Temp Controllers: Smokers, Fermenters, and Mashes, OH MY! #homebrew
December 19, 2012 Leave a comment
I’ve been playing with temperature controller ideas for a while. But the need really came to me this spring.
One of the many advantages of living in the Pacific Northwest and brewing beer is that we basically have ale fermentation temps year round. Bit cool in the winter, move the carboy inside. Bit hot in the summer? Find a cellar room, or wait a day for summer to pass. So unless you are lagering, the pressing need most homebrewers have for temp control doesn’t hit until you want to dial a beer in, or you are a gadget freak…
Last spring my wife decided to go look at smokers. I was thrilled! Paleo diets for spouses are awesome to induce this kind of behavior (previously she did not like BBQ, let alone smoked meats and veggies). The only problem was I knew this would invoke a 5-6 hour research project for me, and it did. I spent the time reading reviews on sites like Amazon and I found a simple hierarchy to smokers:
- Gas/charcoal — Better for chicken since it can go higher temps, worse for fish
- Electric — Better for fish, harder for chicken, but easier to control the temp.
- Temp Control
- Time Control
- Remote sensing
- Multiple Thermometers
- Temperature Range
That’s when it hit me, I have need for temperature control for brewing (Mash temps, natural Lacto souring, Saisons), as well I wanted to start cooking sous vide, and I already made a remote temperature sensor for the hot tub. So clearly I just needed to make a temperature controller that would meet all of these needs and then make it remote accessible! Well 6-7 months later, I’ve succeeded 🙂 More in future blogs.