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The Inkbird ITC-308 is the go-to for a lot of us around here. And it's cheaper than the one you linked to. I've got one myself, and it hasn't let me down yet.
There's a meadmaking style called Bray's One Month Mead (BOMM), which uses Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale yeast. While not a wine yeast, Belgian ale strains tend to do well at temperatures outside the norm. Supposedly you can get a drinkable mead within a month using this method, but I'd still give it a bit longer. Someone else already mentioned Lalvin 71B, which has also worked well for me in a similar warm weather state. You'd still want to do the swamp cooler method of putting your bucket/carboy in a tub of water with a towel over it to get some evaporative cooling going. Even better if you've got a small fan to blow on it.
Now, if you're willing to dedicate that fridge full time to fermentation, you can get this thermostat for fairly cheap to regulate the temperature.
You don’t really need a light bulb. CHE will suffice. And the inkbird brand I mentioned in your other thread is good.
Here’s one on sale
Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller Outletsmoker Thermostat, 2-Stage, 1100W, with Sensor Reptile Beer Brewing Kegs Fridge Cured Meat Breeding [link]
Can you get portable air conditioner? Hose goes into window. Sometimes they are on sale. It could be cheaper than a chiller. In Lowes, HD or CanadianTire.
If there is cool basement, moving all there for the summer could a way to solve the problem.
I also have seen somewhere online description of DIY chiller: canister filter was placed into Coleman plastic insulated outdoor cooler, filled by ice to the level, that keeps optimal temperature in the tank. Filter hoses could be insulated by foam pipe insulation, tubing or wrappable, from hardware store.
If fan can help, Inkbird on Amazon makes temperature controller that turns on fan when temperature in above set by you temperature.
Just went through the same issue. My AC got the room way too cold if left running, and I wasn't about to go out and buy a new one with temp control. I bought a cheap controller off Amazon that has worked great. I set the DH to about 5-10% lower than what I would want the tent at and it keeps it just right.
Can confirm, I have one for my casita, a professional one from 1960 lol, rusted too hell, ,works fucking great ,and I calculated the wattage usage per day at around $30/mo for cooling a 500sqft space in the peakk of the summer (it basically never turns off for a week, lol)
aside from the hottest humid days, it can get too cold too easily! I had to buy a temperature regulator from amazon
Use anti mosquito stuff in the water tank...
Absolute worst case scenario, you can buy an external temperature controller. This one is pretty commonly used in the home brewing community and works great.
A crockpot with solid state controls and a $35 temperature controller works fabulously. Leave the crockpot power on, put the temperature probe in the water and let the controller turn the power on and off. I've used something like this for years with excellent results.
I'll just quickly add, I've always been fairly careful and I've dropped two glass carboys, the second of which cut my hands up very badly, so I fully swore off them
I glanced over a lot of replies and will just echo a lot of people - I'd recommend buying a kit from somewhere. I would recommend getting at least an 8 gallon kettle, and if you really want to do lagers then get a chest freezer off craigslist and an inkbird temp controller ([link])
If it cools down at night where you are, the cheapest option is a window fan and a temperature controller like this one
I hacked 2 window fans together and a plywood spacer and that controller and it works great, but I live in Canada...
Yep! Temp regulator. I just ordered this one: [link]
Congrats! Adding onto what the others have mentioned, just to make sure, you're regulating your heat source(s) with a thermostat right?
If you're not, I highly recommend unplugging the heat for now and ordering one of these from amazon so your new baby stays safe.
One intake and one exhaust? And, is your ceiling only 5' (can't be, with 1000w HPS)?
Assuming you are using both to exhaust the room and cool the lights, I'd put the lights on a different circuit from the filter. Then duct they together with a Y-fitting under the floor. So:
This is what you want and it's on sale right now.
I zip tied the probe to a full bottle of water and set it at 39° with a ten minute compressor delay. Water bottle sits on the "hump" of the compressor and the probe wire just sits between the seals on the lid and body of keezer.
