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Pretty sure this is what you are looking for. Plug this I go the wall, set your temp range, put the probe into the keezer (some people put it into a water bottle so you are getting the liquid temps in the keezer), then plug your keezer into the cold side of the ink bird
I can't recommend this temperature controller enough- it's easy to use and also frequently goes on sale on Amazon for like $28 bucks.
As for the mini-fridge, any roughly 4 cu ft mini-fridge would do fine for a fermentation chamber- you can likely find a used one on craigslist for like $40. If it has the freezer compartment on the top, you'll probably need to carefully bend it down (being careful not to crimp the coolant line) so it's flush against the back wall- that will give you all the clearance you need for an airlock on top of the carboy.
Given this, you could get a fermentation chamber set-up for roughly $75. Given the minor modifications that a mini-fridge needs to become a ferm chamber (bending freezer, removing shelf molding from door for more room), I would really recommend you get a used mini-fridge rather than buy a new one.
If you have a little money to spend you could buy a temperature controller and a small heater from Amazon or whatever and set the heater right next to the intake (or in the barrel I guess...). I made an STC-1000 before this existed: [link]. Get a small heater, just have to make sure it is "manual" on, meaning that once it's given power it turns on. Lots of stuff these days is button-press/digital on which is no good; switches are good because they are always on or always off once triggered, know what I mean?
You'll want a temperature controller like this. I'd suggest wiring up a 2-wire computer fan to a 12v power supply to keep air moving in there, otherwise the cold air will sink to the bottom and freeze (if controller is set low enough). I'd also recommend a reptile ceramic bulb plugged into the "Heating" side of the controller to keep your temperatures consistent during fermentation. Tape the controller probe to the outside of your fermenter.
Basically all these wires are fed between the seal and the collar so the less bulky wires the better, or space them out along the collar.
You can do it with this assuming your crockpot doesn't have digital controls(buttons with a digital display vs traditional analog knobs).
Close but what you linked measures air temp. For aquariums you need some kind of submersible probe to measure water temp. On my tank I use a full controller, specifically a Neptune Aquacontroller Jr. These are not cheap but I had this from my old large reef so I reused it.
Here's a cheaper alternative: [link]
I use this connected to a light bulb outlet (disassembled lamp set up though they sell extension cords with light bulb hook ups) in an old styrofoam cooler with a 60W bulb and a fan connected to the temperature regulator. It is really good using very little power (just a light bulb and a small computer fan) and keeps the temp in range pretty well. It only fits a couple bags though, but you could up your yield by getting a bigger cooler than I have.
I hear good things about those big electric urns, I think they're mostly for making huge batches of coffee. That might be a good place to look. If you go that route, you can always pick up one of these inkbird temp controllers to maintain your mash temp.
I use a cooler with a heating pad in it plugged into a temperature controlled power outlet. Probably a few options available but www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B01MDSWXY4/ is a pretty good one. It has an outlet for heating and cooling so you could use a refrigerator in the summer if your area gets too hot.
I use these Inkbird units. They've been solid, and have some nice features (like high and low temp alarms).
They also make the same for humidity, or dual purpose. Might be something that would help your situation. Turn off all fans at night, until humidity hits X%. Can't vouch for that function though--never tried it.
You could always get a temperature control unit on Amazon (Inkbird 308 is one that I got), wait for it to arrive and let your beer sit a bit longer, and then cold crash in that freezer thing.
I cold crashed once so far on my last batch and it was SOOOOOOOOOO much of an improvement that I will totally do it every time.
Turning a mini fridge into a temp vessel is incredibly easy. Buy a temp controller like this and you're done. I get a carboy bung with a thermowell to put the probe in but you can tape it to the side of the fermenter or whatever as well.
I am confused on this, i see these referenced often. Is there a reason people dont put a thermowell in their boiler and use an inkbird temperature controller? [link]
(I am setting up my first system now, I have experience with these controllers from home brew mash and fermentation temperature regulation)
I use the temperature controller to control and monitor the temperature, not sure if you also need one!
Temperature controller. Inkbird ITC-308 temperature controller can auto monitor your freezer temperature.
