Ferminator/Peltier Chamber

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

stuarts

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
107
Reaction score
36
Location
Doune , Stirling
I think i have just lost 2 brews due to high fermentation temperature time will tell. I have a brew fridge which i use but on the odd occasion i may have a couple of brews on the go .This is not normally a problem as being up North its normally keeping the fermenter warm thats the problem and i just bring them into the house from the garage with a heat mat and controller .
Though my wife does complain about them being there . So i was thinking i dont want another brew fridge but something portable to heat and cool .
I can get my hands on a few Polystrene boxes with lids used to transport live fish that are big enough to fit a 30lt fermenter which will be light enough to move and store when not in use . The question is would it keep warm enough in the winter in a cold garage using a heat mat and could i use a peltier cooler to keep it cool enough in the summer not looking to cold crash just keep an even fermentation temp .
Looked at a Ferminator but very expensive for the odd use.
 

Pavros

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
961
Reaction score
445
Location
North Yorkshire
You can now buy the parts of the Ferminator separately so you may be able to adapt one of your fish boxes and fit the heating/cooling unit to one which brings the cost down a little.
 

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
304
Location
Paremata New Zealand
Not sure that insulating something really well that makes heat and then trying to cool it ( your summer scenario) is the best plan.

Might find cool garage, damp towels and a fan does the trick or a swamp cooler ( depending what you ferment in ) or use some kveik in the summer and put it in the boxes and turn the heat up.
 

stuarts

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
107
Reaction score
36
Location
Doune , Stirling
Yes kveik might be the answer for summer and just use the boxes with heat mat in winter . Or the other option a fermenter cooler bag and ice pack though the cooler bags are expensive too.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

Tinkering around
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
2,022
Location
St Albans, Herts
I think i have just lost 2 brews due to high fermentation temperature time will tell. I have a brew fridge which i use but on the odd occasion i may have a couple of brews on the go .This is not normally a problem as being up North its normally keeping the fermenter warm thats the problem and i just bring them into the house from the garage with a heat mat and controller .
Though my wife does complain about them being there . So i was thinking i dont want another brew fridge but something portable to heat and cool .
I can get my hands on a few Polystrene boxes with lids used to transport live fish that are big enough to fit a 30lt fermenter which will be light enough to move and store when not in use . The question is would it keep warm enough in the winter in a cold garage using a heat mat and could i use a peltier cooler to keep it cool enough in the summer not looking to cold crash just keep an even fermentation temp .
Looked at a Ferminator but very expensive for the odd use.
I did quite a lot of research and experiments with Peltier coolers, and the result is that I think they are impractical for anything more than a small volume (about a pint).
They do work - but they rapidly become inefficient when the temperature drop across them gets more than a few degrees. This happens fast because the 'hot' side generates a LOT of heat: in total they create about 9x as much heat energy as their 'cooling' effect.

Overall the problem with using Peltier devices to cool an FV therefore is (a) the need to dissipate a colossal amount of heat from the 'hot' side of the devices; and (b) the temperature difference between the target fermentation temp (say 18ºc) and ambient (say 27ºc on a hot day like today). The result of those two factors is that you are a lot better off getting a second hand fridge or portable A/C unit and using the refrigeration unit from it.

Take a look at my experiments with Peltier devices here: Towards FV temp control...
 

stuarts

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
107
Reaction score
36
Location
Doune , Stirling
Thanks for the link makes interesting reading . I am now considering a fermentation bag and ice packs as we dont really get so many warm days up here . In the winter i will use the fermentation bags with a heat mat or belt .
The Fermentation bags are also expensive, my wife came upmwith the idea of using Take away delivery bags and you can get hold of them for approx £19 albeit you would need to use them on their side with a side opening rather than opeing fdom the top .
 

