Ferment temp control

Putting older posts here. Going to try to keep the novice forum pruned about 90 days work. The 'good' old stuff is going to be put into appropriate forums.

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paps
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Location: Southern Cal, USA

Ferment temp control

Post by paps » Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:21 pm

Greetings everyone, I want to thank and complement all the regulars and newbees for sharing their knowledge and experiences, it is a treasure trove of information unattainable anywhere else, I spend the first 2 hours of every morning reading, reading, reading. :shock:

That being said, I am fermenting a molasses and sugar wash (birdwatcher, 20L, thank you very much) :wink: and everything is going according to what I have read. One thing I read over and over is the ferment temperature. I have mine at a solid 75F to 76F day and night. It has been bubbling away for 10 days. Started at 1.130 SG and is now at 1.066 SG (8.256% ABV?)

Now, the whole reason for my post is I want to share something that you my not know about, I am using a common ordinary heating pad with a variable transformer called a VARIAC. It will take 110-120 VAC, 60 cycles and allow you to adjust the voltage to whatever voltage it takes to maintain the required temperature for your ferment, (mine is adjusted to 66 VAC). If you go to eBay there are all kinds, new and used, at an affordable price.

See pictures….. http://s213.photobucket.com/albums/cc26 ... menter.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

The pictures is taken in the laundry room in the house witch is an ambient temp between 66F to 69F. (BTW, the wife has LET me use the room for my first folly but from now on, it’s to the cold old shop)

Thanks again to everyone for sharing and making us newbees feel welcome. 8)

      frikz
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      Post by frikz » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:16 pm

      That looks nice. Personally, I just use some insulation foil to keep my fermentor at temperature. When doing my last sugar wash, I wrapped the fermentation vessel with a single layer of insulation foil and that kept temperature at 25-30 deg C during the first few days in 16-18 deg C ambient air. Temperature did drop a bit when the ferment was almost finished, but for me it works well.

      paps
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      Post by paps » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:33 pm

      Hi frikz, I did read that a lot of you use some kind of insulation witch would work in a stable ambient temperature. As I noted the wife LET me set up the fermenter in the house but next time it’s going to be out in the cold :( so I figured I would find a way to control the temp. I think with the insulation wrap and the heating pad it will keep me in the ball park.
      Thanks for your suggestion. :)
      It is amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t know what you are doing!

      PUGIDOGS
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      Post by PUGIDOGS » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:44 pm

      paps, The way I do it is wrap the fermenter with some kind of insulation, I use old sleeping bags then ad a fish tank heater into the mash. They have a temp adjustment right on them and are submersable. Take a little adjusting to get the temp right but after that its set. The bubbling of the ferment circulates the liquid and keeps the temps fairly stable....Pugi
      SHINE on you crazy diamond !!!

      paps
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      Location: Southern Cal, USA

      Post by paps » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:12 pm

      PUGIDOGS, The aquarium heater sounds like a good idea also, but I am so goosey about letting air into the wash and keeping everything clean, how do you fiddle with the adjustments without handling the heater? Just call me paranoid about keeping everything clean and sterile, maybe I don’t have to be so critical, this IS my first time at it.
      It is amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t know what you are doing!

      PUGIDOGS
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      Post by PUGIDOGS » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:18 pm

      They have suction cups on them that you stick to the side of your fermenter. You then leave the the top of the heater just out of the wash. its the part with the adjustment knob on it. Lift lid, check temp, adjust as needed. Once you get it set for whatever temperature you want, mark it, no more adjusting after that. I use 32 gallon rubbermaid trash cans. Pugi
      SHINE on you crazy diamond !!!

      Pikluk
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      Post by Pikluk » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:56 am

      use a small "2liter" bottle to set it to the right temp make sure to unplug it
      before taking it out of the water, once it set you dont have to play with it
      anymore its not like a heating pad it have a thermostat.
      if you use carboy you need to cut the wire to pass it trough the bong rubber.
      and make sure it go all the way to the bottom or the bottom will be cooler then the top.

      Image
      The more you read the more you learn.
      The more you learn the more you realize you don't know shit :)

      paps
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      Location: Southern Cal, USA

      Post by paps » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:39 am

      PUGIDOGS, Pikluk – Thanks for the ideas, I do use a carboy fermentor, both of your suggestions would be a better way to control temp, from the inside, than fiddling with voltage control on the outside. Looks like a trip to the aquarium store.

      Thanks for the picture ( it’s worth a thousand words) I will have to learn how to do that myself.

      Thanks again, paps
      It is amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t know what you are doing!

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