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Fermentation chamber ready for beer--temp question

I have my upright fridge set up as a fermentation chamber using a Johnson controller. I plan on doing a Dry Stout using Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley yeast. I’ve never had a way to control temperature before, so what do I set the temp to? This yeast claims to have a range of 62F to 72F. So, start at 62F and then raise to 68F or 70F after a week?

Thanks.

I set my temp controller at 60… The temp of the wort/beer will be a few degrees warmer than your chamber.

I too start at 60 degrees for two weeks and then room temp to finish up.

My MOFC is in the basement, where temps are in the low 60’s anyway. So I usually chill my wort to just at or 1-2 degrees below my desired ferm temp. My chamber is very efficient and I can keep on top of the ice, as long as I don’t run out of ice and let it get away from me.

For example:

I brewed two batches on Saturday. Waldo Lake Amber and an IPA. Both to be fermented at 68 degrees. I chilled a bit too low, actually, since it was cold and rainy outside. I pitched yeast at about 64, and left the ice chamber empty for the first day or so. I’ve noticed that even with the fan off, the ice will chill down the chamber quite a bit. So I just let the wort free-rise as fermentation starts. Once it got bubbling pretty well, and the temp rose close to desired temp, I added two tubs of ice.

It held really nicely at temp for two days. Yesterday I checked and saw that fermentation had slowed quite a bit, and the temp had dropped back down a bit to 67. I pulled the ice tubs, and they were only about 1/2 melted. Back into the freezer.

I just checked now, and they’re holding steady at 68 degrees as primary fermentation subsides. So this batch is an example of how efficient a MOFC can be, in optimal conditions. I’ve easily brewed lagers in the winter with mine, although I lager in the kegerator.

I have a digital Johnson temp controller with the probe on one fermenter, and for the second fermenter I have an indoor/outdoor thermometer for monitoring only (not wired in to the Johnson). That second probe is nice even when I’m just fermenting one batch, to see the difference between beer temp and recirculating air temp in the chamber.

Now you can really geek out! Temp control is key! Enjoy your new unit! :cheers:

Things are going well. I placed my stout wort in the chamber set to 64F yesterday. Today the fermentation is calm enough that I don’t need my blow off tube. So, I replaced it with my airlock. Nice!

My wort temperature is also about 64F. I don’t see any temperature rise.

In any case, in a day or so, I’ll raise it a few degrees.

Honestly when I use my temp controlled chamber/keezer, I don’t see much jump in temp of the fermenting beer either.
Now when ferment at room temp, I will.

[quote=“brewingdan”]Honestly when I use my temp controlled chamber/keezer, I don’t see much jump in temp of the fermenting beer either.
Now when ferment at room temp, I will.[/quote]

I keep this setup in my garage and it’s supposed to get into the 30’s tonight. I hope it doesn’t get too cold since I don’t have anything to heat the chamber. I’m hoping keeping the door closed will keep the heat in! Otherwise, I may need to run out a buy a heating pad or something! :shock:

[quote=“devils4ever”]
I keep this setup in my garage and it’s supposed to get into the 30’s tonight. I hope it doesn’t get too cold since I don’t have anything to heat the chamber. I’m hoping keeping the door closed will keep the heat in! Otherwise, I may need to run out a buy a heating pad or something! :shock: [/quote]

That’s why our fermentation freezer is in the house.

In the summer months. It would be okay in the garage, but in the winter and early spring, the outside temp is much colder than the desired internal temp…and, by definition, a freezer doesn’t heat, it freezes. So I have always been wary about keeping it in the garage while its too cold.

Though I have read about people who put a small heat lamp inside their chamber and use. That during cold months and use the compressor during hot months.

a 100 watt light bulb in the freezer works well for the heating cycle in winter a two stage controller is the best choice for garage ferm chambers.

I have no choice but to leave the fridge in the garage, no room inside.

I put a seed germination heat pad in the fridge this evening to see what would happen. The temperature started to rise right away. A little too fast.

This is a 90 W unit, so I guess this is too much. I’m guessing that I need less than 25 W. Maybe, I can use a light bulb (shielded to not expose the wort to the light)? I figure if I can just have the fridge run once in a while, I can just leave the bulb on all the time and not use another temp controller.

Are there any mechanical engineers out there that can calculate this? I know there a lot of variables such as heat loss, outside temp, etc. But, anyone take a shot at this calculation?

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