I tried to mess around with the stock thermostat and could never get it consistent either. Not worth the time when this is only $28 right now and works great.
This is the one that I use (Inkbird ITC-308):
I have it and an anova. I like the inkbird for multi-day cooks because I don't like hearing the anova's motor running for days. Also, having two sous vide options is good for planning if I'm going to sous vide vegtables and meat for the same meal.
I cooked a chuck roast at 131 for 3 days with the inkbird in a crockpot. It worked very well. You want the crockpot on hot setting with water until it gets close to the target temperature, then turn it to the "keep warm" setting. On keep warm, the crockpot + inkbird kept it consistently at 130-131 the entire time.
Buy an Inkbird Temperature Controller. I also worry about this, but since I've installed these for my tanks it's like a weight off my shoulders. You basically plug the heater into it, and once the thermometer built into the device reads that it's at your desired temperature, it cuts the power to the heater. It's a great device for peace of mind.
Just to put your mind a little more at ease though, I think heater related fires are very rare, and probably because someone wasn't using it correctly or heating their tanks too much. I've heard great things about Hydor 50W (and I'm actually using the 25W right now with no controller). You're fine. :)
Oh okay I understand is this the one you have?[link]
I was so confused to how the thermostat and the heater work together lol, but I guess you just plug the UTH into the thermostat and it does all the work for you. Cool if that's the one you have it looks really good. I may pick that one up!
Edit. So for a 20 gal. an 8W UTH should work fine?
What is the temperature range you are dealing with? If your ambient temperature doesn't get too high you might be able to get away with just using a carboy heater and a temperature controller to keep it from getting too cold.. If your ambient temperature gets too high then a fridge might be your best bet. Check out this temperature controller and pick up a cheap carboy wrap. Plug the fridge into the cooling outlet and the wrap into the heating outlet. You can keep it + or - 1 degree F with this setup.
Are you running more than the 1000w ballast on the timer? As long as you aren't going past the 15a rating, I would think any timer would be fine. And I can't think of how you'd go over. . .except maybe if you were trying to control your ballast, hood-fan, and intake/outtake all on one device.
If that's the case, get a programmable thermostat and run the intake/outtake using that.
Most likely, you just got a faulty timer. Which sucks.
That looks like it operates based on the air temperature around the outlet, right? So if you were using it for a chest freezer, you'd need to run an extension cord into the freezer, and then run the freezer's cord inside itself. That seems pretty ugly compared to their probe-based controller, which can do both heating and cooling. I have that one and it works great. You wouldn't have smartphone integration but I'm not sure how valuable that really is.
You're talking about a ferm chamber, not a keezer, right? You don't need to drill at all. For my ferm chamber, all I did was buy a freezer at Costco, then plug the freezer in to the "cold" outlet from my Inkbird, then plug the Inkbird in to the wall outlet. Then I taped the probe thermometer from the Inkbird against the side of the carboy in the freezer with some bubble wrap.
Basically, the Inkbird measures the temperature of the carboy, and when it gets too warm it activates the freezer to turn on and start cooling the beer. When the thermometer registers that the beer is now at the correct temperature, it turns off the freezer.
Really simple setup, there's no real assembly required.
That being said, if you do want to drill through a fridge (to build a kegerator/keezer setup, or whatever), you're almost always safe to drill through the door, and basically anywhere where there isn't the compressor or the coils.
My lagering chamber is a chest freezer with a temperature controller and a little heater.
With this I can do the primary fermentation in the 50's, raise it up to the 60's for a diacetyl rest, and then drop the termperature down into the 30's for the lagering. The lagering just refers to letting the beer sit for a while at very cold temperatures, which is supposed to allow all the gunk to drop out and leave a clear and crisp beer. I've got two batches lagering right now, which I lagered in the fermenter for a couple weeks and have been in the keg for about 10 days at 32 degrees.
Pull the wiring on the fridge (often under the light), and bypass the thermometer. The the fridge should run then constantly and no longer be effected by "auto-defrost". Next spend $35 on an external controller and set it to whatever range you want to keep the meat at. I let mine fluctuate between 34 and 38F.
