Best temperature control for wash??

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

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Kizzerd
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Best temperature control for wash??

Post by Kizzerd » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:48 am

Right now I am using an electric heater to heat my two 6 gallon washes. I have my fermenters and heater placed inside a makeshift box I made. I just screwed some pallets together to make a box with one side open, put two layers of foam board insulation on each side and have two pieces of foam insulation taped together as the "door." I'm using DADY which likes pretty high temps so I set my heater at 85°f and pointed it in between the two buckets. Wash temperature is holding at 88°f. It's all working pretty well for something I just threw together in an hour. But I can hear the heater constantly cycling on and off. It'll only run for like 2 minutes then shut off but it'll do that every 10 or 15 minutes after the sun goes down. It's all sitting in my garage and the high here has been around 60°f and the lows in the low 30s. But every time I hear that heater kick on I just picture my electric bill going up. I have thought about using aquarium heaters but I've read things about solids sticking to them or not getting good ferments because they kick on full blast to heat the wash and possibly kill the yeast that passes by, as well as un-even heating and other things. I've also read about people swearing by them and saying they'd never use anything else. But I'd like to know of some options out there to be able to control the temperature as precisely as possible. I would prefer to not have something that just has an "on" switch. What are everyone's thoughts?

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Corsaire
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by Corsaire » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:23 am

I turned an old fridge into a fermenting room. It has a heater in it, controlled by an stc1000.

cayars
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by cayars » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:24 am

Another approach you could use instead of spending extra $ to heat your wash/mesh would be to select a different yeast with a lower temperature range.

For example, for whiskey type ferments:
Safale S-04 temperature range is 64-72F but like the low end.
Nottingham ale has optimal range between 57F and 70F (keeping it under 65F will produce much better results).

That can save you 25 degrees F you don't need to heat in the colder months.

Heating the air is probably one of the worst ways to heat your ferments from an efficiency standpoint but the insulated box idea is good.
One way some people use aquarium heaters that are much safer is to have a bath of water around your fermenter and put the heater in that bath. So the ferment is indirectly heated by the water bath. Some people use a 20 gallon brute trash can in a 32 gallon for example. A bucket in a bigger container would work much the same.

Another popular choice is a heat belt. You wrap the belt around the bucket and plug it into an external controller. These work quite well especially when you insulate the bucket or fermenter. You can get different belts for things like automotive batteries to heating stock tanks for farms (keep water from freezing).
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jonnys_spirit
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by jonnys_spirit » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:38 am

I’ll use a cold fermenting lager yeast for winter ferments. I save some cash over that series of runs by harvesting the first generation trub and washing it several times with clean water. Store a wine bottle full of it in the fridge and use about 1/2 cup per mash and grow the pitch colony with mash beer as I do another mash in the run. This brings the total cost of the batch down because I only need to purchase one packet of premium lager yeast for a batch where I may process say ten mash cycles.

Save the warmer ferments and bakers or ale style yeast for warmer seasons.

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WidowMaker
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by WidowMaker » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:32 am

i just use aquarium heater and aquarium filter. works just fine and cost me about 10euros.

Bigvalveturbo
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by Bigvalveturbo » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:07 pm

I use an inkbird itc308
Inkbird ITC-308 Digital...
And this:
Cozy Products FW Electric Foot Warmer Mat

Keeps a 32 gallon brute at 85 in my 60 degree basement no trouble

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RC Al
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by RC Al » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:24 pm

WidowMaker wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:32 am
i just use aquarium heater and aquarium filter. works just fine and cost me about 10euros.
What are you using the filter for? circulation?
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StillerBoy
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by StillerBoy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:40 pm

Kizzerd wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:48 am
It'll only run for like 2 minutes then shut off but it'll do that every 10 or 15 minutes after the sun goes down. It's all sitting in my garage and the high here has been around 60°f and the lows in the low 30s. But every time I hear that heater kick on I just picture my electric bill going up.
You're right on the hydro bill.. those types of heater do use lots of energy to run..

And 88*F is a little on the hot side, 85*F is the preferred temp for the yeast you are using..

And here's how I'm set up.. elevated 30" platform with 1" styrofoam under the shelf, with a dimer switch controller for the heat belt, and insulation.. maintains what ever temp I want..

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WidowMaker
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by WidowMaker » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:40 pm

RC Al wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:24 pm
WidowMaker wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:32 am
i just use aquarium heater and aquarium filter. works just fine and cost me about 10euros.
What are you using the filter for? circulation?
exactly. so the yeast doesnt burn on the heater. well, stripped the filter from all the elements, just left the pump as it is.

Tabucowboy
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by Tabucowboy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:54 pm

I use the inkbird and these



Works great keeps the temperature right at about 88 f

A lot cheaper than any fermenter heating mats.

Dan Seavey
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by Dan Seavey » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:52 am

Bigvalveturbo wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:07 pm
I use an inkbird itc308
Inkbird ITC-308 Digital...
And this:
Cozy Products FW Electric Foot Warmer Mat

Keeps a 32 gallon brute at 85 in my 60 degree basement no trouble
This. I love inkbirds.

Connect it to a bucket buddy or two and it's really excellent at keeping consistent temps.
I have the Bluetooth version that keeps my curiosity in check.

Dan

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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by seabass » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:00 am

I also use an stc-1000 which is basically the same as the Inkbird. It controls a chest freezer and a ceramic 40w reptile heater lamp that I put in a pot so it doesn't melt the side of the freezer.

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Deplorable
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by Deplorable » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:48 pm

Tabucowboy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:54 pm
I use the inkbird and these



Works great keeps the temperature right at about 88 f

A lot cheaper than any fermenter heating mats.
This is what I use for a 6.5 gallon bucket without the inkbird. upgrading to a 30 gallon HDPE barrel fermenter, I'll use two 48 48"X20" mats and an Inkbird.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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shadylane
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Re: Best temperature control for wash??

Post by shadylane » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:42 pm

My fermenters are SS with a water jacket.
A STC1000 controls the heater and if needed cooling water flow.
It will hold the fermenters temp to within 1 degree year around.
Yeast really likes constant temp :wink:
The bottom of a fermenter is the best place to apply the heat.
Convection currents from the heat will help keep the fermenter stirred up

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