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Two fermenters in one fermentation fridge

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Muz

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I've got two brew buckets and one large fermentation fridge which both will fit in. Problem is if I'm fermenting two beers at the same time I'm not 100% sure of the best way to control their temps.

To date I've been choosing a temp mid way between the two and dangling my heat belt and temp probe loose in the middle of the fridge. This hasn't worked great as I have to compromise the temp and just because the fridge is 18 degrees doesn't mean the beer isn't higher, particularly during the height of fermentation.

I've been wondering if I have two slightly different temp fermenters by using two temp controllers (with the probes in each of the fermenter thermowells) and two heat belts but I only connecting the fridge to the lower temp fermenter. Part of my thinks that the higher temp fermenter will be constantly working against itself and it wont work. The other part of me thinks it will be no different to when I ferment in the middle of winter (Melbourne winter where my garage never gets above 14 degrees) and I don't worry about the fridge and I just ferment in the cold open air of my garage and hook up a heat belt to the temp controller (so no active cooling, just relying on the cold ambient temp).

I'm not thinking of doing a larger and a Kveik fermented beer at the same time. Doing a Kolsch at 16 degrees while keeping my Wee Heavy at 19 degrees would mean I could brew more often though and not have to wait for the previous beer to finish.

Is anyone else doing something like this?
 

Nullnvoid

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Just control one of the fermenters and the other one will be fine. It won't make much difference.
 

S.E

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I've have a Freezer I can put an Inkbird on.

Is there any problem that I haven't thought of here ?
Freezers are good. A little bit harder to lift the fermenter in and out of a chest freezer though.
 

kadmium

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Also, freezers usually don't have moisture control so consider keeping moisture down when running it as a ferm chamber, or it might go mouldy.
 

S.E

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Also, freezers usually don't have moisture control so consider keeping moisture down when running it as a ferm chamber, or it might go mouldy.
Have you had this problem, how did you keep moisture down? I haven’t seen any difference between fridge or freezer.
 

Grmblz

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@Muz a thermowell into the wort is ideal, next is the probe taped to the side of the fermenter with a piece of foam over it to insulate from ambient temp, dangling the probe in ambient temp is the worst, but in your scenario may be the way to go.
Your success will be entirely yeast dependant, 3 deg's isn't much, unless it's at the extreme end of the yeasts range, lets take US-05 a popular choice, it's range is 15c to 24c, but you wouldn't run it at 12c or 27c, now let's say your using K-97 for your Kolsch, ideal temp 15c to 20c obviously 17c or 18c will keep both happy, now look at LALBREW KÖLN KÖLSCH STYLE ALE YEAST 12c to 20c, again your 17c to 18c keeps it happy, a bit on the high side but still ok.
So what you need to do is work out what ambient temp results in 17c or 18c in the wort, I can't tell you that as systems vary, but I can tell you that an ambient of 17c wont be anywhere near your wort temp, and the gradient difference between ambient and actual wort temp will vary as fermentation progresses, with the two temp's getting closer as activity diminishes.

You need two instruments, one to control and report ambient temp, and one to report wort temp (an stc or similar with the probe taped to the fermenter) do a brew taking daily readings and you will see the difference in temp's between ambient and wort go up and then slowly come back into line, using this information it's pretty easy to set your ambient to take into account the heat generated by fermentation, it will require resetting your temp controller maybe 3 or 4 times over the course of 5 to 10 days.
It's not ideal but with careful selection of yeast, and having an idea of how they will perform, it's really no big deal.
As luck would have it I happen to have 3 very different brews going right now, excuse the poor quality it was getting dark.
An English bitter, a cider, and a barley wine What! yes but it's a half batch and doesn't generate as much heat as a full batch.
All the yeast are within their comfort zone, and a continuous fan prevents temperature stratification.
In this particular chamber there are 4 fans, one (massive) cooling, one large (heating 200w) and two smallish continuous ball bearing (circulation)
Admittedly I do have two dedicated single fermenter fridges for particular yeasts/styles but this shows you can with careful selection do multiple brews of different styles in a single fridge.
 

Attachments

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I have a double door commercial fridge and when I ferment up to 4 x 20L batches at the same time I place the temp probe in a glass of water in the middle of the fridge. This helps even out the temperature swings and stops the compressor kicking in and out so often. I also have the fridge wired through a ITC-100 with the longest compressor delay. I have never noticed any ill effects to date.
 