Yeah, the auto-defrost on most mini-fridges make it hard to keep a constant temperature. I had to pull the wiring on mine, and loop them to bypass the internal thermometer. Once I had it so it would just run continuously, I then added an External Inkbird Controller that turns the power on and off to keep it within my specified range (34-38F).
Hopefully your new display fridge will be more convenient to keep the temp in a steady range without having to do any rewiring.
You are going to need to use a probe thermometer that records high/low to know the range the temp swings. With auto-defrost, it's a pretty good chance it will swing too high (above 40/41F). I keep mine between 36-38F, but to do it I had to add an external Inkbird Controller, and remove the thermometer from the fridge's wiring. This made it so the fridge would just stay on at all times, and then the Inkbird would turn on/off the power to keep it in range.
Ok, I have done projects like this quite a bit; to get it all rigged up is going to take quite a bit of time. I think you should explore another option: for not much more you can buy a temperature controller that all you have to do is plug in. (see link)
Of course if you are building this because you want to have fun and do it yourself, the other guys in this thread have done a great job of explaining things.
Why would you go through all that trouble when you could just get a controller for the chest freezer itself? Something like this: [link]
Generally curious, thanks!
Just have to have a strong arm, the feezer is at about waist height so the buckets can be heavy but nothing too bad. I can fit one on the floor and then have wood at the same level as the hump filling up the rest of the space. With that there I can fit in two more buckets. I had to build a collar on the freezer in order to get enough clearance for an airlock though.
I have this temperature controller and just tape a sponge to my fermentation bucket with the probe pressed against the bucket under the sponge. Seems to work fine! I also have a muffin fan in there blowing air around to try and normalize the temp everywhere.
Basically I'm wanting to make my kegerator run double duty as a fermentation chamber when I'm out of beer. I was thinking about getting this temperature controller and having it regulate my mini fridge during fermentation and then removing it and letting the fridge's own thermostat take over when there's a full keg in it. Will this cause any problems with the fridge's own adjustable thermostat?
Temperature control was a marginal, nay, Significant upgrade for me. I found a mini fridge large enough to hold a fermenting bucket off Craigslist (after removing the door molding) and got one of these on Amazon. The fridge has about a 2'x2'x3' footprint and is definitely worth finding room for in a small apartment.
brew pi is awesome, but without any knowledge of linux or electronics, I would advise against it.
get whatever refrigerator is cheapest that fit your dimensions and buy one of these
I do but I usually go hiking/surfing and don't spend that much time at home either. I just bought a temperature controller though, gonna hook it up to my crockpot, hopefully the set up works!
Correct the one you linked or [link] will be what you want, you basically plug the fridge into this and plug this into the wall, like a surge protector. It has a temp probe you can stick in the fridge, it stops supplying power once fridge is at a certain temp. These work great for fermentation control as well because they are 2 stage meaning the can controll the fridge as well as a heater so if its too cold they can heat and if too warm they can chill. The one you linked will require some DIY (Wires an outlet and a box) where as the 308, is prebuilt and ready to roll right out of the box.
Pardon my Newbness. I'm preparing to use some temp regulation equipment for my next (or next next) brew and right now I was planning on picking up this inkbird and a ferm wrap for this next brew i need to keep warm. Is the only difference with the unit you have linked that you can have it maintain specific temperatures at specific times of day?
I actually ended up pulling the built-in model and bought one of these. For the cost it was much easier to setup and simple to use. You may save a few bucks building your own but I feel that the temp control override may have been the early death of my last keezer.
You guys/gals need to make some temp controllers from a ranco, or stc1000, I use the stc 1000 on all my tanks. Keeps them within 0.3C. The stc 1000 can be had for around 15 dollars. Can't ever cook your fish if you use one. Worst case it the heater stops heating, or explodes, god forbid... You can expect tight temp tolerance from even cheapo heaters assuming they have enough watts.
