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6 Best Fermentation Chambers And Accessories

There’s nothing more frustrating than dedicating a lot of time, effort, and money to a project only for it to give you mediocre results. This is especially true when it comes to brewing your own beer!

The solution is to ensure that you have the best possible equipment in the first place. One of the key pieces of equipment is the fermentation chamber and the accompanying accessories, and this is what we’re going to focus on in this article today. 

Here, we’re going to look into what exactly makes for a great fermentation chamber.

But, there are several different types of fermentation chamber that you can use, so we’re just going to walk you through some of them, and explain why maintaining the perfect temperature range for your brew  is so important.

Then we’ll go on to review some of the best fermentation chambers and accessories on the market at the moment. We will then finish off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject of fermentation.

Reviews of Fermentation Chambers And Accessories 

So, most of the fermentation chambers we went through earlier involve an element of DIY. But if you don’t want to go down that route, here are some great fermentation chambers you can buy online that don’t require so much effort on your part.

Here’s a breakdown of some of our favorite fermentation chambers and accessories. They are not listed in any particular order, and you may find that you will want several accessories.

OUR TOP PICK

WilliamsWarn BrewKeg10 - 10 L (2.64 Gallon) Conical Unitank Fermenter

If you have the budget for it, this is a great option to consider.

It allows you to ferment up to 10 liters of wort under pressure, and this serves to reduce the production of esters and fusel alcohols, which means that you can ferment at slightly higher temperatures, and don’t have to keep checking on the temperature quite as often as you otherwise would.

It’s suitable for all-grain, extract, and partial extract. And it features a handy sediment removal system for making clearer beer.

And this beer will also be perfectly carbonated at the end of the fermentation process. And, if that’s not enough, it will also help to speed up the fermentation process and have your beer ready sooner.

It’s made of sturdy, durable, rust-proof stainless steel, which will help to maintain the brew’s temperature as it ferments. And this also helps to make it easy to clean and sanitize. 

Pros

  • Ferment under pressure for better results
  • You can relax about fluctuations in temperature
  • Your beer will be clearer & perfectly carbonated
  • Helps to speed up the long fermentation process

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price
  • Not many customer reviews around on the net just yet

EDITORS CHOICE

Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller 2-Stage Outlet Thermostat Heating and Cooling Mode Carboy Homebrew Fermenter Greenhouse Terrarium 110V 10A 1100W

Those who like to get their home brews just right often invest in a simple digital controller such as this one. You can use it to tweak the temperature of a regular carboy home brew fermenter.

All you have to do is plug it in, plug in the component parts, such as a refrigerator or heating equipment, and you use the intuitive control panel to adjust the temperature as required.

The temperature can be displayed in either Centigrade or Fahrenheit (we recommend going with Fahrenheit for better precision), and the goal temperature and actual temperature are displayed at the same time.

It has a temperature accuracy of +/- 2 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can set a buzzer alarm to go off when the temperature gets too high or too low, or if there’s a malfunction. 

For fuller instructions, please head over to the product page, which features both a video tutorial and an illustrated guide. To get to the product page, simply click on “Check price”.

There’s also a Wi-Fi enabled version for $15 more that will report straight to an app on your smartphone.

It’s perfect for use in conjunction with a Modified Fridge or a Freezer Fermentation Chamber.

Pros

  • An affordable piece of equipment
  • Can heat or cool down your carboy
  • Features high temperature accuracy
  • Intuitive to use with easy instructions
  • Displays either Centigrade or Fahrenheit

Cons

  • Using the controls can take some getting used to

BEST VALUE

Home Brewing Fermentation Cooler - Beer Temperature Control for Carboys. Serve Kegs and Corny Keg. Fermenting Brewing Bag, Insulated Fermenter chamber. Cool Brewing Fermentation Cooler 2.0

A very simple way to help keep your carboy cool is to place it in an insulated fermentation chamber such as this one.

It looks so much better and more sophisticated than simply keeping your carboy in a huge ice bucket. Really space-saving.

Keeping on top of the temperature settings with this fermentation cooler is easy, and all you have to do is change over the ice packs once each night, and this will allow you to perfectly ferment your beer even in rooms at room temperature.

You can use 2 frozen 2-liter bottles to drop the inside temperature by 10 degrees Fahrenheit, or use 3 of these bottles to produce a temperature drop of up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's 100% leak proof and insulated, and is compatible with buckets, fermenters and carboys up to a whopping 8 gallons in size. 