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I have a double door commercial fridge and when I ferment up to 4 x 20L batches at the same time I place the temp probe in a glass of water in the middle of the fridge. This helps even out the temperature swings and stops the compressor kicking in and out so often. I also have the fridge wired through a ITC-100 with the longest compressor delay. I have never noticed any ill effects to date.
You can build a stand from 19mm ply that will sit in side the fridge, or if your cashed up, stainless steel works well.
 

vinny

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I've got two brew buckets and one large fermentation fridge which both will fit in. Problem is if I'm fermenting two beers at the same time I'm not 100% sure of the best way to control their temps.

To date I've been choosing a temp mid way between the two and dangling my heat belt and temp probe loose in the middle of the fridge. This hasn't worked great as I have to compromise the temp and just because the fridge is 18 degrees doesn't mean the beer isn't higher, particularly during the height of fermentation.

I've been wondering if I have two slightly different temp fermenters by using two temp controllers (with the probes in each of the fermenter thermowells) and two heat belts but I only connecting the fridge to the lower temp fermenter. Part of my thinks that the higher temp fermenter will be constantly working against itself and it wont work. The other part of me thinks it will be no different to when I ferment in the middle of winter (Melbourne winter where my garage never gets above 14 degrees) and I don't worry about the fridge and I just ferment in the cold open air of my garage and hook up a heat belt to the temp controller (so no active cooling, just relying on the cold ambient temp).

I'm not thinking of doing a larger and a Kveik fermented beer at the same time. Doing a Kolsch at 16 degrees while keeping my Wee Heavy at 19 degrees would mean I could brew more often though and not have to wait for the previous beer to finish.

Is anyone else doing something like this?
I've got two brew buckets and one large fermentation fridge which both will fit in. Problem is if I'm fermenting two beers at the same time I'm not 100% sure of the best way to control their temps.

To date I've been choosing a temp mid way between the two and dangling my heat belt and temp probe loose in the middle of the fridge. This hasn't worked great as I have to compromise the temp and just because the fridge is 18 degrees doesn't mean the beer isn't higher, particularly during the height of fermentation.

I've been wondering if I have two slightly different temp fermenters by using two temp controllers (with the probes in each of the fermenter thermowells) and two heat belts but I only connecting the fridge to the lower temp fermenter. Part of my thinks that the higher temp fermenter will be constantly working against itself and it wont work. The other part of me thinks it will be no different to when I ferment in the middle of winter (Melbourne winter where my garage never gets above 14 degrees) and I don't worry about the fridge and I just ferment in the cold open air of my garage and hook up a heat belt to the temp controller (so no active cooling, just relying on the cold ambient temp).

I'm not thinking of doing a larger and a Kveik fermented beer at the same time. Doing a Kolsch at 16 degrees while keeping my Wee Heavy at 19 degrees would mean I could brew more often though and not have to wait for the previous beer to finish.

Is anyone else doing something like this?
I've got two brew buckets and one large fermentation fridge which both will fit in. Problem is if I'm fermenting two beers at the same time I'm not 100% sure of the best way to control their temps.

To date I've been choosing a temp mid way between the two and dangling my heat belt and temp probe loose in the middle of the fridge. This hasn't worked great as I have to compromise the temp and just because the fridge is 18 degrees doesn't mean the beer isn't higher, particularly during the height of fermentation.

I've been wondering if I have two slightly different temp fermenters by using two temp controllers (with the probes in each of the fermenter thermowells) and two heat belts but I only connecting the fridge to the lower temp fermenter. Part of my thinks that the higher temp fermenter will be constantly working against itself and it wont work. The other part of me thinks it will be no different to when I ferment in the middle of winter (Melbourne winter where my garage never gets above 14 degrees) and I don't worry about the fridge and I just ferment in the cold open air of my garage and hook up a heat belt to the temp controller (so no active cooling, just relying on the cold ambient temp).

I'm not thinking of doing a larger and a Kveik fermented beer at the same time. Doing a Kolsch at 16 degrees while keeping my Wee Heavy at 19 degrees would mean I could brew more often though and not have to wait for the previous beer to finish.

Is anyone else doing something like this?
Hello fellows still learning myself, i am using the heat belt as well , when use say the temp controller is that the one that goes inside the brew , can you hook the heat belt up to that ?
 

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