Mini fermentation chamber for yeast starters and bottle conditioning

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Simonh82

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I've just made a yeast starter from a slant. As the cell count from a slant is pretty low I wanted to keep the starter happy by keeping it nice and warm. Our house is not exactly well insulated so temperatures in unheated rooms drop significantly over night.

My half arsed answer was a mini fermentation chamber in a cardboard box. I was lucky that I had both a spare Inkbird and a spare 60W heater knocking around. I also had a large cardboard box from my last grain delivery. A few bits of gaffer tape later and voila, a fermentation chamber to keep my starter nice and warm.

I set the target temperature to 26°C and made the heater kick in 3°C below that. The probe was just hanging in the air space. This meant it cycled through a temp range from 23-29°C over about half an hour, keeping the starter nice and warm.

I've now got a crate of bottles conditioning at 22°C. I think I'll be keeping hold of this box for the time being!
 

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Hone_Brew

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Just Googled this as thinking of a wee chamber for staters. Need to do a design, but I plan to use a computer fan to act as a stir plate and also to circulate the air. Need a really low powered heater. Give me something to think about at work!!!!
 

Dutto

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I love innovative uses of stuff. Herewith my very first Fermentation and Carbonation Chamber. aka The Contraption by SWMBO. It was also heated with a 40W tube heater and controlled by an Inkbird ST1000. Amazingly, it worked!

Contraption 2.jpg
 

gudders

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Hey guys, I have turned an old kitchen double cupboard into an FV, lined with 25mm polystyrene. My STC temp ranges from about 16 down to 11. I have attached the probe to a glass and plastic bottle and am getting similar results. It seemed to be more consistent with two fermbuckets in it.

You have mentioned yours hangs in the air, is that more accurate? I though the glass/plastic would retain the heat better.
My 50w tube heater seems to cycle on and off as in runs hot then cold to the touch - is it timing out?
 

Dutto

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There is no way that an STC should vary more than 0.2*C so something ain't right.

The Inkbird TC has a variety of corrections that can be made so, if that is what you are using, "Read the Manual".

When fermenting a brew (as opposed to carbonating) I stick the probe into a "V" shape cut into an ordinary sponge and then clamp the "V" and the probe up against the FV, using he handle of the FV.

For carbonating I hang the probe (still inside the sponge) in the air-space of the fridge near the bottles, Growlers or PB.
 
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