I'm trying to use Inkbird temperature controller 308 to control the temperature, do you think it works?
I am not sure, i use the inkbird temperature controller but it's NTC sensor.
I bought a cheaper easy pre-wired temperature controller from Inkbird, and it work perfect, not sure if it's available for you.
I would go with this one. You can even use it with a carboy heater in the winter too. If you're making a single 5 gallon batch, I would put the temperature probe directly in the must. I can keep the must within 1 degree using this bad boy.
Hard to answer. . .any decent tent should be able to handle a bunch of negative pressure. I run a couple of cheap Apollo tents (and a couple of more expensive ones that I wish I hadn't paid the premium for), and I can't imagine anything breaking. The sides sucking in is fine, as long as some kind of vent is open.
As far as "enough air into the tent". . .unless you are running really cool lights (great COBs or something), you will need to exhaust air pretty often just due to heat. I use thermostats to tell my fans when to kick on. 75 degrees? no air. 78? kick on and cool till you hit 74. Easy. And I use active intakes on the HID (6" duct fans hooked to the intakes).
I have found that using COBs in winter means I needed to change strategies. Just because my COB arrays don't heat up enough to kick the thermostats on. In that case it's a matter of getting a thermostat controller (sounds like you have one built in) and dialing it to where air runs continuously (or doing an on/off timer), and the heat/humidity stays comfortable for the plants.
If you don't want to bother with microcontrollers and circuits, this is a good solution that someone above posted: [link]
Plug that into the wall, and plug the other end into a heating pad (posted above) and off you go.
Grab an Inkbird temp controller and maybe a space heater, seed starter mat, or a fermentation belt. I have a shitty 120v utility light reflector I use. You can take a lightbulb on a socket and put that in a coffee can with holes (so it doesn't overheat) and drop the whole kit into an unused fridge, freezer.
You can set the temp to anything you want and the device will kick on as needed until temps are reached, and then cycle as needed to maintain. I have a seed starting mat I use. I just wrap the carboy in it, and set up a temp controller.
If you don't have that, an incandescent light bulb in a housing will do the trick if you have a box for your fermenter to go into.
I think the Inkbird comes in a variety of plugs and voltages. The one I linked is the North American / Japan Type A/B plug 120v.
I have a very similar setup for beer / mead / cider fermentation. I use an Inkbird 308 temperature controller. It handles both heat and cooling and has a temperature probe. It doesn't require any wiring or setup and only costs $35 on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B01MDSWXY4
I'm not sure if there's a UK version but if you're in the US it's the easiest solution for temperature control.
FWIW, the steam above a pot of boiling water is at /about/ the same temp as the boiling water. But the reason the idea isn't bad is that the steam has a way lower thermal mass than the condensed water, and will transfer heat more slowly to the print than the water would. So it's not a bad idea! But, it's also not that controlled - about the same as hitting it with a hair dryer carefully, which is to say, probably takes a ton of practice.
For really tight process control, the slow cooker is a good base, combined with something like this to dial the temperature in and hold it there tightly: https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B01MDSWXY4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1542821990&sr=8-3&keywords=temperature+controller
$35 might be a little steep for a one-off project, but I've found having one of these around the house pretty useful. I made a filament dryer with a rubbermaid, one of these, and a hair dryer that worked GREAT (still haven't written it up though)
This is what I use
Fridge's temperature controls are crap and incapable of controlling temperatures for ales, and inadequate for controlling temperatures for lagers or cold crashes.
You need a digital temperature control. You plug your fridge into it, you tape your temperature probe in the fridge, and you plug the control into the wall. Leave your fridge on the coldest setting and this will power your fridge on based on your set temperature to accurately control temperature within a couple degrees.
Complete solution: [link]
Or you can do what I did and scavenge a computer cable and wall outlet and build one out of something like this: [link]
These are perfect for:
1) Finish dropping the temperature after brew day to achieve perfect pitch temp.
2) Controlling the bloom after the pitch
3) Controlling the fermentation temp for both Ales and Lagers
4) Cold crashing before you keg/bottle.
