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stuart 12-28-2007 03:28 PM

Proofing/Fermenting box ideas?
I just finished Stage 1 of a Sourdough starter and the recipe calls for letting it sit to ferment 36-48 hours at a temp of 86. While those parameters may be bent, it got me wondering what would be an easy way to create a box designed for fermenting dough starters or proofing small quantities of dough? A large cooler comes to mind but what would be a precisely controllable heat source, perhaps even thermostatically?

This brings to mind when years ago I created a fermentation chamber for 5 gallon batches of home brewed beer. It was an apartment sized fridge with a thermocouple run inside controlled by an externally mounted temperature controller. The controller had a high and low end switch that would turn the fridge on or off when it reached the limits of cool or heat. Once the fridge reached the low temp end the controller would shut the fridge off and switch on a 75 watt incandescent bulb I wired inside. That bulb would heat the fridge to max temp and then shut off and call for cooling. It worked great.

Any ideas on how to make something similar on a small scale?



aeneas1 01-07-2008 05:39 PM

Re: Proofing/Fermenting box ideas?
cheap and very effective:

1. inexpensive styrofoam cooler
2. light bulb socket/cord
3. low wattage bulb
4. punch hole in lid of cooler to accommodate socket, add bulb
5. regulate heat by positioning cooler lid; completely closed = hottest, etc.


more elaborate solutions can be found here (but i think they are over-kill for simply activating a starter):

eG Forums -> Building a Homemade Proofing Box

proofing box????

KiwiPete 01-08-2008 03:16 PM

Re: Proofing/Fermenting box ideas?
I have used the same setup with a cheap cooler and the light bulb, but added a little battery powered digital thermostat in as well. Its cheap enough (NZ$30.-) and keeps the temperature at whatever level you "dial" it in at. I use not just for activating the starter but for all my yeast and dough proofing needs.

The thermostat also saves a bit on power for the light bulb. I quite like the "set and forget" aspect of it.

Optionparty 11-03-2010 07:58 PM

Re: Proofing/Fermenting box ideas?
Electric heating pad uses about 60 watts, and its heat is distributed.


Wiley 11-04-2010 09:49 AM

Re: Proofing/Fermenting box ideas?
I picked up one of these for $25 at a local 2nd hand /second use store:

APW 2 DRAWER BUN WARMER WARMING CABINET NO RESERVE! - eBay (item 110606118661 end time Nov-06-10 08:49:43 PDT)

Works really well for proofing dough.


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