Starting up brewing again and after my first two batches, I think the area I could use the most improvement is control the temperature of the room my beer is fermenting in. This has to do with a) It is Winter b) There is a variety of items which make controlling my home temperature difficult.
I am curious what options I have for making an enclosed box (or insulated fridge) to keep everything at a set temperature.
It can be as simple as keeping it a closet
google fermentation chamber you’ll find a few days worth of reading and youtube vids. enjoy!
It would be easier to control the temperature of an insulated box or tub of water. These are all temp control devices.
This time of year is fairly easy since the temperature you like generally your yeast likes. If you heat your house around 68 keep your fermenter in an unheated closet or next to a window were it will be a few degrees cooler. Wrap it in a blanket. You will need to be more aggressive come summer time.
I will look around. My wife and I both work and our primary heating source is a wood stove. During the day, the temperature can drop to 60-ish, especially in the room (closet) I am fermenting in. It’s not like I have a central heating system where the temperature in my house is constant.
That’s perfect. I use a woodstove also so my heat varies but if you wrap the fermenter in a blanket the temperature will not vary that much. You have to remember the fermenter makes it’s own heat. The other thing I do if if gets to cold is stuff an electric boot warmer in the blanket. A heating pad works also but may get to warm.
Agreed with the above!
The fermentation happening generates some heat, so inside your carboy or bucket will always be a couple of degrees warmer than ambient temp.
I use a chest freezer with a dual stage temperature controller. On the inside for the heat I have a small ceramic element heating fan. It’s by far the best improvement I’ve made on my beer to date. I just tape the probe to the side of the carboy and it reads the temp just fine.
Same here. I used Duct tape, about 6-8" long. I put a second piece of tape about 1/2 wide in the middle of the first piece; sticky side to sticky side, kinda like a giant silver Band-Aid. The result is that when I put the tape on the carboy, That second piece of tape (the boo-boo pad) makes a neat little pocket into which the probe fits nice and snug. It’s even survived several rounds of cleaning.
I’ve mentioned it before, but someone on this forum directed me to an economical solution called a cool brewing bag. Link is here http://www.cool-brewing.com You can order it from online supply stores and avoid paying for shipping.
I’ve used it for my first two lagers and it worked very well – kept my Maibock fermenting at 50F on the nose for several days. I’ve also used it with my fermwrap and Johnson temp controller just in case I put in too much ice, but didn’t need them other than to monitor the temp.
I had thought I’d never be able to brew lagers because I didn’t want to invest the time and money in a fermentation chamber, converted freezer, etc. but I think this is a pretty decent answer for people like me who feel they are approaching the tolerance of their brewing investments. I admit, I haven’t bottled and tried the final products, but I’ve followed the fermentation temperature control protocol recommended, including diacetyl rests, so I’m expecting great returns. I feel like I can do just about any beer I want now – brewing nirvana, in my mind.