Author Topic: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile  (Read 11212 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Here is how I have been controlling temperature for bulk fermentation. I use an Igloo MaxCold 120qt cooler with a ~64oz bottle of ice. Any sufficiently sized and well insulated cooler should work fine. I keep a couple extra bottles of ice in the freezer to change out with the one in the cooler on a regular basis (usually 12 hours).

Before doing the left and right side tests described below, I kept the dough (in the red-top Rubbermaid container) on the far right side of the cooler. I now keep it closer to the center as shown in the picture below.

The temperature profile is the temperature directly above top of the red-top container positioned in the center as shown below.  The container was filled with 1.5kg water at 77F to simulate a dough mass. The ice bottle was changed 3 times at approximately 12 hour intervals. The green (ambient) line represents the ambient temperature (set to 75F) outside the cooler. You can see the air conditioner turning on and off to maintain the temp. The two extended periods when it was off were nighttime.

CL
Pizza is not bread.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 10:49:34 AM »
Here are the results of two (~24 hour) tests set up as shown in the picture below. The first temperature profile shown was with 1.5kg of 77F water placed in the Rubbermaid container on the right. The second profile is with 1.5kg of 77F water in the container on the left. The temperature profile is the temperature profile directly above the two red-top boxes. You can see the temperature probes in the picture. There was no ice change in these tests.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 11:02:05 AM »
Here is a combination of three three charts above that shows the temperature directly above the 1.5kg of 77F water for the first 22 or so hours at all three locations. The drop around 12 hours in the center location profile was an ice bottle swap.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 11:56:17 AM »
Very cool that you graphed out the temps.   I love this ice cooler technique of yours and use it often for dough and thawing/holding my home made mozz.

Glad to be able to visually see just how stable the temps are.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 06:27:46 PM »
Great post, Craig. Temperature control within a few degrees can make all the difference in the world for long fermenting of sourdough. Your simple, effective, and inexpensive system should allow any sourdough baker to get the very best out of their starter.

 

Offline Giggliato

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 02:50:25 PM »
I'm going to have to try this, I was contemplating just leaving my dough outside in the cold air lol. I like long fermentations, but I think the fridge is a bit too cold.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 02:57:06 PM »
I like long fermentations, but I think the fridge is a bit too cold.

Abouit 30F too cold, IMHO.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline MrPibbs

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 07:11:08 PM »
Craig, in this setup I see your probes and graphs.  You mention an AC which comes on/off.  How is that controlled relative to the probe temp readings?  You put about 1.5 liters of water in the bottom (I didn't see that in your photo)?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 08:28:13 PM »
The AC is my home AC - you see it in the ambient temp (outside of the cooler) - not the cooler temp. The 1.5kg water is in the containers to simulate having a mass of dough in the cooler.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline MrPibbs

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2013, 02:06:15 AM »
The AC is my home AC - you see it in the ambient temp (outside of the cooler) - not the cooler temp. The 1.5kg water is in the containers to simulate having a mass of dough in the cooler.

Ahhh....the water was for simulation.  Very clear now.....I was thinking you had the containers floating in shallow water pool to aid in maintaining temp.  I have a Igloo that's been sitting around....so looks like a good option.  Harder to figure this out given it's winter up here in CT now.


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 09:26:13 PM »
Craig-- So now both boys have their science projects?
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 09:43:43 PM »
Craig-- So now both boys have their science projects?

They both won first place and are headed to district.  ;D Neither was pizza related.  :(
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2013, 11:07:44 AM »
They both won first place and are headed to district.  ;D Neither was pizza related.  :(

Excellent, except for the non pizza part. :chef:
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2013, 10:55:21 AM »
I should note that, the title of this thread notwithstanding, this is also the set-up I use for fermenting balled dough as well.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Ev

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2013, 11:00:21 AM »
I use my sous vide controller to run the nifty little fridge I trash picked during a grocery store remodel.

Offline wheelman

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 12:09:15 PM »
that's cool steve.  who makes the controller?
bill

Offline dsissitka

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2013, 12:54:23 PM »
This is something I've been looking into recently.

First I tried the Brod and Taylor Folding Proofer. It turned out to be a floater. At that point I was ready to go DIY but at the last minute I decided to give this a shot and I'm glad I did. It'll comfortably hold 8 of these and it has no problem maintaining 58 degrees in a 72 degree room.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 01:22:45 PM by Steve »

Offline Ev

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2013, 10:33:29 PM »
that's cool steve.  who makes the controller?
bill

I did. I bought an "stc 1000" on ebay and used the wiring diagram here;
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/stc-1000-wiring-333680/

Offline bbqchuck

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Re: Simple and Effective Bulk Ferment Set-up w/ Temperature Profile
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2013, 09:33:10 PM »
This is something I've been looking into recently.

First I tried the Brod and Taylor Folding Proofer. It turned out to be a floater. At that point I was ready to go DIY but at the last minute I decided to give this a shot and I'm glad I did. It'll comfortably hold 8 of these and it has no problem maintaining 58 degrees in a 72 degree room.

We think alike.  I was looking at our wine fridge about that size but decided that there was over $1000 in wine in it and the weather was hot, so no way I was going to jeapordize that wine for some dough. I may buy another cooler that size and it should free up a 12 bottle fridge for my dough.