Keep Yeast Happy
After sanitation, fermentation temperature control is likely the most important factor in consistently brewing great beer. Many yeast strains have an optimal temperature range of 3F and may still produce different flavors within that range. Sadly fermentation control is an often overlooked aspect in homebrewers' systems.
Add Some Lagers to Your Repertoire
Once you have your fermentation temperatures under control you can open yourself up to a whole new realm of styles. Maybe it's a Bohemian Pilsner, an Oktoberfest/Marzen or a Doppelbock but most ale brewers have at least one or two lagers they'd like to brew.
I'm Hot and Cold
So you know you want temperature control for your fermentation but why FermTroller? For starters, FermTroller is a dual-stage temperature controller meaning that you can control cooling and/or heating sources. A user configurable hysteresis value acts as a dead-band around the setpoint to avoid rapid cycling and battling between heating and cooling devices.
One Controller to Rule Them All...
You've been doing temperature control for your fermentation for years. You have a freezer for fermentation. Another for lagering and a kegerator with a row of taps. Use a single FermTroller to control all of them. FermTroller supports multiple zones (up to 32 zones). You can easily name each zone from within the user interface making it easy to identify zones in complex setups. Each zone also has it's own alarms with zone-specific thresholds and history.
The Perfect Glycol Controller
FermTroller's multi-zone capabilities make it great for glycol setups. It also uses the concept of 'Output Profiles' used in BrewTroller. Output Profiles allow you to define what outputs are activated for a specific function such as Zone 1 Heat or Zone 3 Cool. Why do you want output profiles? Let's say you have a zone for your your glycol. You keep it at a cool 30F. You also have three motorized ball valves, one for each of three vessels you want to control. Output profiles allows each zone to share the pump. If any one zone is active the pump and the corresponding valve that controls the flow to a vessel's jacket or coil is active.
Want to take it a step further? Add a second glycol tank with a small immersion heating element to use when you need to heat your vessels. Use four motorized ball valves per vessel. Two for the jacket input and output connected to the cold side tank and two connected to the hot side glycol tank.
"Hey, While You Were Out..."
FermTroller has alarm history. Each zone has separate alarm flags for high and low temperature with configurable thresholds. Want to know if your hitting those thresholds when you aren't home? Just check the alarms when you get back.
"Hang On. My Beer Just Emailed Me."
OK. So we don't have built-in email support just yet but FermTroller does support the same Ethernet Module used by BrewTroller to provide a web service for exchanging data. That means this isn't very far-fetched. You could write a script or program in your favorite language to periodically query the FermTroller and email you the current temperatures if it sees an alarm. Not the developer type? We'll be adding a script center to the site to allow people to share their cleverness. Web-based control and native applications for Android and iOS are also being planned.
More to Come
There's more we have planned for FermTroller including support for fermentation schedules, Setpoint Favorites (ie 'WLP001', 'Diacetyl Rest', 'Cold Crash', etc.) and more.
Do you like writing code? Don't forget FermTroller is Open Source. If you have more time than we do and you want to add to the code, we welcome community involvement. Contact Support to discuss further.