7. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 4/6/19
    It was the ambient temperature as against the internal temperature which was suggested. Someone with a plastic fermenter would have a higher reading than a stainless steel fermenter with the thermometer taped to the outside of the vessels because of the thermal conductivity differences.
    The thermowell is the best option, especially in my case where the AC is the generator of the heat or cooling but if the tilt thermometer / hydrometer could control the temperature that would be even better.
     
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  8. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 4/6/19
    Not as much as I would like.:)
     
  9. krz

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    Posted 4/6/19
    Pretty impressive.
    I guess you ferment all beers at same temperature?
    How do you handle crash cool, etc...?
     
  10. krz

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  11. FarsideOfCrazy

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    Posted 4/6/19
    I've read the data on another forum where the thermometer had multiple temp probes that could read temps simultaneously. The difference between the centre of the fermenting wort and the probe taped to the side of the vessel was virtually the same. The experiment was done in a variety of ways and the conclusion was, it made stuff all difference have a thermowell or having the temp probed taped to the side.
     
  12. beer gut

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    Posted 5/6/19
    This is my setup, I’ve got tilt hydrometers in the brew buckets. 01F2F0D0-B9AF-419A-B945-69F0EF22BF45.jpeg
     
  13. Cian Doyle

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    Posted 5/6/19
    I have been reading quite a lot on this and there is a difference between the center of the wort and the outside of the fermenter. Whether it makes any difference I am not sure. I have a PET fermenter and that registers 2 degrees difference just using 2 cheap aquarium thermometers, probably not accurate on the temperature reading but both were calibrated the same. Plastic, is as stated is a poor conductor and a good insulator so I would say the reading would be higher on a HDPE and lower on a stainless steel vessel. I have toyed with the idea of the BrewPi which does control the fridge, and looking at the graphs it can keep the beer at a stable temperature even during high krausen, but is it worth it?
    https://www.brewpi.com/#howitworks
     
  14. SwagBiker

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    Posted 14/6/19 at 6:18 AM
    I made mine from a free gumtree fridge.
    I carefully bent the evaporator plate (freezer section) so that it is vertical. This allows me to put a fan up inside it to blow the chilled air downwards. This is quite effective when chilling the wort down pre-pitching. Fan is controlled manually from the STC1000 (using the light function).
    I also glued some scrap plywood in as a shelf and as a backing to install the heating element.
    The element is from an electric blanket. I just cut it out with scissors and then hot glued it to the plywood. The missus read that electric blankets aren’t safe to keep using after 5 years, so I kept a few when we replaced them.
    The temp sensor enters the fermenter via a stainless thermowell that I made from an off cut of stainless tubing. The end has been welded closed. It fits really nicely through the same size grommet as the airlock. So my lids now have two grommets in them.
    The STC1000 was just installed in the door.
    I find the solution pretty good for a total cost of $20. But scavenging parts saved heaps.

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  15. gib8

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    Posted 14/6/19 at 2:15 PM
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  16. Brewer Tom

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    Posted 16/6/19 at 4:35 AM
    After some recent additions, mainly a CPU fan, here's my ferment fridge.
     
  17. Brewer Tom

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    Posted 16/6/19 at 4:38 AM
    with photo 20190616_104022_resized.jpeg
     
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