As a bonus, you can flip these into heating mode, wire up an element and use it to control mash temperature in a recirculated mash scenario, or to just make perfect sous vide.
same price on Prime right now too
Me too, I have the INKBIRD ITC-308 temperature controller, it help me a lot, love it.
I've been planning a keezer to hold 6 Ball locks
360$ 10.6 CU
I need 4 more kegs 239$
2x 3 way gas extension kits 80
6X Perlick 630SS 324$
I know I need more stuff but the total is 1,032$
Do you think this Inkbird ITC-308 temperature controller is suitable for you?
Just a long "straight walled" thermowell that runs through the carboy stopper. There are stoppers that you can buy but with two holes (one for the airlock one for the thermowell) but I just took a drill to a standard one hole stopper. I prefer blowoff tubes, so I think I'm going to head out to homedepot and pick up some pvc to rig myself up something that allows me to use a thermowell and a blowoff tube.
But I have an inkbird temp controller and a cheap heat wrap.
Honestly, although im relatively new to this I determined that ferm temp control is the best thing you can do to make ok beer. First batch I did with a carboy, wet towels, etc...It was drinkable but I got off flavors all over. Next was in the keezer with the thermocouple taped to the side and no heating, better, but my 3rd batch with the thermowell was by far my best (I'm sure not only because of the keezer setup but because of practice).
I've heard that the temp difference between the beer and the thermocouple strapped to the side can be pretty considerable, especially during vigorous fermentation. If you have the extra $30-40 bucks, I would recommend doing the in beer thermowell from the get go.
I had a nightmare of an experience having mine delivered, and subsequently returning it. I didn't have a vehicle I could fit it in so I had to ship it back. Being as nice as possible because I have done my share of call center work and customer service, I was still hung up on multiple times, never emailed me the return lable, never got anyone to assist or care on the phone, couldn't get an exchange until it had been shipped back and received, so another 2-3 weeks for a replacement and I said nevermind, just give me back my money. Their customer service (at least over the black friday and subsequent christmas season was absolutely abysmal.) Along with other situations, I've sworn to never buy anything from bestbuy ever again.
The door hinge is plastic and was broken on arrival, and it was from being in their warehouse-- not UPS. When you'd open the fridge, the door would just fall off. The box it was in was smushed from the top corner with the same marks that that box left on my kitchen floor, so it was clear that they were stacked in the warehouse.
Having to return it was another issue as well. I had to repackage the box which was one that has the fridge sit on a pallet of cardboard and styrofoam and cardboard, and has nylon straps that hold the whole thing together. Except you have to cut those to put it back together. So I just duck-taped the shit out of it and gave it to the UPS driver as he was delivering packages.
UPS said they've CONSTANTLY had issues with them being returned and all have the same problem.
I ended up buying a chest freezer from home depot and building a collar and making that into a keezer for around ~$450. All you need is the kit from AIH, wood, tools, and a temp controller.
Put in another $50-75 for wood and you're pretty much set. Also with the keezer, you can either sell the whole thing if you get tired of it, or you can take the collar off and sell it just as a freezer-- it's non-destructive.
If you're just wanting to get it done and have it ready, go for it. You'll still need the kegs as well. So depending on how much you get those for you'll probably be ahead with the keezer.
I would just caution you to look at the product reviews on their site, as many of them detail the damage that happens, either from shipping or storage at their distribution center.
Just get something like this and a cheap immersion heater, Crock-Pot, or hotplate. Will work much better and be a lot easier.
Its really not that hard.
Inkbird itc 308
Heater or any other 200-300watt heating element that wont burn down your shed. Not a fan of brew belt, but might work good, just make sure to stick the probe on the fermenter or make a thermowell.
Now you just need an insulated place to put it all, old fridge is perfect, since in the summer time you can use to to keep the mash cool. But guess you could also insulate some kind of box/closet or just build something out of plywood/styrofoam plates pic
I've not yet built a still, but been brewing beer for a few years, and the ability to control fermentation can lead to a cleaner product, which I would guess makes a mash with less nasties.