Fermentation Chamber: Building & Components Overview
We all enjoy sipping a nice, cold beer. What we don’t enjoy is shelling out huge amounts of money for a 12-pack or overpriced pint at a bar. Beer is expensive to drink, but you can get it in much higher quantities at a much lower cost if you brew it at home.
Homebrewing is a phenomenon in which people brew their whiskey, wine, and beer all in the comfort of their own home. What’s better than getting tipsy off the fruits of your labor? Besides it being your own reward, it’s also a cheap way to enjoy high-quality alcohol–if you know how to make it right.
Thankfully, lots of guides exist on how to start homebrewing today. This guide will give you an overview of the equipment you will need to start brewing beer, as well as instruct you on how to set up the necessary fermentation chamber to ferment your yeasty water.
If you want to start fermenting beer, the first thing you need to do get the right starting equipment for building a fermentation chamber. This may include a thermostat, temperature probe, basic fermentor, wiring, insulation, and conical fermenter to ensure the right alcoholic fermentation temperatures to ferment beer perfectly and produce gallons of your favorite kegs of beer:
Before you even start to brew our favorite kegs of beer, you need to make sure all your equipment is sterile. If not, bacteria can get in and ruin the batch you worked hard to make. Sanitizers and scrubbers are a safe bet, as well as Powdered Brewery Wash.
This is what you need when you are preparing your yeast for brewing. Here are instructions on how to boil your yeast and create wort (the strained liquid that will eventually be fermented into beer). You will need a kettle to do your boil in and a wort chiller to quickly cool the boil and pitch the yeast. An alternative to a wort chiller if you don’t want to get one is to simply take your kettle and put it into an ice bath.
Hydrometers, hydrometer jars, and thermometers are a part of this category. Hydrometers read the sugar in a solution, usually through gravity points. Hydrometer jars are tubes you fill with wort to measure the gravity. Thermometers measure the temperature throughout all of this, a vital tool for any brewer.
You will need a source to put the brew in. This can be simple plastic buckets, airlock bags, or thin-necked glass or plastic jugs known as Carboys. Though plastic jugs will be cheaper, they also scratch very easily, which allows bacteria to get into hard to reach places. Bacteria can cause your brew to smell and taste like vinegar, which you probably don’t want. Most cleaners can’t disinfect scratches on plastic—just a note when you’re choosing the container for you.
Bottling and Transferring Equipment
Unless you want to drink your beer straight from the jug, bottling is a must. To do that, you will need the right transferring equipment: Siphons, funnels, and vinyl transfer tubing. And you should probably cap your bottles if you want your beer to stay fresh and guarded against bugs and other contaminants. For bottling, you will need 12 oz or 22 oz bottles, bottle caps, and bottle cappers. Everything to ensure that you can transport your brew from the brewing vessel to a six-pack case without letting a drop go to waste.
Ingredients Lists and Kits
This is the yeast you will need to make the brew, as well as instructions on how to prepare it.
That’s just a broad overview of the things you will need. Here’s a more detailed list of essential brewing equipment.
Once you get all the tools and prepare your wort, you can start the fermentation process. This process will require a close monitoring and control of the temperature. If the temperature goes awry during fermentation, it can influence how the beer tastes, how quickly it attenuates, and even whether or not your beer can give you a headache or make you sick. This is where a good fermentation chamber comes in. It’s an easy way to control your brew’s temperature. Best of all, it’s easy to make yourself.
The materials you need to build your fermentation chamber are:
This keeps the brew at a cool temperature, as well as providing storage for the brew. You can use a regular standing fridge, mini-fridge, or a chest fridge. Just know that you should be providing more space than you think you’ll need for the rest of the equipment.
This is so your brew won’t be too affected by temperature fluctuation. The Inkbird Dual Stage Controller is the best recommended tool for this job as it is easy to use and can hook up to the heating and cooling systems at the same time.
It can kick in when the temperature dips too low. The temperature controller can tap into the heating unit to stabilize the temperature.
Though not required, it helps keep the temperature of the air even, protecting against pockets of really hot or cool air.
To build the fermentation chamber:
- Install the heater into the fridge. Depending on what heating system you use, you may need to drill into the fridge to connect it to a power source. If you do, be sure to insulate any holes and ensure against air leaks.
- Create a place for the cords to run through. This is necessary for the Inkbird probe, as well as the fan (should you decide to use it). If the cords are small enough, you may be able to simply run the cords through the door of the fridge. If they’re not and require drilling, still be sure to seal the air hole.
Once you have installed your equipment and ensured proper protection from outside air leakages, plug in the Inkbird. The temperature you set the chamber to depends on the yeast you use. Here is a chart to use as a reference to yeast and temperature setting.
That’s it! Setting up a fermentation chamber is as simple as that. Many homebrewing sites exist out there with tips to help you hone your skill of homebrewing. Read up to create your own perfect lager or ale.
Happy brewing, everyone!