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Mini fridge fermentation chamber? and secondary fermentation

Moving on to build a fermentation chamber with a temperature controller and a mini fridge. I know I want to use this to control primary fermentation temp.

Is there a cheaper solution to controlling the temperature other than the $80 Johnson controller sold on brewing web sites?

Is there a reason to maintain the temperature controlled environment for the secondary fermentor?

If so, I’ll build it big enough for two carboys.

I’m going t build a movable, free standing version of this:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-mini ... ld-256068/

Thanks for the help…DOC

Thanks,

DOC

many would argue that not only there is not really a need to closely control temps for a secondary fermenter, but also not really a need for a secondary fermenter in the first place.

If you are going for longer-term aging, then 50-65 is best, but as long as there aren’t big swings on a daily basis, its not going to matter. If its clarity you desire, prep and add some gelatin to the primary right after fermentation and crash chill in your sleek new ferm chamber or kegging fridge.

As to your first question, I had a good friend who was able to source the controller element somewhere linked over on HBT and wire it relatively easily with a project box and a few pieces from The Depot. I will see if I can hit him up for the site. The $80 you pay for the controllers on these sites is basically so it comes ready to ‘plug n’ play’.

Get ready to make awesome beer. Temp control is tantamount to it.

See my signature line for a $25 temp controller.

[quote=“Pietro”]many would argue that not only there is not really a need to closely control temps for a secondary fermenter, but also not really a need for a secondary fermenter in the first place.

If you are going for longer-term aging, then 50-65 is best, but as long as there aren’t big swings on a daily basis, its not going to matter. If its clarity you desire, prep and add some gelatin to the primary right after fermentation and crash chill in your sleek new ferm chamber or kegging fridge.

As to your first question, I had a good friend who was able to source the controller element somewhere linked over on HBT and wire it relatively easily with a project box and a few pieces from The Depot. I will see if I can hit him up for the site. The $80 you pay for the controllers on these sites is basically so it comes ready to ‘plug n’ play’.

Get ready to make awesome beer. Temp control is tantamount to it.[/quote]

I’m one that disagrees with this statement…sorry. I regularly secondary because I dry hop and I personally have found getting the beer off the cake is a good thing. As you research you will also find some of the pros actually dry hop at higher temps so in that case yes, you would want to control this whether you dry hop in primary or secondary. I myself have not gone to this level yet as I have a perfect basement, 58-60 degrees year round, works for all my IPA’s :slight_smile:

[quote=“GarretD”]

I’m one that disagrees with this statement…sorry. I regularly secondary because I dry hop and I personally have found getting the beer off the cake is a good thing. As you research you will also find some of the pros actually dry hop at higher temps so in that case yes, you would want to control this whether you dry hop in primary or secondary. I myself have not gone to this level yet as I have a perfect basement, 58-60 degrees year round, works for all my IPA’s :slight_smile: [/quote]

Don’t be sorry, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion, and it sounds like your method has great results.

To the OP, I do have to stand a bit corrected. Recent research (I believe in Stan Hieronymous’ Hops) does actually find that for dry-hopping, using a ‘secondary’/brite tank can help you get more hop character. Basically the presence of yeast inhibits the solubility of the oils in hops.

I will stand completely corrected on the point of temperature as well WHEN IT COMES TO DRY HOPPING. I have heard, again, I believe through this newer research that temps of around 70*F do extract more volatile oils/aroma compounds from the hops.

If he is asking should he secondary a Scottish 80/- or a Irish Red or another beer that is not hop-forward, I will stand by my statement that secondary (1) is not necessary, and (2) conditioning temperature does not matter.

Thanks for the replies.

The dry hopping variable is above my level of experience for the present. Building big enough for 2 carboys is only marginally more expensive so I guess I’ll d that.

Looking forward to increasing quality control with better temperature control.

DOC

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