Category Archives: Temp Control

Maintaining Fermentation Temps in Colder Weather

Cold Weather Fermentation Temp Control

Fermentation temperature has a lot to do with how your finished beer turns out.

For many of us, colder temperatures are on the way or already here.  You may need a boost to keep fermentation temperatures up.  Here’s a roundup of some of the available options.

FermWrap Carboy Heater

The FermWrap heater is attached to your fermenter using tape.  Directions say that it is okay to use this in conjunction with a carboy bag.  40 Watts.  Ability to raise temperature from 5 to 20 deg F from ambient.

Available from MoreBeer - Home Brew Stuff - Adventures in Homebrewing - Note: As of this posting only AIH has this in stock


The Brew Belt.  15 Watts.  Ability to raise temperature about 10 deg F from ambient.  Note that the manufacturer doesn’t recommend this for use with glass fermenters.

Available from Midwest Supplies - love2brew - Adventures in Homebrewing and Great Fermentations - Note that these may be slightly different designs with slightly different specifications.

Heat Pad for Beer and Wine Making homebrewing.lorg

You place your fermenter on top of top of this heating pad.

Description from Adventures in Homebrewing:  “This rigid plastic heat pad for your fermenters and carboys is the ideal solution for cold fermenting and brewing problems. This unit provides ideal temperature for year round brewing, fermenting, and wine making in cold conditions. Convenient and easy to use, simply place on a flat surface, put your fermenter or carboy on it and plug it in.  Supplies constant, steady convection heat (25 watts, 110v) without creating any hot spots.  Inexpensive to run.  Dimensions – 12.5″ x 12.5″

Heat Pad for Beer and Wine Making

Zoo Med ReptiTherm® Under Tank Heater

I use a reptile heating mat in my fermentation deep freeze when I need to warm the space up a bit.  Think of these as heating pads that are designed to operate constantly.

The mat I’m using is 9 Watts.  It has no trouble raising my fermentation deep freeze (located in my basement) by several degrees.  I use this throughout the year whenever I want to push fermentation temperatures higher.  I do not set my fermenter on my mat.  I use it only to warm up the ambient air inside my fermentation deep freeze.

Zoo Med manufactures three sizes of these mats.  The small is 8 watts, the medium is 16 watts and the large is 24 watts.  Here is the specifications page from the manufacturers website.

Zoo Med ReptiTherm Under Tank Heater, Small

Zoo Med ReptiTherm Under Tank Heater, Medium

Zoo Med ReptiTherm Under Tank Heater, Large

Also Consider: Ceramic Heat Emitters

Thanks to Google+ Friend Lucas for this tip!

Hydrofarm MT10006 9-by-19-1/2-Inch Seedling Heat Mat

Lucas Says: Hydrofarm heat mats for getting seedlings started are also a very affordable option. They make an inexpensive digital thermostat with a temp probe as well.  I live in Southern Colorado, one of the coldest places on the continent (-40° winters anyone?) and these have done the trick for me.

Hydrofarm MT10006 9-by-19-1/2-Inch Seedling Heat Mat

Hydrofarm MTPRTC Digital Thermostat for Heat Mats

Of course… Whatever route you decide, proceed with the caution.  Electricity and Heat in confined spaces can pose safety risks.  Always follow manufacturers instructions and safety guidelines.

Temp Controllers:

Johnson A419 Digital Temperature Controller

Digital, Wired, Single Stage.  This has the ability to control one device to maintain temperature.  By default, it’s configured to run a cooling device.  You can configure it to turn a heating device by changing the position of a jumper.

Johnson A419 Digital Temp Controller

Digital, Wired, Single Stage.  This dual stage controller can run both a heating and a cooling device.  This helps to fine tune fermentation temperature.

Ranco Wired

Elitech 110V All-Purpose Temperature Controller+ Sensor 2 Relay Output Thermostat Stc-1000

The STC-1000 is a very popular homebrewing temperature controller.  This is a dual stage controller.  That means it has the ability to control both a heating and cooling device.  Great for a kegerator or a fermentation chamber/deep freeze.  110 volt version, reads in deg C.

Elitech 110V All-Purpose Temperature Controller + Sensor 2 Relay Output Thermostat Stc-1000

Also Consider: 2 Ball Locks and a Better Bottle • 2014 Hop Pre-Order

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10.6 Cu Ft GE Chest Freezer – $298 Delivered + Tips and Gear for your Kegerator

10.6 cu. ft. Chest Freezer in White GE FCM11PHWW

Home Depot has GE’s Model FCM11PHWW 10.6 Cu Ft Chest Freezer marked down $101 (25%) as a Special Buy to $298.  They are also including Free Delivery & Haul Away.