Something like this if you are not a do it yourself type.
Inkbird Itc-308 Digital Temperature Controller Outlet Thermostat, 2-stage, 1000w, w/ Sensor [link]
You can use a regular boring old Crock pot to sous vide with, if you get a temperature controller.
I use a 6 qt crockpot. It has to be the manual kind with the knob, not one with fancy electronics and buttons.
I use the inkbird temperature controller.
I plug the crock pot into the controller, the controller into the wall, fill the crock with water and put the temp probe in the water. I try to keep the probe from touching either the meat (too cold) or the walls (too hot).
Not necessary, but I do it anyways, is an aquarium bubbler. I use the cheapest aquarium pump and some hose and a stone. The bubbles help keep the water moving around instead of stratifying into temperature layers.
The Inkbird has 1 degree of temp control. If I set it to 130*, it'll kick on at 129 and off before 131.
Due to the heavy heat holding nature of the crock, I do get a little overshoot. Generally it'll kick on at 129* and kick off at 130* and then over shoot to 132 or so. So basically I can control it to within 3 degrees. So I just shoot a little low on my temps to compensate.
I'm not sure how hot the crockpot will go, but it would keep my ribs at 170* the other day without any issues, and with the higher temp I wasn't getting the overshoot I was at lower temps. I do know that it'll boil soups if I make soup in it, so I'd imagine it would go right up to 212* if I were patient.
I've been very happy with the results I've been getting so far. I'd like to upgrade, but I don't see the necessity unless I want to cook larger stuff that won't fit in the crock.
Went that route 2 times before this was made available.....sealed, no muss no fuss. Plug and play for cheaper then you can build one.
If you want to do something for the fermenter that's fine. You can get by with some water and ice baths, or go full on glycol setup (what I have for my two conicals), but by far the easiest and cheapest is a fridge/freezer and something like [link] . Mini-fridges work, but they can be tough to find ones that will fit a carboy/bucket. Also then you can only ferment one at a time. Craigslist in most towns has good used chest freezers and fridges / stand-up freezers (without coils in shelf) for sub $100.
> cheap hardware store clip light with a 6
Great. Is it good one for me?
Only a brand new freezer will cost you that much. I got mine on craigslist for free. Granted, I was lucky, but you can find a great deal I'm sure. All together, I paid about $700 ($500 for keg stuff, $200 for wood/stain/screws/etc, free freezer).
And I disagree, it is a pretty simple weekend project. All you're making is a ring that fits around the lip of the freezer, and drilling some holes for your lines. Done and done. You can even get a pre-built temp control to make things easier, or build your own if you want.
Is it worth it? I guess that's a subjective question. If you think you're gunna be brewing for a long time, then yeah, it's worth it for sure. If you think this might just be a thing you do every other month or so, then you might want to save your money for something else.
EDIT - For clarification, I'm running a 3-tap keezer, with room for a 4th.
That would be my temperature controller. Freezers arent really good at holding temperatures above.... well... freezing.
So this temperature controller will read the temp inside the freezer and turn off/on the compressor accordingly to hold a temperature that is set by the user. In my case i'm holding it at 35*F.
I'm using an ITC-308.
I don't have a true cellar where the temperature stays constant. I'd rather leave it in a steady temperature range for another month than have it fluctuate wildly throughout the day. I figure it's safer to go that route and then pull it out after it's clarified a little more.
Hm... I didn't know if something like This would work. It goes down to 39F with a +/- of 3F or 5F I cannot remember.
It is a keg fridge. think 39F is ok?
I have heard of sticking issues and I would rather put out the extra $ to not have this problem. I will also look into longer beer lines.
One more question maybe you can answer - I ordered one of the new Inkbird Itc-308 Digital Temperature Controller Outlet Thermostat which wont ship til mid August. I chose this over the STC-1000 as, even though the wiring is not difficult, I fear I will somehow destroy my freezer. Have you ever wired up a temp controller and which route would you recommend?
