View Full Version : Temperature Control Fermentation Chamber

06-29-2016, 06:51 PM
A great end to an otherwise awful day:
Ferments just got more consistent around here!

Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:

06-29-2016, 08:49 PM
I'm guessing you are planning on putting the temp probe in a 2 liter bottle or gallon jug full of water to better regulate the temperature. Left outside in the air the compressor will cycle too much limiting the life of the freezer. A small fan inside the chamber to circulate the air is also a good option as the cooling coils are usually at the lower 1/3 and the air near the top will be several degrees warmer.

Dan Mc
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06-29-2016, 09:10 PM
I'm performing testing now. I plan to insulate the probe and attach it to the side of the most active fermenter. Beer boards seem to prefer this method. Also, it seems the fans don't really do much if you use a heat sensor to test. This is all heresay from other individuals I've spoken too though. I will do my own testing of course.

Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:

09-07-2016, 10:16 AM
I have a similar setup (same controller) and it works well. One thing that you will find, is condensation on the inner walls. I use one of these https://www.amazon.com/Eva-Dry-EDV-500-E-500-Eva-dry-Dehumidifiers/dp/B000H0XFD2/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1473257623&sr=1-3&keywords=eva to help soak that up. I also wipe down the walls every other day with paper towels.

I keep my probe next to the lower third of the fermenter.

09-07-2016, 06:13 PM
Whats up guys,

I have the Ranco Temp Controller, it can only either cool or heat at one time (you would have to switch heating/cooling devices and also digitally switch it on the controller as well). I ended up getting a ~20 cubic foot chest freezer to fit my 60 liter speidel fermentor and use a thermowell (https://morewinemaking.com/products/hood-thermowell-65-gallon-threaded-neck-carboys-15-1.html?site_id=8) so I can have the probe getting the exact temperature of the mead.

The chest freezer cools the mead very quickly, which is nice, but there is always residual cold that continues to cool the mead past its desired temperature, usually by 2-3 degrees. For example, if I want the mead to be at 70, I set the differential as low as it goes to 1, so once it hits 71 it starts to cool to 70 which it hits very quickly (shutting off the freezer cooling), but then continues to over cool to 67-68 degrees. I put two layers of camping ground pad beneath the fermentor to try to slow the cooling down and make the temp swing less drastic, but that doesnt seem to do much. This temperature swing usually takes about 8 hours, so while the temp swing is bad, at least the compressor isnt constantly having to cycle.

I thought about sticking the probe into a bucket of water instead of the mead. The pro's to this would be less time to cool to target temp, which means there would be less over-cooling. The issue with this (besides a faster comperssor cycle rate) would be the mead itself wouldnt get cooled to the target temperature, especially during the height of fermentation; the mead would be hotter than the bucket of water until the amount of heat being produced from fermentation is negligible. To fix this, I would have to take temperature reading of the mead, compare it to the tempeature of the bucket of water, and then adjust the Temperature Controller as necessary. (Ie, I might have to set the probe temp in the bucket of water to 68 degrees to have the mead hit 70 degrees) This would have to be done fairly often I suspect: as the rate of fermentation slows down, so would the amount of heat the mead is producing, so this adjustment is constantly changing. Unfortunately with my job I dont think I can go this route.

Has anyone out there experienced this issue before and have any recommendations? A refrigerator with gentler cooling would have been better, but I couldnt find any with the right size/price. I have read that temperature swings are bad, but if its only 4-5 degrees over the course of 8ish hours is that something to worry about? Thanks!

09-07-2016, 11:36 PM
I'm having great success by taping my probe to the side of the carboy. The freezers initially stayed on for an hour or so, but once my cellaring temp of 55F was hit, they barely come on. I have two of them which are either aging or fermenting chambers. When I bottle, I turn on the big a/c to get the ambient temp down to 60 or so so as not to shock the mead.

Temp control and Fermaid O has improved all my meads exponentially. I'm using Johnson Control's A419 Digital Temp Controllers on the freezers.

I'm willing to try a side by side comparison of the probe in a 2 liter bottle vs taped to the carboy. The freezers are identical units.