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Can a temp controller control 2 heaters?

I’ve got one temp controller and one fermentation heater, and I was wondering if the one controller would control 2 or more heaters with a outlet splitter attached to the controller. I know probably the better way to go is with a fermentation chamber, but I’m currently working on a chamber for lagering, so the other will have to wait. Thanks.

I’m not clear, Are you talking about using one temperature controller to control two heaters that are heating the same space? If that’s the case then theoretically, yes, but practically speaking probably not. The relay (and wiring) in the temperature monitor can only pass through so much current. The thing is; it would probably work just fine for a while, then fail; either by failing to turn off, or worse, by melting and burning.

So in my controller, I used mechanical relays that are rated for 15 amps. I should be fine running a 1000 Watt space heater, but if I plugged 2- 1000 Watt heaters into the same relay controlled outlet, then I’d probably burn-out the relay. On the other hand If my “heater” was a 100 watt incandescent light, I could chain up several of them, no problem.

So how big are the heaters and what’s the load capacity of the temperature controller.

Hi, I’ve got the A419 digital temp controller and the Electric Fermentation Heater. I’m just talking about running two (or 3) fermentation heater wraps off of the same temp controller. I realize the controller has a single thermostat that gets attached to the side of the vessel that’s being controlled, but theoretically, the temperature of the fluid in one vessel will be the same as the temp in another vessel in the same room with the same ambient temperature (~62 degrees F). I’m wondering if it would be ok to get another 1 or 2 fermentation heaters and run off the same temp controller. Thanks.

Like JMck said, it depends on the amp draw of the heaters. Is it listed on the heater? It’s not on the NB’s web site so we can’t tell.

IMO 62* is a perfect ambient fermentation temp. No need for a heater.

That is actually not a great assumption. The yeast in those vessels are actually heat sources themselves. New, active batches put out lots of heat, like people in a crowded party. Once the active (party) phase dies down they produce less heat. If you put the probe on the newest fermenter, the oldest one may be cold. If you put the probe on the oldest, you could make the active batch taste like rocket fuel.

I could show you my temp graphs; despite fairly constant ambient room temp where I keep my fermenter/freezer, my freezer needs to run every 1-2 hours when I add a fresh batch, but ofer the course of a week, drops to running once or twice a day. It really shows how much heat an active batch can produce.

And to what Nighthawk said, ambient of 62 seems awesome. I’m using my freezer to keep the temps DOWN under 65. What temp are you shooting for?

That is actually not a great assumption. The yeast in those vessels are actually heat sources themselves. New, active batches put out lots of heat, like people in a crowded party. Once the active (party) phase dies down they produce less heat. If you put the probe on the newest fermenter, the oldest one may be cold. If you put the probe on the oldest, you could make the active batch taste like rocket fuel.

I could show you my temp graphs; despite fairly constant ambient room temp where I keep my fermenter/freezer, my freezer needs to run every 1-2 hours when I add a fresh batch, but ofer the course of a week, drops to running once or twice a day. It really shows how much heat an active batch can produce.

And to what Nighthawk said, ambient of 62 seems awesome. I’m using my freezer to keep the temps DOWN under 65. What temp are you shooting for?[/quote]
In addition to differences due to activity of the yeast, every heater is slightly (or more than slightly) different, and with one controller you are providing a single source of power to both heaters. There is no guarantee that the power will be divided equally. You could end up with one vessel consistently a few degrees warmer than the other.

From what I understand, the optimal temp for fermenting ales is between about 68 and 72 degrees F. So that’s what I was shooting for. I’m not trying to get out on the cheap, but rather looking for the best way to do things at a decent price point (i.e., not skimp, but also not waste $$). I hadn’t considered the heat produced from the fermentation process itself. Before, I had been putting the wrap on the new batch, but I guess it would make more sense to transfer the wrap to the second one on the bench. …at least until I get a proper fermentation chamber that will house a few batches. I’m still learning. Thanks for all the input and advice. I’m open to any other thoughts you may have. Thanks!

Actually, the ideal temperature for fermenting depends on what style you are trying for and what yeast you are using. In general, most lagers will ferment to the best flavor at around 50, ales that don’t have big yeast-contributed flavors (like most American styles) in the low 60s, many wheat beers in the mid 60s, British style ales in the mid to upper 60s, and Belgian ales in the upper 60s to mid 70s. Saisons can go as high as the mid 80s.

And yes, that is the temperature of the fermenting liquid, not the ambient, so you have to take the activity of the yeast into account.

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