That would be an issue. The ITC-308 has no reviews on Amazon... Any other recommendations for a pre-built system?
I just got this one off amazon and so far so good. Really easy to install and setup
Inkbird Itc-308 Digital Temperature Controller Outlet Thermostat, 2-stage, 1100w, w/ Sensor [link]
Get yourself an inkbird temp controller from Amazon. It's by far the cheapest prebuilt controller and works wonderfully. I have one and have no complaints. here
Keep in mind that ambient temp can be much different than your beer. A relatively cheap and easy solution if you have the room: a $50 deep freezer from Craigslist (I was amazed at how many I found) plugged it into this , then use this on your carboy.
Drop in your carboy and you’re good to go.
Edit: Woops. I missed the “no room” part. Good luck
Bought a used 7 CFT Deep Freeze.
I am going to get the Inkkbird Controller to control my fermentation.
I am also going to buy a fermenter heater
Should I get this Stopper Thermowell or are they necessary.
I was leaning towards taping my Inkbird sensor to the side of my glass carboy under a beer coozy (Tape > Coozy > Sensor > Glass > Beer).
Also since I now have the ability, I am considering cold crashing before bottling. What's that procedure and is it necessary?
use this instead.
nothing to wire it up. dont know if the mini fridge will work though. let me know if it does cause i have been waning to convert my old fermentor into a freezer
As the other comment said the most common way to do this is with an inkbird controller... https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B011296704/ref=as_at/?creativeASIN=B011296704&imprToken=V9iP6uV0JU6Hflgl4QUAZg&slotNum=31&ie=UTF8&linkCode=w61&tag=hombrefin-20&linkId=241bb1ebf914521f1aabc15b05c84be3
Is this the controller? [link]
I will look into a bigger light, how big is necessary do you think? Also which hydrofarm pruner do you buy, HGPP400? Thanks!
If you need the Inkbird controller link
I have this controller.
For the start of fermentation I place the probe on the outside of my fermenting bucket, cover it in insulated material, and tape the material to the outside of the bucket. That way I have decent idea of the outside wort temp, then like you said I will set the temp to ~5° below the ferment temp I want.
I basically follow Brulosophy's Ale Fermentation Schedule.
You can consider it later. The precise temperature will improve your beer a lot. This one is good enough. [link]
I will definitely go with a real chamber in a chest freezer eventually, but I really wanted to get this one dialed in right now as I will be entering it in an upcoming competition. I'd need the controller anyways, so spending $20 for the pump and heater was with it for me...I'll find uses for them in the future.
For the coolers, I had them already so I didn't count that into cost, along with the wort chiller and hose. But you could get away with a tub of any sort I think, even a cheapo styrofoam cooler.
Controller - $29 on sale
Pump - $8
My post from another question like that, might help you to see what's needed.
From that list the required things are - the keg, CO2 tank and regulator, gas hose, quick disconnect gas side, quick disconnect beer side, beer hose, faucet. You can get picnicking tap.
Here, while not basic, but a list that might help. This is a 4 keg setup. Some items are not exactly needed, for example hose clamps, MFL push to connect (you could just get barb ones), but helpful for disconnecting/cleaning. You can save a lot on faucets - my 4 costed me $280 total all in. You could also get a cheaper freezer.
I got a regulator with 2 possible pressures so I can have carbonation pressure plus serving pressure at the same time - also not a requirement.
You would also need a wrench if you don't have one yet to unscrew the posts on the keg.
I bought this freezerless refrigerator from Lowe's and regulate the temperature using the same item others mentioned here.
Less this one, Inkbird temperature controller.
This one is also OK. [link]
+1 just turned my old freezer into a beer fridge with this here:
Couple thoughts: I would definitely go the keezer route. You can get a big chest freezer that can hold 3 kegs plus a CO2 tank for a lot cheaper than you can a mini fridge. I just saw one on the front page of this sub from costco for $100.
