Fermenting In A Catering Urn (water boiler)

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Grizwald
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Fermenting In A Catering Urn (water boiler)

Post by Grizwald » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:19 pm

Hi folks, following on from this thread (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67522), I'm looking at temperature-controlled fermenter options as I brew (and ferment) in my garage that can get a little chilly this time of year.

I have been thinking about using a thermostat-controlled catering urn like this one here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burco-MFCT1030 ... B004EAERSS

I was wondering if anybody had tried something like this for temperature-controlled fermentation and tif here are good reasons why I shouldn't bother?

Cheers in advance :D

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HTH1975
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Re: Fermenting In A Catering Urn (water boiler)

Post by HTH1975 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:57 pm

Temperature control from 50-98C. Not gonna work as temperature control for wort I’m afraid - much too hot.

Grizwald
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Re: Fermenting In A Catering Urn (water boiler)

Post by Grizwald » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:51 am

ARGH - thanks HTH.

Completely misread that! :)

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Jocky
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Re: Fermenting In A Catering Urn (water boiler)

Post by Jocky » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:07 am

In that kind of situation you might be better off building a little fermentation box (e.g. using celotex insulation board) and then putting a soil heating cable or some other low wattage heat source inside it along with an inkbird temperature controller to turn it on/off.
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Kev888
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Re: Fermenting In A Catering Urn (water boiler)

Post by Kev888 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:55 am

The urn is also about 100 times more powerful than required to directly warm the fermenting wort - so even with a replacement thermostat it would be hard to control closely enough (they often have rolled seams instead of hygienic welds, too).

So yes, IMO go for something more conventional - such as a fermenting chamber/fridge, or heat-belt or immersion heater.
Kev

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Re: Fermenting In A Catering Urn (water boiler)

Post by bitter_dave » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:01 am

Might be an idea to insulate the fermenter with an old thick duvet or similar if you use an immersion heater

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Re: Fermenting In A Catering Urn (water boiler)

Post by lord groan » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:28 pm

I had a similar problem a few years ago. Basically what you need is a box wth a safe heat source and a thermostat. I started by using an old cupboard big enough to hold the fermenter, then I put an old central heating thermostat in the cupboard and wired my old Boots brew belt to that, a lead from the stat came out through a hole in the side and had a 13a plug attached.
Very very basic with very limited temperature control but it actually worked really well. Kept the brew at about 20-22c continuously.
My second fermenting box is a fridge with an STC1000 to control the fridge and a heating cable. This gives much more accurate control (and can hold 2 fermenters)
The heating cable I use is this one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Complete-Fle ... :rk:1:pf:0
I got 1.5m and cable tied it to the bottom wire shelf in the fridge, the shelf wire heats up and helps give a fairly even heat spread. The fermenter sits on the 2nd shelf. The cable itself reaches 80c so don't have it in direct contact with a fermenter, the fridge wall or your skin.

hth

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