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
304
Location
Paremata New Zealand
Thanks for the link makes interesting reading . I am now considering a fermentation bag and ice packs as we dont really get so many warm days up here . In the winter i will use the fermentation bags with a heat mat or belt .
The Fermentation bags are also expensive, my wife came upmwith the idea of using Take away delivery bags and you can get hold of them for approx £19 albeit you would need to use them on their side with a side opening rather than opeing fdom the top .
Not sure what a takeaway bag is ? insulated / cooler bag ? If you stand a normal ferment bucket on concrete garage floor that's quite a good heatsink, latent heat of evaporation is powerful, you could wrap the fermenter in a towel. Get a fan and a mister jet and then an STC 1000. Then wet the towel and the fan with mister gets turned on if too hot. Heat belt underneath this if too cold. Probably work too well.
The cost of that takeaway bag and the cool blocks and the overall lack of control is an issue.
Does the local recycling dump not get fridges all the time? Also companies in the UK selling fridges freezers often take the old away when they deliver the new then have to pay for the disposal and they might be delighted to get rid of one for free or a beer swap.
 

Brewnaldo

Landlord.
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
882
Reaction score
736
Took delivery of my ferminator this weekend which I am very excited about. Hooefully get a lager brew on this week.

Any tips from users, specifically re placement and insulation/non insulation of the temp probe?
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

Tinkering around
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
2,022
Location
St Albans, Herts
You could try contacting one of the members who posted about it on the Ferminator thread.

I've not seen the GEB one but from what I can tell it's a foam box with a 75W Peltier element in it. I'd say strap the temp probe to the side fo the FV - normally that would be a recipe for big temperature swings but in this case I think that's pretty unlikely.

I would expect it to kick out quite a lot of heat: I could be wrong but I think you might be lucky to get more than 5-10% efficiency if you set it to colder than a few degrees below ambient.
 

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
304
Location
Paremata New Zealand
I secure the temp probe to the side of my vessels with some blu tack and then some highdensity foam insulation ( from sleeping mat ) on top of this held on with a bungee although a belt or strap would be better as the bungee cuts in a fair bit, I suppose I should use a bit of harder plastic on top of the bungee to stop this. It's pretty consistent with the ispindel readings.
 

fgoulding

Active Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
88
Reaction score
71
Location
Dublin
I have a Fermzilla all rounder FV and a bought a thermowell accessory for it from Kegland. It’s a pain having to drill a whole in the lid but I get very accurate temps now.

I also have a Ferminator and discovered that silver gafa tape is great for when you chip or damage the edges!
 

Brewnaldo

Landlord.
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
882
Reaction score
736
I secure the temp probe to the side of my vessels with some blu tack and then some highdensity foam insulation ( from sleeping mat ) on top of this held on with a bungee although a belt or strap would be better as the bungee cuts in a fair bit, I suppose I should use a bit of harder plastic on top of the bungee to stop this. It's pretty consistent with the ispindel readings.
This is what I was looking for. So you are aiming for beer temp. I had wondered if control of the chamber temp was good enough since it would follow that the beer would reach that temp. I have my shoddily constructed yet reliable probe insulation device ready to go!
 

Mash Monster

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
997
Reaction score
91
Location
Quadring
I have a Fermzilla all rounder FV and a bought a thermowell accessory for it from Kegland. It’s a pain having to drill a whole in the lid but I get very accurate temps now.

I also have a Ferminator and discovered that silver gafa tape is great for when you chip or damage the edges!
I’m with you on drilling out the lid
I’m still not 100% happy with the fit of the bulk head fitting had a gem leaks 🥴
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

Tinkering around
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
2,022
Location
St Albans, Herts
This is what I was looking for. So you are aiming for beer temp. I had wondered if control of the chamber temp was good enough since it would follow that the beer would reach that temp.
In this case yes, use the beer temp as the input to the controller.
Normally I would advise against it - but because your cooling rate will be slow there is no risk of a temperature overshoot.
From a control perspective, it's a heavily over-damped system.
 

Latest posts

Top