I did the whole fridge (full size) to kegerator conversation and it was terrible. I got an old fridge due to budget and it had a hard time keeping everything cold, it looked junky and recently crapped out on me which is why I have a keezer now. I've also read that drilled holes in the fridge can really impact its ability to keep the temp regulated.
You're also going to want to buy an external temp gauge as well as a fan to circulate the cold air.
I get that budget is important but having a QUALITY kegerator/keezer is more important. Here is why: if you skimp on it, you're going to have a crappy beer drinking experience and you'll be wasting way more money than you saved (not to mention the frustration and embarrassment of serving bad beer to your friends haha I've been there). With that being said, you can definitely make one for $300.
Get one of these and start sous vide cooking with that crock pot:
I hope so. Going to hook it up with this: [link]
It certainly makes things easier. All I did was buy one of these minifridges and an InkBird to control the temp and I was off to the races. I can fit two 3gallon Better Bottles and their blowoff tubes in this setup without any modifications to the fridge.
Edit: crappy pic
Here's my setup, I have two of each of these:
I have a little humidifier, too... but I disconnected it and put it away after a while because it never was needed
The Inkbird is plug-and-play - see here.
I want to get a chest freezer for cold crashing and fermenting with temp control. Do I just need to buy these two items and I'm done?
Is there a safety issue with freezer starting and stopping all the time with the controller? Will the controller's wire going into the freezer not affect the seal badly?
Would this equipment help me at all if I want to start kegging? I don't want to buy a freezer and then suddenly have to buy another one because I didn't consider something now.
I wouldn't call the Son of a Fermentation Chiller completely dumbass-proof, but not too bad :). As a recovering dumbass myself, one thing I'd recommend to take a lot of the difficulty out of it is just getting a temp controller with a plug (this Inkbird is a good choice) and then a computer fan, also with a plug (like this one). No wiring, just measuring, cutting and gluing foam boards together, and only an extra $30 in cost.
Here's the actual pdf for the chiller plans, since the links on the HBA website are all broken.
EDIT: Be sure to read through the plans in entirety if you're using a fan with a plug. You will need to adjust your cuts to the actual dimensions of the fan itself.
I wanted lots of options, so I bought this slow cooker/roaster combo, and this temperature controller.
Works pretty good!
Assuming it really is hitting it's cold setpoint and isn't that it's just unable to get cold enough, get one of these: [link]
Plug the freezer into the cold circuit, put the temp probe in the freezer, and pick a setpoint. Then it'll cut power to the freezer once your setpoint is reached (and if you set the delay/temp-delta it won't rapidly toggle and burn out your compressor). The biggest drawback with that is when it's not cooling there's NO power to the freezer at all, so no door lights, no internal fans, no ice-maker operations, etc. But if that's better than either paying for a ton of unneeded power or buying a new fridge, give that a shot! If you're comfortable around electricity you could take it a step further and only wire this controller into the condenser pump & fan circuits, then it won't cut the rest of the stuff off like I mentioned. That's what I did on my kegerator/fermentation chamber that I built out of a side by side freezer.
I just ended up buying the complete/finished Inkbird Temperature Controller.
It's this controller, but I had a coupon code for $15 off.
A digital temperature controller and a crock pot will work. The one below is ~$40 but you can build one cheaper using an ST-1000 controller.
I bought this off Amazon and it works great with a chest freezer:
They are pretty good
Great plug & play controller with heating and cooling
I just bought one from Best Buy for $169.99. This guy is 33 inches tall with an inside dimension close to 30. It's perfect. Fits 2 fermentors side by side plus a little shelf for other stuff.
I combined that with an inkbird dual action temp controller from amazon for about $40. [link]
I ended up going with one of the "easy" ones that you don't have to wire anything at all. All you do is plug the freezer into this thing, and then plug this thing into your power outlet. Then the Inkbird has a thin wire that you just have to get inside the freezer somehow. It can be just inbetween the freezer and the lid it's that skinny (i think).
The one I got is here:
No way not for beer. All you need is a cheap craigslist freezer/fridge, this controller and this heater. You could put it all together for about 100 dollars, maybe add a usb computer fan for better circulation.
