Right out of the box the controller's heat outlet set point was set to 78F, so I lowered it to match my yeast's target fermentation temperature of 70F. Next I checked to see that the heat outlet's differential temperature was set to 1F to let the controller know it should energize the heat outlet whenever the temperature falls to 68.9F. The heat outlet's delay set point was already set to 5 minutes to prevent the heat outlet from cycling on and off too often.
The default set point for the cool outlet delay was set at 5 minutes and matched the heat outlet's set point. The cooling outlet's differential temperature set point was to set to 1F to let the controller know it should energize the cold outlet whenever the temperature rises to 71.1F. To control the temperature inside a refrigerator a 100 watt light bulb, or a 32 watt Fermwrap heating element, are plugged into the heat outlet of the controller and the then put inside the refrigerator. With the refrigerator 's power cord plugged into the cold outlet of the controller when temperatures fall too low the heat outlet will turn on as the cold outlet turns off.
|Paint Can Heater With 100 Watt Light Bulb|
The average daily temperature where I live has been bouncing around between the low to mid 20's to upper 50's for the past few weeks and I've had no need to use the cool outlet at all to maintain a 70F set point. The controller turns on a 100 watt light bulb to power the paint can type heater sitting inside a foam lined fermentation chamber, when ever the temperature falls more than 1F below the 70F set point. The chamber is basically a finely crafted wooden cabinet, that I built myself, that's been insulated with three inch thick high density foam board top, bottom and sides. The chamber sits inside my brew room, in an unheated but insulated garage, that has been hovering between 55-60F all week. The 100 watt light bulb heater has output more than enough heat to maintain the perfect 70F temperature for the WLP-400 Belgian Witbier yeast and the foam insulation holds the heat in so well the heater hardly ever turns on.
|Stopper, Thermowell, Probe And 100 Watt Clamp Light Heater|
For the DIY'ers out there BrewsBySmith sells all of the parts needed to build and wire their complete Fermentation Kit. The STC-1000+ controller, stainless steel thermowell, temperature probe, fermwrap, rubber grommet, pre-machined case, outlets, power cord, 10 amp time delay fuse, optional tricolor LED and complete DIY instructions. Basically you get everything needed to build a complete Fermentation Kit except having to pay someone to assemble it for you. It's a great DIY project that will provide you with accurate temperature control over your fermentations when used with a freezer, refrigerator or to increase the functionality of a wooden fermentation chamber like the one I use. For the folks like me who would love to take on another project, but can't seem to find the time needed for building their own, BrewsBySmith sells the complete STC-1000+ Fermentation Kit delivered to your door already assembled, tested and ready to use.
|The BrewsBySmith Fermentation Kit Modernized My Fermentation Chamber|
Love the paint can idea, as I have recently seen photos of melted fridges! I might need to add this to my want list. Maybe when my current two stage controller dies?ReplyDelete
Joe the paint can heaters are as safe as turning on a light bulb and do a good job providing just enough heat to maintain temperature without much overshooting.ReplyDelete
Since posting the original article I have also laid the FermWrap underneath the fermentors to provide additional heat and reduced the diameter of the 'paint can' so it fits in between both fermentors. The Irish Red Ale finished fermenting in about 10 days and the hydrometer samples tasted really good.