Sure, it costs a fair chunk of money, but if it’s going to be something that you will come to use time and time again, then it’s worth it.

Pros

  • Incredibly easy to use & a great space-saver
  • Drop temperature by 10 or 15 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Able to hold carboys of up to 8 gallons in size
  • It’s fully insulated and is 100% leakproof

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price

RUNNER UP

FermWrap FE650-40 Watt Fermentation Heater

But it’s not always about keeping your fermenter cool. Sometimes in the winter months, you may need help to keep the fermentor a little warmer than it would otherwise be.

That’s where the FermWrap fermentation heater comes in very handy.

You can potentially increase the temperature of your ferment from between 5 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit. And you can use electrical tape to adhere it securely in place. 

It’s super simple to use. You simply plug the mat into a wall socket and place your carboy on top, and the mat will heat up and transfer this heat to the carboy.

And, we can report that it works extremely well with the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller that we showed you a little earlier. 

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular fermentation heater, simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros

  • Can increase temperature by up to a whopping 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Works really well with the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with thermostat control, you will have to buy that separately
  • You may not need it during the hot summer months
  • It can be expensive if you end up paying the full listing price

RUNNER UP

North Mountain Supply Fermentation Cooler Bag - Fits All Fermentor & Carboy Sizes Up to 8 Gallons

Now, this product happens to be the winner of the title of Amazon’s Choice for the category of fermentation coolers.

Such a title is only awarded to products that are both of excellent quality and are available at a good and reasonable price. 

It’s significantly more affordable than the Cool Brewing Home Brewing Fermentation Cooler that we showed you a little earlier.

But has just as good customer ratings with the leading online retailers, and it can also fit standard fermentors of up to 8 gallons in size, even with their airlocks attached.

It’s also way more affordable than using a Freezer Fermentation Chamber or Modified Fridge, as we described earlier. Quite often, you can end up paying over $200 for a suitably sized fridge or freezer.

The North Mountain Supply Fermentation Cooler Bag can help to keep your carboy at a constant temperature, even when you're based in a relatively hot climate.

All you have to do is slide in some ice or some other cold objects that you can replace as and when needed.

Or, if necessary, you can use a heating pad, like the one we showed you earlier, to provide the brew with a little heat.

If you do decide to buy this insulated fermentation chamber, we recommend that you use it within the first 30 days of purchase, because if you’re not happy with it during that time, you can request a free replacement.

Pros

  • Winner of Amazon’s Choice title for category
  • Affordable and excellent value for money
  • Able to hold carboys of up to 8 gallons in size

Cons

  • Some customers have said that the bag could use more structural support

RUNNER UP

Behrens High Grade Steel 3GS 17 Gal Silver Galvanized Steel Round Tub

This is a very straightforward steel round tub that you can use as a swamp cooler fermentation chamber, as we described to you earlier.

You simply place your carboy inside, fill the tub with cold items all around the carboy, and place a cold wet towel over the top.

The tub has durable wire handles for easy transportation, and it is also rustproof, and heat and fire resistant. 

Personally, we don’t find it’s as convenient to use as the Cool Brewing Home Brewing Fermentation Cooler, or the North Mountain Supply Fermentation Cooler Bag, and it’s not much cheaper than these items either, especially if you manage to catch a deal on either of the cooler bags.

But it is of course much sturdier, and it won’t absorb any odors.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular fermentation heater, simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now. 

Pros

  • One of the easiest & cheapest fermentation chambers

Cons

  • Not quite as affordable as we would like
  • Requires constant attention

Best Fermentation Chambers Buying Guide

What Makes For A Great Fermentation Chamber

There are 4 main features for an effective fermentation chamber. They are as follows.

  1. A method for maintaining the perfect temperature, or for adjusting it as needed, either automatically or manually
  2. Insulation against light exposure and external fluctuations in temperature
  3. A way to monitor the temperature of the fermenting brew
  4. Adequate room for the fermentor

The critical thing here is being able to effectively regulate the heat and light that reaches your home brew while it ferments. This will affect not only the flavor of the finished beer, but also its gravity and clarity. 

6 Best Fermentation Chambers

Luckily, you have a choice of different types of fermentation chamber that you can use, and there really is something to suit every budget. Please read on to find out more.