10.6 Cu Ft, 3 Lift out Storage Baskets, Interior Lighting, Key Lock, Exterior Power on Light, Energy Star Rated.  Check with your local utility to see if they have a rebate available.  Home Depot’s site may also have that information.

Use for a nice sized kegerator or temp controlled fermentation chamber.

Check it out – Here

Related: Johnson Controls Digital Thermostat Control Unit

Also Consider: 2 Ball Locks and a Better Bottle • 2014 Hop Pre-Order

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

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8.8 Cu Ft Kenmore Chest Freezer – $299.88 (Save $150)

Kenmore Freezer Model 16922 8.8 cu ft

Sears has Kenmore’s model 16922 8.8 cu ft Chest Freezer marked down $150.11 from it’s regular price of $449.99.  That makes it $299.88.  In store pick up is free.  Delivery is available for an additional charge.  8.8 Cu Ft Chest Freezer in White.  Energy Star Rated (check with your local utility to see if you qualify for a rebate).  Use for a kegerator or fermentation chamber.

Check it out – Here

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Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

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Ohmbrew Automations Fermostat Temperature Controller

Ohmbrew Automations Fermostat

Adventures in Homebrewing just started carrying Ohmbrew Automations Fermostat Temperature Controller.

The Fermostat is a dual stage controller.  That means you can control both a heating source and a cooling source.

Features:

  • Accurate Temp Control.  .5 deg C precision.
  • Predictive Control.  The Fermostat predicts future fluctuations based on previously collected data.
  • Straight Forward Interface.  A graphic LCD screen with scroll wheel makes the Fermostat Simple and Intuitive to use.
  • Programmable automation.  Use factory installed programs or create your own.
  • Ease of use.  This unit is pre-wired and ready to use.
  • Internal Storage.  Onboard memory stores all of your created programs and history temperature and control data.
  • Removable media.  A microSD card slot allows the transfer of data to an external PC

Check it out – Here

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Recent AIH Finds:

AIH Picks:

Igloo 7.1 Cu Ft Chest Freezer for $170 + Tips and Gear for Putting Together your Kegerator

Igloo 7.1 Cu Ft Chest Freezer FRF710

 

Best Buy has Igloo’s highly rated (4.3/5 Stars) FRF710 model deep freeze marked down $80 (32%) to $169.99.  In store pickup is free.  1 Year warranty.  Includes a Drain.  Height 33 1/8″, Width 37″, Depth 21 7/8″.  This freezer is Energy Star Certified.  Check with your local utility, it’s possible that this purchase would be eligible for a rebate.

You could use this for a kegerator or a fermentation temperature control chamber.

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

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Ends Soon: 10% Off Range Thermometers

Aqua Range iOS Thermometer for HomebrewingThe Aqua Range from Supermechanical is an iOS driven Thermometer that works with your iPhone or iPad via a Free Companion App.  The app displays a graph of temperature and also allows you to create custom alerts and remote notifications.   The Aqua Range is Instant Read, has a 6″ Rounded Tip, is safe up to 450 deg F and is submersible and hand-washable.  The 54″ moisture proof silicone cable also resists high temperatures.  iBrewMaster 2 has built in support for the Range Thermometer.

Supermechanical is offering Homebrew Finds Readers 10% Off Any Range thermometer when you use discount code BREW4TWO.

Check it out - Here

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Recent Great Deals:

GE 7 Cu Ft Chest Freezer – Kegerator or Fermentation – $198 + Free Delivery

GE FCM7SHWW Deep Freeze

Home Depot has this 7 Cu Ft Deep Freeze – Model # FCM7SHWW – marked down to $198.  Part of the dealio includes free delivery.  They will also haul away an unwanted appliance if you have one.

Specifications:

  • 7.0 cu. ft. storage capacity gives you the extra freezer space your family needs
  • Adjustable temperature control helps you set the optimal environment for your frozen foods
  • Temperature dial is located on the exterior front surface for easy temperature adjustments
  • Manual defrost lets you manually defrost the freezer on your schedule
  • Upfront defrost water drain is conveniently located to easily drain water during defrosting
  • 2 lift-out, sliding bulk storage basket offers flexibility to organize and store favorite foods for quick, easy access
  • Power “On” light helps you to easily see if the freezer is working without having to open the door
  • Recessed handles provide a streamlined design offers a clean appearance

Check it out – Here

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