ITC-308 is perfect for brewing. It can control heating and cooling device. Here is the link. You can view the function about it.
this is what I was looking ar
The swamp cooler method (tub, water, swapping ice bottles, old tshirt to wick the water up on the fermenter, fan, etc.) does work with a certain amount of dilligency, but if you're like me and get pulled a million different directions, that dilligency might get strained. I did it for awhile, and if I was super anal about changing out the ice bottles at the exact time every morning and evening, it worked well. For those times I got pulled away, not so much.
With a small investment, you can absolutely take your fermentation to a new standard. For me, the game changer was a $60 used wine fridge off Craigslist (I see these popping up all the time for far less than I paid for mine) and a <$40 Inkbird controller. And when I say game changer, I mean set the controller and walk away never worrying about whether you swapped your ice bottles out on time, perfect fermentation game changer.
The plus on using a wine fridge is that there's no build required like there would be with a mini fridge (no removing the door shelving to make room, no building a collar or shelf, etc), plus the door is glass, so you can keep an eye on things without opening and closing the door all the time.
I use these, they work great and you don't have to wire them. Plus they have a heating side should you ever want to use it on a fermentation chamber.
I use the inkbird and a cheap minifridge I had in college. Works great.
Yeah I was going to use it in coordination with a Temperature Controller to keep it to fridge-like temperatures
If you're doing one gallon batches, consider the volume lost to readings.
Chest freezer and this: [link]
I use this for my 6qt crock pot.
Fill with hot water, plug crockpot into controller, controller into wall, put temp sensor in water.
Something slightly different for the lazy: [link]
I use one similar with an Inkbird ITC-308 to maintain my temps. I'd seek out a cheaper chest freezer though, but this will do the job.
This is a great idea and I am working to recreate it for my situation right now. Just happen to have a hot water heater in the greenhouse that is otherwise not used. After clearing out the mouse who took up residence I started it up and am looking forward to seeing the tilapia eating more again.
To help anyone else looking to recreate this:
Water Pump that can handle <strong>hot</strong> (110 C, 230 F) temperatures
Heat Exchange Metal Tube, 316L
I'll update with some more info when/if I get the chance. I am also going to work on a cooling feature since the temperature control offers this availability, but that's a project for spring, and most likely I won't ever need to use this feature, but better to be safe than accidentally make tilapia soup.
For chocolate you are going to want something that can provide gentle and even heat, and unfortunately that means liquid is your best option.
Electric heating elements near your chocolate are likely going to provide too much heat in too specific of an area, even with something like a ceramic bowl to distribute the heat.
I have tempered chocolate using immersion circulators before, but the water totally scares me too.
The idea of using oil sounds like a good one, so this is my suggestion... Build a crock pot sous vide, like this. and use oil as your medium instead of water and use that as a bain. Because it does not have a motor pushing water/oil around there is nothing to get gunked up by the oil, and with tempered chocolate you have a few degrees where it stays in temper so exact temperature is not too critical. (Also I think you can buy the temp controllers as a single piece now so you don't need to build it your self.)
If you don't want to do that, I second the induction cooktop, oil bain idea. I have used induction burners before and know that you can set the temperature to specific settings on them, but I don't know how accurate they are, especially at the low temps you would need.
Edit: Ready made temp controller, just add analog crockpot.
Not a bad deal if that's all it needs.
You could just wire up an STC-1000 or grab an Inkbird ITC-308. Should do the trick.
The itc-308 [link]
There's a pretty good thread about it on homebrewtalk
Or get this from Inkbird:
Yeah, better to just buy something like this attach it to your crock pot. Add a cheap brewing pump if you want it to circulate.
Its the ambient (outside tent) air a reasonable temp? If so, maybe hook a programmable thermostat instead to your fans. That humidifier is taking up canopy space. No need to have your intake/exhaust on 24/7. . .plants should make plenty of their own moisture.
I just ordered this using Amazon prime haha