Types Of Fermentation Chamber

A Naturally Cool, Dark Room

If you have a sufficiently cold and dark room, such as a shed or a basement, and you only brew with the seasons and don’t have much of a budget, then you could make do with this. 

However, this method really isn’t the best for providing a consistent temperature, so is less than ideal. And you will still need to use a few items such as an electric blanket or insulated pads and wet towels or freezer packs, and a thermometer.

Swamp Cooler

The idea behind this type of cooler is to control the temperature of the fermenting beer by submerging it in ice water. For this you will need a large stainless steel tub, a piece of wet fabric over the top, an electric fan, and a thermometer. However, this method requires constant attention.

Son of Fermentation Chiller

You can make your own fermentation chamber using a little woodworking. You will find the instructions here.

Modified Fridge / Freezer Fermentation Chamber

You can turn a fridge or freezer into an effective fermentation chamber. You will find the instructions here.

Conical Fermentors with Temperature Control

If you have the budget for it, a conical fermenter is hands down the best way to go. The benefits of a conical fermenter are as follows:

  • There’s no siphoning to worry about, because there’s one vessel for both primary and secondary 
  • Better quality beer is produced
  • You can save and reuse beer yeast
  • There’s less cleaning to do
  • You minimize the risk of oxidation

However, this type of fermentation chamber is both notoriously expensive and difficult to get hold of.

A Cold Room Fermentation Chamber or Walk-in Cooler

And finally, the most expensive option is to have a cold room fermentation chamber built on your property.

Why Fermentation Temperature and Light Control Matter

Yeasts are very sensitive to temperature, and the conditions need to be just right in order to produce the expected results.

Different strains have different ideal fermentation temperatures. For example, larger has a rather cool ideal temperature zone of between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, while ale has a slightly higher ideal temperature zone for fermentation between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is why many home brewers brew according to the seasons, brewing lagers in winter and ales when things start to warm up.

But as you can see there is only a brief temperature window for both types of home brew, so you will have to regularly check on the brew’s temperature as it ferments, and tweak it if needs be. 

Potential PitFalls When Brewing Beer or Lager

1. Fusel Alcohols

If the temperature gets too high, the yeast can start to produce fusel alcohols which produce harsh solvent-like flavors

2. Esters

Higher temperatures can encourage yeast to produce esters, which can also affect the taste. You should keep this to a minimum if you’re trying to brew a crisp, clean lager.

3. Diacetyl

If your fermenting brew gets too warm, you risk producing too much diacetyl, which can be disastrous.

4. Yeast-Killing Cold Temperatures

You can also get issues if you let your fermenting brew. If the fermentation is too cold, the yeast will fail to get to work at all.

This is particularly important during the initial 72 hours of the fermentation process, when the yeast is working so hard to create your beer.

5. UV Exposure

Keeping the fermentation equipment out of direct sunlight is not just to prevent the brew from getting too warm. Exposure to UV light has been known to cause hopped beers to develop a horrible skunky flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a fermentation chamber?

Keeping precise control of the temperature of your fermenting brew is an essential part of the fermentation process, and temperatures that are either too cold or too warm can have such disastrous consequences for the beer’s taste that it will lead you to pour your finished brews away straight down the sink.

However, there are several different techniques that you can use to help maintain the desired temperature.

And you don’t have to go the extreme of wasting all your hard-earned cash on a stainless steel conical fermentation chamber with temperature control…

And you can instead make do with some carefully selected items that will help you to keep your fermenting brew at a stable and constant temperature for the entire duration of the fermentation process, while on a significantly small budget. 

The easiest way to do this is by placing your carboy into an insulated cooling bag such as the Cool Brewing Home Brewing Fermentation Cooler or the North Mountain Supply Fermentation Cooler Bag that we showed you a little earlier, and sliding in some ice packs to bring the temperature down. 

Or alternatively, you could just keep your carboy in a big metal tub surrounded by ice, with a large cold wet towel over the top.

Both of these methods will help to protect against both unwanted temperature fluctuations, and against unwanted UV light.

Can I use a Kegerator as a fermentation chamber?

We’re pleased to confirm that you certainly can use a Kegerator as a fermentation chamber.

But if you don’t already have one, we would recommend that you do some shopping around first, because they can really vary in price, with some models costing over a whopping one thousand dollars.

How do you cool a fermentation chamber?

This of course depends on what type of fermentation chamber you have in place. Some will have a thermostat that you can program, and others simply need to have ice packs placed inside that will need to be replaced every so often.