Off grid fermentation temperature control?

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brewpete
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Re: Off grid fermentation temperature control?

Post by brewpete » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:54 pm

What about a parrafin anti frost heater in a kingspan box with a 25l fement bucket

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rpruen
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Re: Off grid fermentation temperature control?

Post by rpruen » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:07 am

brewpete wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:54 pm
What about a parrafin anti frost heater in a kingspan box with a 25l fement bucket
That might just work, obviously it would take some tweaking as to how much ventilation, and how much heat to use.

I get the feeling it would get way too hot, but is cheap.

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Richard

brewpete
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Re: Off grid fermentation temperature control?

Post by brewpete » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:14 am

Drill holes in the kingspan to regulate temp and stuff them with something if it gets to cold ???

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Kev888
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Re: Off grid fermentation temperature control?

Post by Kev888 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:36 am

I'm sure that paraffin or gas/LPG heaters could be used, but it might get more involved if the implementation needs to be safe (especially in a box) - wrt things like fire risk, venting spent gasses and accidental flame-outage - and an air supply would be needed for the thing to work in a small (possibly even CO2 filled) space. Personally I'd also want some automatic means to avoid over/under heating the wort, if the aim is for reasonably well controlled fermentation conditions.

So depends on the situation and intention, really. Perhaps something designed for use in caravans (rather than e.g. greenhouses) would have enough sophistication for an easier/safer installation. There might even be an argument for insulating the whole shed and heating that, if it is fairly small to begin with.
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Kev888
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Re: Off grid fermentation temperature control?

Post by Kev888 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:36 am

On another note and FWIW (as I realise this may not apply to other situations).. I too have limited space since a change in circumstances meant moving to a small flat, and have managed to ferment in quite small spaces inside.

The key thing in my case has been to ensure there can be no leaks - and then it can be done away from the kitchen, offering more options. I've swapped to fermenters that seal reliably enough to employ a blow-off tube to direct any excess krausen into a small bucket, and to be splosh proof when moving them about. After a couple of near misses, I'll next be moving away from FVs with taps, to avoid that potentially disastrous possibility of leaks or human error. I've also sat them in plant-pot trays whilst fermenting, just in case of the odd drip whilst fiddling with things.

All the cleaning, filling and racking is still done in the kitchen, so batch sizes these days are kept small enough to move, which also keeps space needed to a minimum. So far it has gone well, though it does need a bit more presence of mind to avoid accidents.
Kev

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rpruen
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Re: Off grid fermentation temperature control?

Post by rpruen » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:54 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:36 am
I'm sure that paraffin or gas/LPG heaters could be used, but it might get more involved if the implementation needs to be safe (especially in a box) - wrt things like fire risk, venting spent gasses and accidental flame-outage - and an air supply would be needed for the thing to work in a small (possibly even CO2 filled) space. Personally I'd also want some automatic means to avoid over/under heating the wort, if the aim is for reasonably well controlled fermentation conditions.

So depends on the situation and intention, really. Perhaps something designed for use in caravans (rather than e.g. greenhouses) would have enough sophistication for an easier/safer installation. There might even be an argument for insulating the whole shed and heating that, if it is fairly small to begin with.
I know a possible solution to heating the whole shed, a diesel powered space heater, as used in camper vans, would do it. It is however not a cheap option but is thermostatic. These things are not a fire risk if installed properly, they use combustion air from outside so CO2 won't be a problem. They run off a 12v battery, and possibly use as much power as heating a well insulated bucket, as there are fans and electronics to run the burner.

I would still favour the heater pad, with solar panel. I have a solar system already though.

I did some experiments with my well lagged FV and a 25w demijohn heater pad will keep the temperature at 20C easily. It switches on for longer than the 200W heater pad, of course. It does show that you can heat a FV with very little energy, and my FV is in the lean to porch (effectively outside). The only advantage I have is mains power.

Regards

Richard

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Jeltz
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Re: Off grid fermentation temperature control?

Post by Jeltz » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:16 pm

Thanks all, some great ideas but in these uncertain times I've decided to put these plans on hold and not spending any money unnecessarily. So i'll brew with a lager yeast soon and see how that goes.
Rega

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