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Fermentation box

Build yourself

The story

If you seriously want to grow sourdough yourself in order to bake delicious, tasty breads from it, you can hardly avoid a fermentation box. 

Temperature plays a major role in the cultivation of sourdough. The temperature should be constant at about 26 – 28 degrees Celsius. Temperature fluctuations can affect fermentation, so the sourdough becomes nothing. It happens quickly. 

If the sourdough is z.B in the kitchen, these fluctuations can hardly be avoided without a fermentation box. When cooking, the temperature rises quickly by a few degrees. After that, the airlifts and the temperature drops to below 20 degrees.

So a fermentation box had to be made.
After a little research on the Internet, it was quickly clear that I would not buy a ready-made fermentation box for over 200 euros. So a cheaper alternative had to be found. After a little research I ordered the following components:

  • A Styrofoam box large enough to accommodate the fermentation basket for the finished bread dough. 
  • A heating mat that will warm max. 40°C
  • A thermostat that can turn the heating mat on and off depending on the temperature. 
  • A metal pot grid so that the sourdough does not stand directly on the heating mat. 

Today the parts have arrived and I quickly set them up and put on the first sourdough.

The Box

The box is an insulating box made of polystyrene with lid. The dimensions are 59.5 x 39.5 x 36 me a volume of 53.7 liters and a wall thickness of 3cm. 
Next to the text is the link to the box on Amaz
on I have paid for the box about 19,- €.  

Styrofoam has the advantage that it is very well insulated and also very easy to work with (cable). If you are now worried about fire danger, it should be said that Styrofoam only starts to soften at over 100°C and the heating mat has a maximum temperature of 40°C. Only important in case the thermostat does not work and continues to heat. 

The heating mat

The heating mat is intended for reptiles, greenhouses and dough and can heat up a maximum of 10-20°C above room temperature.This means that even without a thermostat with continuous current, it reaches a maximum of 40°C or slightly above. 

The heating mat is 24 x 52 cm in size and fits perfectly on the bottom of the box. She has 17.5 watts and I paid about 17,-€ on Amazon for it (link is next to the text). 

Pot gitter

The pot grille is the cheapest part of all. It is a standard pot grille 20 x 20 cm and made of stainless steel.I use it so that the sourdough does not have to stand directly on the heater.
I paid 6,- € for it on Amazon (link I inserted next to the text)


The thermostat has a temperature sensor and regulates the temperature via the sensor. The heating mat is simply plugged into the integrated socket and as soon as the set temperature is reached, the thermostat switches off the storm supply for the heating mat. As soon as the temperature drops below the target value, the current is switched on again.  

This thermostat cost about 17,- € on Amazon (link is inserted next to the text).




Now the biggest advantage of the Box comes from Styrofoam. Styrofoam is easy to work on.First, I put the heating mat on the bottom of the box and led the cable to the upper left corner.At this corner I made a small notch into the edge with a knife, through which I can lay the cable from the heating mat to the outside. The notch is so small that the insulating performance of the box is not affected. 

I simply pushed the sensor of the thermostat through the box, which is quite simple as the material is very soft. 

With all other materials I would have had to drill a hole first 🙂



In total I paid 62,- € for the individual components and not 200,- € or more for a finished fermentation box.Of course, a finished fermentation box has some advantages such as easier handling, electronic control of temperature (even cooling if necessary in summer), more stable and durable material, …

Overall, however, I would say that my self-build variant is completely sufficient for my purposes. The advantages of my current situation are simply not worth the extra price.I hope you liked it and you could perhaps take some suggestion with you. 

Of course, I immediately put on a sourdough, which is now waiting right next to me in the fermentation box until tomorrow noon to be fed again.
I have to give him a name (as is tradition).If you have any suggestions, please write them to me in the comments.
I'm going to make a series about my sourdough (and of course the result I'm going to bake from it), which you can read here in the blog soon. 

So stay tense and see you soon

Your Tom

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