Another step toward better beer

March 5, 2006 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I decided that my fermentation temps flucuate too widely. The corner of the kitchen that I was placing the fermenter in varied from mid-50 temps to mid-60’s, depending on time of day (set-back thermostat takes house temp to 65 degrees or so during the night) and outside temperature. I didn’t realize how wide the variance was until recently, but I knew it wasn’t stable enough. Better beer requires better control of the temperature that the beer ferments at, and I basically felt that I had little or no control.

With that in mind I got on Freecycle.org and began my search for a chest freezer. I think it took about 3 days to find the one I wanted. It was still available, so for the great price of zero I picked up the main part of my temperature controlled fermenting chamber. It;s old and heavy, but at 19 cubic feet it’ll hold a lot of beer!

Finally, yesterday, I bought a thermostat to construct the temperature control unit with. I looked in the Grainger catalog and found a line-voltage thermostat that is rated for 22 amps for the low price of $15! I went during lunch and picked it up. Later when I took it out of the box to check it out I discovered that it has a terminal for normally open AND one for normally closed. Heating or cooling…super!!

Tonight I built it.thermo001.JPG

In the picture the plug from the freezer is plugged in the cooling side, as the outlet is devided and the top receptacle is cooling and the bottom is heating.

More later

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Entry filed under: Homebrew Stuff & Notes.

How to tell when a homebrewer’s wife is on vacation More on the temp control

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