My First Beer Incubator

I made a basic beer incubator from a recycled bar fridge, a temperature controller, and a low-power heating bar.

My First Beer Incubator

Project for today was to improve the makeshift incubator I made last weekend. I realised late last night that what I really need is something with proper insulation, like a fridge.

So, first thing this morning, I took myself to the local community recycling centre to see what I could find. Nestled in amongst some monster fridge-freezers was the bar fridge I was looking for. $10 donation and it was mine.

$10 bar fridge from the recycling centre

Came up nicely with a good clean and (BONUS) it worked, too!

The plan was to remove all the cooling components, and add the thermometer and heating bar inside the cabinet. But, once it found out it worked, I figured I could use this in summer in summer to keep the temp down, too.

The door light still worked, and I wanted this to come on when I opened the door - not just when the heater was in. But I didn't want the compressor coming on at all (at this stage).

So, first job was to disconnect the compressor from the power supply. In the summer I'll add a separate mains cord to this to connect to the cool output on the temperature controller.

I didn't want to drill any holes at this stage as I have no idea if this is going to work, so I've mounted the heater in the door and placed the probe in the centre of the cabinet.

When I transferred the beer from the old incubator it was already at a temperature of around 20C. As I've filled most of the space in the cabinet with beer, the temp in the new incubator is around 19.5C so the controller hasn't fired up the heater, yet.

Temporary setup whilst I test

You can see the temperature controller on the top (19.8C), the temperature probe lead disappearing into the centre of the fridge, and the heater bar wedged in the door. It's not perfect, but it's better than it was.

What's more, the brewery is much more presentable (happy wife!).