Ideas to control beer temperature please.

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I have a controller, which will switch on a cooling or heating socket, and some years ago it was used in a fridge with some bulbs one socket turned on bulbs if too cool, the other the fridge if too warm.

However Morrisons did a beer at 90p for 4 cans, and although only 2% it was not really worth all the effort to home brew, so fridge/freezer dumped. But two things, one beer price gone to £1.74 and Coronavirus means I am not going out, have two kits in stock plus the sugar required, so started first one yesterday.

However for heater to work need a cupboard or some thing, and no way to cool, except I have a spare bathroom, so idea was fill bath with water at 20°C and it would maintain the beer temperature, but it failed, this morning brew at 16°C far too cold.

So trying to think of a method to keep it warm, best if some thing which can be switched on/off with the controller. Any ideas.
 
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Get a heating belt or pad from a brewing site and use with a blanket or just a blanket and close to a radiator like a tent.
A good automated set up is silly money but the rad trick works for me.
 
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However for heater to work need a cupboard or some thing, and no way to cool, except I have a spare bathroom, so idea was fill bath with water at 20°C and it would maintain the beer temperature, but it failed, this morning brew at 16°C far too cold. So trying to think of a method to keep it warm, best if some thing which can be switched on/off with the controller. Any ideas.
Most people I know who brew beer (or make wine), seemingly successfully, seem to do nothing special about heating/cooling, just doing it at the normal ambient temp within their house. Does that not work for you?

Kind Regards, John
 
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I also thought very little would be required, but this morning at 16°C clearly too cold, below the house in a garage which has been converted into a flat, although now just used to garage the push bikes, seemed ideal, however clearly too cold, though of using a standard lamp and bulb and draping with a blanket, but fire risk too high, clearly if no Coronavirus it would be easy, but debit cards not working, the bank when phoned just says connecting than goes to continuous tone, so have cash but can't use it and enough in bank and can't access it, so has to be some thing in stock.

Looked at a table food warmer, but at 1 kW bit on the large size, so walking around the house looking for inspiration. It has stayed at 22°C all day, 2°C too hot really after warming it in the sink, so will see what it is tomorrow morning.

Once brewed of course I will drink same amount as before, but likely 5% instead of 2% so the government minimum price on alcohol means my intake with likely double.
 
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I also thought very little would be required, but this morning at 16°C clearly too cold, below the house in a garage which has been converted into a flat...
Why not in your kitchen - which is presumably generally reasonably warm?

Kind Regards, John
 
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The difference in yeast performance at 16 Vs 20 degrees is likely to mean not much over the course of the fermentation.

As long as it starts at a decent temp, the yeast will be active, and prevent wild yeast or bacteria taking hold. Once it's going, it should be fine at 16ish.
 
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A heat belt and controller need not be silly money, think I paid about £8 for a belt and £10 for a controller - If your interested just say and I can see if I can find them on e bay.

I brew in the garage, made an insulation box out of 2" Kingspan that sits over the FV (brewing bucket) even when garage temperature is down to near freezing the 30w heat belt is only 3 or 4 hours a day. I keep the brew between 20 & 21c. The steadier the temperature the better.

Have a brew underway at the moment - I do about one a month, this is a shamrock stout with a bottle of golden syrup chucked in to give it a bit of umph.
brew_0597.JPG


the heat belt is under the tin foil to help reflect heat into the brew

And here is the insulation box
brw_0690.JPG
 
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Had I got a heat belt, or even my old demo under floor heating tile it would be great, but I have what is in the house only. This morning went to kitchen and 16°C, once the central heating and sun warm it up OK, but looking at the idea of a simple bulb, but need to use in a way not to cause fire, so today's protect.
 
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worked in Saudi-arabia, villa had A/C so used fish tank heaters (obviously cound not put anythingouside in the sunshine
 
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Last night used the simple approach, I lent my pet yeast my jacket, airlock sticking out of the neck, and this morning still at 19.8°C and having good anaerobic respiration so don't actually need any heaters is seems.
 
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Last night used the simple approach, I lent my pet yeast my jacket, airlock sticking out of the neck, and this morning still at 19.8°C and having good anaerobic respiration so don't actually need any heaters is seems.
at the first part of the fermentation it can keep itself warm, surprising how much heat they will generate. I have noticed with mine that the heat belt can be on for well less than an hour a day in the first few days, then into week three it can be on 4+ hours a day.

the dangers in allowing the temp to fall to <16c are at the end of the fermentation. temperature as low as that will cause the yeast to go dormant, but when the specific gravity is high the fermentation will spark back up when you raise the temperature. The danger comes near the end when specific gravity is say <1020. It just may not start up again and you could be left with a stuck fermentation.
 
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Some just use fish tank heaters. Usually all that is needed in the uk. Needs rather a lot of them for those that brew beer in a dustbin. Maybe an immersion heater and one of the many available temperature controller would do for that sort of thing. I doubt if the ones in these heaters would go low enough. Given that they have a fair amount of power a PID kit style one would be a good idea. They come with the controller, sensor and also triac type device to do the power switching.

When it's built up. Fill with water and run the controller in it's calibration mode. That sets it up for the volume that is being heated.
 
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Well lifted up on three bricks on the stainless steel sink with and 11W CFL although it reports 14W under the formentor controlled with a thermostatic control fed through an energy meter and it is switching off, so seems it is reaching the 20°C set, still wearing my jacket.

As said I am isolating as being venerable, so could only use items in stock, once the isolating is all over I will collect my heating tile and get an old fridge or freezer to brew in again, but it takes around 2 months before you can drink the beer once started, and by that time I would have run out of stock, so if going to last a year, I have one more kit, so 12 ml glass per week!
 

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