Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

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Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby Lesgold » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:50 am

Hi folks,

Nothing new here but I thought I’d show you my old fridge that I use to control fermentation temperature. I’ve had the unit for years for warming honey in buckets when it crystallises. I found it to be ideal for keeping a 30l fermenter at a constant temperature over the winter months. Wish it was a bit larger so that I could hold two fermenters at the one time. The setup is quite simple. An STC1000 controls two 40w spot lights and turns them on and off at a predetermined temp.
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Built a simple wooden box to house the unit and fitted a double power point to the back of the box. This power point is turned on and off by the controller.
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Inside the fridge 2x 40w spotlight globes supply the heat. A 12v computer fan (powered by a plug pack) circulates the air and provides a more even heat.
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As you can see, I’m actually warming a couple of buckets of honey at the moment. When I use it for fermenting, I simply remove the shelf and the fermenter slides in nicely.
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It’s getting harder to find suitable bulbs these days with everything heading towards LEDs but the big green shed keeps these.
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I prefer to use two small bulbs to spread the heat a little rather than having it concentrate in one spot. If you have a qualified sparky as a mate, he could wire all this unit up really quickly. Playing with 240v is not a good idea and it would be safer to leave it to the experts. Hopefully this may give a few members some ideas. This is an inexpensive build as much of the stuff I used was second hand. The STC1000 can be picked up on flea bay for under $20.
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Lesgold
 
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Re: Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby RC Al » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:24 pm

Nice one mate, been keeping my eye out for kurbside collection fridges, havent had much luck

Might want to brace that top shelf a little, wouldnt want honey though your light globes lols
RC Al
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Re: Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby gad » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:38 pm

I have the same sort of set up but use a 60L fermenter which fits nicely. Old fridge, motor removed.
Have a heat belt around the fermenter which is turned on & off by the temp controller which I made from a very old compter power box.
Also have another on a smaller box for a 25L fermenter.
fermfridge1.jpg
fermfridge2.jpg
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Re: Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby Lesgold » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:03 pm

Thought you’d notice that RC Al. The bottom shelf is braced but the top one just bows a bit but has never given way. Thought about putting a 60l fermenter in the fridge by lowering the bottom shelf. Moving the fermenter when full then becomes more of an issue. How do you handle it gad? Filling the fermenter, aerating the wash, racking off etc would then require a bit more planning. Interested to hear about your methods.
Lesgold
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:42 pm
Location: NSW south coast
equipment: Pure Distilling reflux and pot. 2” modular CCVM/ 1150mm column, 50l boiler with 2x 2400w elements.

Re: Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby gad » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:27 pm

Hi Lesgold
I usually only have my 60L filled to 48L & syphon most out, straight into the keg, then move it up onto my sink bench & run the rest out through the tap & a small tube.
The bottom of the fridge has a peculiar bottom & I've had to cut a piece of plastic pallet out to level it out, leaving it a little high off the ground.
I use these $12 Bunnings Molly's to move things about. Only need to lift the fermenter up a little off the molly & slide it in when full.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/syneco-580-x-290-x-100mm-movers-dolly_p3962033

IMG_20200628_140824.jpg

IMG_20200628_140904.jpg
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gad
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: Canberra, ACT
equipment: pre 2005 - 25L Reflux / Pot Still,
Mar 2019 - 1.5" Reflux Still.
Aug 2019 - 2" self built Reflux / Pot still.
50L Keg boiler.

Re: Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby Lesgold » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:24 pm

Thanks gad. Thought you would have something like that to ease the heavy load.
Lesgold
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:42 pm
Location: NSW south coast
equipment: Pure Distilling reflux and pot. 2” modular CCVM/ 1150mm column, 50l boiler with 2x 2400w elements.

Re: Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby tubbsy » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:42 pm

I've got one too, but built my own cabinet using scrap stuff I had lying around. Holds 4 of the pictured 30L barrels. Insulated with 3.5 fibre glass wall bats only. Currently powered by a 60w globe which is able to maintain a temp about 20C above ambient. Feel a bit dumb now, but not sure why I didn't just put 2 lights in for more heat. Oh, well, still can if I want, but I have some 100w globes on the way.

Also have a couple power outlets inside, one of which is wired up through the STC-1000. I've used it to plug in a small travel hair drier to get temps >40C for drying my malted wheat. The other 2 outlets are constant power for a fan or something like that.
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Re: Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby bluc » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:37 pm

Looks awesome tubsey :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Temperature controlled fermenter fridge.

Postby Lesgold » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:58 pm

Sweet. Simple and effective. Well done Tubbsy. Getting a few fermenters in there is a real advantage.
Lesgold
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:42 pm
Location: NSW south coast
equipment: Pure Distilling reflux and pot. 2” modular CCVM/ 1150mm column, 50l boiler with 2x 2400w elements.


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