Temperature Controled Insulated Box - need advice.

CrealCritter

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So, if I'm reading the specs correctly... I could plug a light into it, and set it for 100*F. And it would hold that temp inside the box within +/- 1* of that temp? Do you realize how stupid simple it would be to build an incubator with this? Not that I need to... I already have 2. But... why would anyone buy an incubator, when they could MacGuyver one... and not even need to pick up a screwdriver??? I'm loving it!
Yep... It's programmable to plus or minus 30 to plus or minus 1 degrees. So min 2 degrees and maximum 60 degrees. It's a nice and EZ temperature controller, for sure.
 

Chic Rustler

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I've never done exactly what your doing and I'm not familiar with the components...except the space heater. I can tell you that your gonna have a hard time hatching eggs because of over shoot. by the time the element cools off the temp will rise a few degrees over set point. I had to choke mine down to 150 watts.
 

flowerbug

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interesting. looks like an overseas supplier as the website has some language problems (and the manual too), but i hope it is a good quality controller.

i'm not familiar with cooling as much as i am with heating. to smooth out the heating needs it helps to have some thermal mass along with the insulation.

if you have a well you could probably use cool water from the well for some cooling but it won't get you down to 35F.
 

CrealCritter

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For lagering beer you should start out @ 55 degrees and "step" the temperature down 3 to 5 degrees, preferably every 24 hours. Until you reach a final temperature right above freezing and hold for at least 4 weeks. This causes most of the old yeast to become less active and settle out on the bottom of the lagering vessel and die. thereby naturally clearing the beer and making it smoother tasting. The temperature decrease ensures greater yeast viability of healthy yeast. Than if you just cold crashed (no temperature drop steps). There are many other benefits to lagering also, but I won't cover those here.

Most all lager yeast instructions and recipes just say lager @ 35 degrees. But experience and further study tells me the step approach is best to ensure a higher % of yeast viability, if I want natural carbonation (which I do). Viability is also important at the end of the lagering phase because you rack the beer off the trub (dead yeast and other nasty stuff) and into another clean and sterile fermentation vessel. You then add a small amount of fermentables back into the beer. Then seal the fermentation vessel (could be a bottle) which causes fermenation to restart, producing a little more alochol and CO2 (carbonation) that we all know and love in beer. This fermentable addition & fermention restart is call priming, of course you can over prime and create bottle bombs or under prime and have flat beer.

Most all commerical breweries, cold crash, filter to sterlization (.5 micron) and force carbonate with CO2 gas, much the same way soda is carbonated. Have you heard the marketing gimmick "cold filtered" before?

I also could force carbonate, since I do have CO2 setup. But again experience tells me the addition of fermentables to create natural carbonation, also creates just a little more flavor. Besides, for these German style beers, I'm following the purity law for German beer of 1516. Where beer can only contain 4 ingredients, water, barley, hops & yeast. Forced carbonation of CO2 gas is not allowed, but it is a natural byproduct of fermentable barely malt addition, I mentioned above.
 
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CrealCritter

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Hi
I've never done exactly what your doing and I'm not familiar with the components...except the space heater. I can tell you that your gonna have a hard time hatching eggs because of over shoot. by the time the element cools off the temp will rise a few degrees over set point. I had to choke mine down to 150 watts.
Hey there man, thanks for the reply. I think I have the box dialed in for lagering but may need to change the temperature controller program for incubation. The temperature controller is a slick little plug and play unit.

I had to set my temperature differential to plus or minus 2 degrees, else the cooling fan and cermaic heater were fighting each other. What I mean... Is when the heater would kick on it would warm up to about 1.7 degrees over the target temperature. This would cause the cooling fan to kick on when I had it set to 1 degree over target temperature. The cooling fan would initially blow air though the cermaic heating element and raise the temperature even further. Then it would cool to about 1.5 degrees below the target. But by setting both heat and cool to 2 degrees above and below target it's fine now. The cooling fan doesn't kick on unless I lower the target temperature.

Like I said it's a slick little unit and highly programmable, it even has an adjustable compressor delay, so you won't burn up a compressor. Not to mention programmable low and high temperature audiable alarms.
 

Lazy Gardener

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When incubating, I kept fan going all the time (computer fan). with the first build. Temp stayed steady. In the second build, I found that there was too much temp fluctuation with the fan, so... I ended up converting to still air at around day 14. Still had a good hatch.
 

YourRabbitGirl

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Yep... It's programmable to plus or minus 30 to plus or minus 1 degrees. So min 2 degrees and maximum 60 degrees. It's a nice and EZ temperature controller, for sure.
That sounds so nice, Where can I get one? I know that my dad will be surprised if we have one. :D:D:D
 
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