Temperature Control

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by ssashton, Jul 3, 2019.

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  1. Jul 3, 2019 #1

    ssashton

    ssashton

    ssashton

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    Hi Guys and Gals,

    I'm curious, how do each of you control temps during fermentation and also conditioning? Just changing rooms?

    My cellar is not very deep so in the summer (like now) it can be as warm as 20C (main rooms 24C). Also I have noticed that even in a cool room, during fermentation, the liquid temperature can be well above ambient say 22C while room at 19C.

    I do not have space for a dedicated fridge. So being an engineer I built a kind of temperature control device mostly using PC water cooling components. Water pump, coolant loop, peltier cooler or resistive heater and some micro-controller brains.

    If I posted details about how I built it, would you be interested in making our own?

    I was considering making a kind of DIY kit that can either warm or cool beer during fermentation and conditioning but would like to know if there is interest.

    Mostly I built mine because my cellar is rarely lower than 16C but conditioning is often said to be done around 11C, so I can chill it down with a blanket around the keg. I later found I can place the fermenter in the cellar (usually too cold for fermentation) and then use a resistive heater to maintain a steady 19C liquid temp as per my fav recipe. While the main rooms are too warm.

    Yes I'm aware of the 'Brew Jacket', and this would be more Do It Yourself and affordable - some tubing, pump, power supply and instructions. Any interest?
     
  2. Jul 3, 2019 #2

    Dutto

    Dutto

    Dutto

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    Before I got the Brew Fridge I used:
    • The contraption (see photographs) with manual temperature control. I switched bulbs on and off to keep within 3*C before I could afford an STC 1000 and a Tube Heater.
    • A Heat Pad whilst Contraption was in "Carbonation" service.
    • A Trug and Aquarium Heater when I needed more brews on.
    The thing to note is that they were all "Heaters".

    If you don't have a fridge just use "time" to carbonate and condition your brews. It worked for well over 1,000 years!

    Warm weather in the UK is very rare and until WW2 there was NO chilled beer sold in the UK. There is nothing wrong in drinking beer at a couple of degrees below room temperature; although lager can be much improved by chilling.

    Contraption 2.jpg Contraption 3.jpg
     
  3. Jul 3, 2019 #3

    Chippy_Tea

    Chippy_Tea

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    If you are going to make the DIY kit then post instruction fine if you intend to sell please read this -

    THBF Sponsor Membership (Monthly)
    (Scroll to bottom of page)

    https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/account/upgrades
    .
     
  4. Jul 3, 2019 #4

    Clint

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    IMG_20190702_220114.jpg brew fridge....with a very messy wheat beer at the moment!
     
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  5. Jul 3, 2019 #5

    WierdFish

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    I admire anyone who has the ability or desire to build such a temperature controller, but I couldn't, so for £10 I would just buy one from Amazon (other sources are available). A small fridge isn't much bigger than the FV and you can store the empty FV in it when not in use to save a bit more space if needed. I wonder how I managed before I had the fridge even for controlling heating, let alone chilling.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2019 #6

    ssashton

    ssashton

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    Using a fridge or freezer is a great way to do it especilly combined with a thermostatic controller like the W1209. I wasn't very successful at finding a small one that would fit a keg or fermenting bucket easily though - most had a big lump in the bottom shelf area or have a chiller section in the top corner, or both. So it seems like the fridge would need to be a fair bit bigger than the keg which I don't personally have much room for.

    [​IMG]

    If there were interest I would probably tidy up my design and publish an Instructables article on how to make your own, and if people like that maybe offer a kit of all the bits to make a little pocket money (at which point I would certainly become a supporting member here). Right now I'm just wondering what you guys do and whether something compact with both cooling and heating capability is even desired.
     
  7. Jul 3, 2019 #7

    Banbeer

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    I have 3 beer fridges at the moment but before I had the space I would use a Builders bucket filled with water and some Ice blocks added to the bucket and also a fan aimed at the FV, it all worked well but was a continuous checking reageme where now I don't need to.
     
  8. Jul 6, 2019 #8

    pottsworth

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    I'd certainly be interested in a diy peltier system.

    I currently just use a heat belt and an inkbird controller on my fast ferment, but I'm looking at upgrading to a stainless steel bucket, and have seen various conflicting advice about heat belts (I'm not overly concerned about an earthing issue, but I don't know if you could induce a current in the stainless steel and get a shock that way?). I thought about using the cooling coils and a pump in some ice water but constantly topping a bucket up with ice seems faffy and messy. I had looked at the brew jacket peltier but it's a bit costly!

    I've reflashed an stc1000 with the stc1000+ firmware (building it into a box is currently on the to-do list!), so if there were a way to incorporate that (i.e. 2 power sources for heating and cooling) that would be handy. Otherwise I'd probably just built the peltier bit and skip the resistance heater.

    What pump / cooler did you use for yours?
     
  9. Jul 7, 2019 #9

    Llamaman

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  10. Jul 7, 2019 #10

    pottsworth

    pottsworth

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  11. Jul 7, 2019 #11

    Llamaman

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    You can get them a lot cheaper than that. It was just the first link I found.
     
  12. Jul 9, 2019 #12

    eyuptm

    eyuptm

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    This is my, just finished, ferm fridge. Total cost circa £25. STC100 and a 30w tubular heater, fridge picked up from roadside!! Works fine, just needs a good scrub! Not huge, but fits the 30l square food grade containers I now favour for primary ferm.
     
  13. Jul 11, 2019 #13

    pottsworth

    pottsworth

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    Do you have any pictures of your setup?

    I was thinking about one of theses
    Hilitand 12V Thermoelectric Cooler Peltier Semiconductor Refrigeration DIY Water Cooling System Cooler Device with Fan https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DVJRFXN/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_yD5jDbX5ZM5Y8
    Or these
    12V 4-Chip Semiconductor Refrigeration, TEC1-12706 DIY Thermoelectric Peltier Air Cooling Device Cooling Fan https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MQBGG8R/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_SE5jDb4X69RQQ

    Connected to a power supply like this.
    KINGPRINT DC 12V 30A 360W Universal Regulated Switching Power Supply for 3D Printer, CCTV, Radio, LED Strip Lights, Computer Project https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079BR75SF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_rF5jDbAJ98KVY

    Then a cheap submersible pump to circulate it all.

    Does that sound about right?

    Could you use a second peltier pad the other way round for he heating side?

    Do you use water, or glycol / ethanol / vodka as a refrigerant?
     

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