Temp controller
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I read the latest issue of BYO magazine about making your own temperature controller. Can you use that with brew belts, and can you plug in multiple belts if you don't exceed the amps? I want to use one to control up to three fermenters. Or, any other ideas?
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449 Accepted Answer
    So, I'm no expert but these are my thoughts.

    I use a ranco digital to control my term wrap which is the same concept as a brew belt. It works great.

    I think you could control multiples but they would probably need to all be set at the same temp.

    I added a thermowell to my set up so I could measure the temp of the beer and controll temp based on that versus ambient.

    I hope this at leasts helps some.

    By the way welcome to the site.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 80,717 Accepted Answer
    Welcome to the site. The only problem I see would be the internal temperature variation of each individual beer. Although I doubt we're talking about more than a couple degrees. Error on the cool side and you should be fine.
    I use a water bath in a big rubbermaid with an aquarium heater. Same effect, more mess.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Some of the guys on here have built very nice Ferm chambers, for what appears to be very little $.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 109,615 Accepted Answer
    I built my ferm chamber from an old upright refrigerator. It keeps temps very well. I went through a lot of different more "makeshift" type setups during my first batches - probably the best of which was a relatively large bucket with a false bottom in it, under which i placed an aquarium pump (oversized for the job, but it was on hand at the time)

    the pump circulated water up from the bottom of the bucket to cascade down over a towel that was wrapped around the carboy. this helped cool the fermenting beer when it was hot out. there was also an aquarium heater in the bucket to heat the water when the temps dipped. overall it was a very effective system. but as CB mentioned... it's a messy approach.

    after that i got my hands on the fridge. that was really the godsend for consistent beers. i used a custom controller to allow both heating and cooling inside the chamber. the heating is done via the tray of an icemaker (which heats to release the cubes) tht i cut the hell out of to make into a radiator, to which i mounted a small fan. overall, the build cost me nothing, as i had all of the parts for the controller and the fan laying around, and everything else was from the donated fridge.

    as for the idea of running multiple heat belts off of a single controller, you can do that. and as mentioned, you just wont have the ability to finely control temps on 2 of the three fermenters. But assuming you pitch roughly the same amount of yeast into similar gravity wort at roughly the same time you should have no problem at all. If you have three beers in very different stages of fermentation you could have a little more temp variation between them than you want as the bio-activity of the yeast actually produces a good amount of heat on it's own.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny