A couple of questions for you all. I’ve torn down my entire brewing operation while we finish off our basement. Huge project, but I’m getting what is going to be pretty close to my dream home brewing setup out of it (3 20gal kettles, all electric heat, inline temp control…). The brewing process is going to be pretty sweat. But, it’s left me to do a lot of thinking about the fermenting process.
2 things have come up:
1.) now that the basement is fully insulated, my perfect, year round 65 degree fermenting basement is no more. Now it’s more like 75 degrees and fluctuates more in the fall, spring and summer. More comfortable in a finished space, but not good for fermenting.
2.) with all the brew kit I’m going to have, why would I not make an upgrade to my fermenting process at the same time.
I’ve used fermwraps (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/elec … eater.html) for years when I have a yeast that likes to be a little warmer than 65 degrees or when it gets really cold outside and the basement temp dips slightly. So my idea was to build custom fermenting enclosures with 2" XPS foam and plywood. I’d cannibalize the cooling works from an old mini fridge to turn the enclosure into a fridge. Then wrap my carboy in a fermwrap, and plug the wrap and cooling enclosure into a dual stage temp controller (http://morebeer.com/products/ranco-digi … ?site_id=5) so I can maintain a specific temp inside the carboy. Plus I can use this for cold crashing my beer and lagering and not futz with the temp of my fridge with the kegs (and leave more room for finished beer!).
Here are my questions:
1.) Is the idea above stupid? Are there flaws I’m this that I am missing?
2.) Temp monitoring… I’ve used a thermowell stopper (http://morebeer.com/products/stopper-th … ?site_id=5) in the past to drop a temp probe into the middle of my carboy. When I need to use a blowoff tube, I tape the probe to the side of the carboy and put some bubble wrap over the probe to help insulate it. This works, but I know my temp is off by a few degrees. I’d like a more elegant solution to be able to use a blowoff tube and still have my probe on the inside. Any ideas?
3.) For all the cool stuff Northern Brewer offers, why have they never sold a dual stage temp controller? Are these not as great as they sound for my application?
Thanks for the advice!