What are you doing about temperature control?

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jat147

What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by jat147 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:17 am

Howdy,
I'm keen to not repeat the pain of last summer when quite a lot of bad tasting brews went
down the drain. After reading Chris White's Yeast book, I can see why keeping FV temps is
of great importance. He says that you're better to brew extract with good control, than AG
without any due to the flavour threasholds(?) of some compounds created at just a few degrees
higher than normal.
Question is, what can we humble - but fussy - home brewers do to keep FV temps low when the
sun is blazing down? I've made some cracking stuff over the winter, and dont want to pack up
until the autumn comes around. Is a fridge the best option, US brewers seem to use them widely?
Cheers/

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floydmeddler
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Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by floydmeddler » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:25 am

Lots of people use fridges with temperature control. These little temp control units have been a real hit: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=30074&hilit=+digital

I don't have the room for an extra fridge sadly...

calumrobertson

Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by calumrobertson » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:28 am

Yes i was the same last year re issues with brewing when the temperature around the Fv was too high, definately created some dodgy tastes in the beer and wasnt sure what it was down to but from advice on here it seemed to be as a result of the temperature being too high.Now that ive created some beers over winter they are much cleaner.
The only way i can see to keep fv temps down is use a temperature controlled fridge although due to space i cant do that so resigned to only brewing early / late in the year now and i keep the fv on the floor in a darker room to try and keep the temps as low as possible

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Kev888
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Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by Kev888 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:46 am

+1 for the fridge; mine is a freecycle job, and combined with a 60w pipe heater from tool station it keeps things as i want them summer or winter and has improved the consistancy of my beer more than anything else I can think of in recent years. In addition to the mini temperature controllers the ATC 800+ and TC-10 from forttex seem quite popular controllers too - more expensive but faster postage than from china etc.

Cheers
Kev
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EoinMag

Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by EoinMag » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:52 am

I had a fridge with an ATC-800+ attached to it, which had the fridge plugged into the cold circuit and a heat belt attached to the warm circuit. The warm circuit rarely if ever comes on. That fridge broke down about ten days ago while I was brewing a lager, so I had to buy myself a second hand chest freezer, it's a large one and is not very pretty, but it is now successfully cooling my lager to lagering temps, set to 2c +\- 1c and is doing a sterling job. I paid 100 euros for the fridge, I would have preferred not to, but I had to move the lager into the fridge at 10c, being our main kitchen fridge, my wife was not so impressed, but it's a huge fridge so food was still fitting in there. I would not have been able to use the same fridge for the lagering phase though as it would have simply frozen everything in the fridge and caused me problems...mainly with getting none cos my wife would have been annoyed with me.

Some type of temperature control is essential and is the best initial change you can make to improving your beers.

boingy

Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by boingy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:50 pm

As above I use a freecycled fridge but before I got that I was pondering bodging something together based on my flash chiller.
And in my madder moments I've wondered whether I could bury an FV in the garden to keep the temperature down... :shock:

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Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by Aleman » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:46 pm

I've used the python circuit of my product chiller to cool the FV via a stainless product coil in the FV . . . I use a TC-10 / Mini Digital Temp Controller to maintain the temp . . . . Once the brewery shed is complete though I'll be building a Temperature controlled box from Celotex/kingspan do do the work as my 110L conical is a PITA to insulate any other way . .. . anyone know how to calculate the way to cut material to fit a 60 degree cone?? :( . . . . Armaflex is too expensive to waste otherwise

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Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by Kev888 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:41 pm

Not sure if its of any use, sounds like you may be doing something a bit different, but this is mine:
Image

The only thing I've done in the past cone-wise is to cut a circle with the same radius that the cone is long (or as long as it would be, were it not truncated) and take a wedge out of it, such that the remainder of the circumference is the diameter of the widest part of the cone - theres undoubtedly some mathematical formula for that but sadly i know not what it is.. If in doubt I use some card/paper to make sure its okay and then use that as the template.

Having gone a bit pale over the cost of sleeping mats and armaflex, I was having a go at wrapping an offcut of 'rigid' 25mm celeotex around a barrel last weekend. It seemed like it may have some mileage but that was only a thin strip and I've yet to try a barrel-sized piece; probably will in the next week or so. I doubt it would manage the radius at the pointy end of the cone though..

Cheers
Kev
Last edited by Kev888 on Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kev

Wolfy

Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by Wolfy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:49 pm

Old fridge, Freecycle is good, and a mini-digital-temperature controller works well for me.
Only problem is due to fridge-geometry, so I have started fermenting in square/jerry cans so I can fit more in the fridge at the same time.

EoinMag

Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by EoinMag » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:37 pm

Kev888 wrote: Image

Bloody show-off ;)

seriously, nice setup well done on the DIY front. :)

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Kev888
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Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by Kev888 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:21 pm

EoinMag wrote: Bloody show-off ;) seriously, nice setup well done on the DIY front. :)
Well, its my latest creation, so couldn't resist the opportunity :-) I just hope the old fridge doesn't conk out too soon - it'd take a couple of hours to swap it over now its all cut up and sealed in.

But getting back to the OP, before extending the fridge I used it for quite some time just with an added wooden support for the wire shelf to help it take the weight of an FV, the pipe heater and a heating/cooling temperature controller.

Cheers,
Kev
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Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by Normski » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:39 pm

+1 for a Fridge with a 60w pipe heater and an ATC 800+.
Works a treat all year round and its in a shed too. Mine can fit 2 x25l FV's. I've replaced the shelves with wooden ones.
The Doghouse Brewery (UK)

EoinMag

Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by EoinMag » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:58 pm

boingy wrote:As above I use a freecycled fridge but before I got that I was pondering bodging something together based on my flash chiller.
And in my madder moments I've wondered whether I could bury an FV in the garden to keep the temperature down... :shock:
That's actually a great idea, an insulated hole in the ground would be great, I'd imagine it would get you a good few degrees below ambient.

symptomlesscoma

Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by symptomlesscoma » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:38 pm

Or you could just buy some liquid yeasts that can cope with/will benfit from warmer temps.
Thats what I'm doing over this spring/summer as I have no temp control.
just started brewing Belgians, got a few Wit/Weizens planned and when it gets really hot, Saisons.
Saisons can cope upto 35c according to Wyeast website and get raved about on here.

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Re: What are you doing about temperature control?

Post by 6470zzy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:55 pm

Aleman wrote:anyone know how to calculate the way to cut material to fit a 60 degree cone?? :( . . . . Armaflex is too expensive to waste otherwise

It is explained rather well in this interesting webpage that I read the other day :-k
http://hbd.org/brewniversity/engineering/conical/

Cheers
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