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-   -   Aquarium heater to heat water bath? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/aquarium-heater-heat-water-bath-7907/)

cweston 04-04-2006 03:04 PM

Aquarium heater to heat water bath?
 
Does anyone put their carboys in a water bath and use an aquarium heater to heat the water? Are aquarium heaters capable of heating that much water (10 gals?). Are they available with thermostatic control?

My basement floor ranges about 58-63, so I'd only need a fairly modest heating level above ambient temperature. This seems like a good possible solution.

waskelton4 04-04-2006 03:31 PM

not sure if I can comment on how well it would work for brewing since i haven't actually brewed anything yet.. but..

they make aquarium heaters for tanks up to 250 gallons and higher

or you could just get more than one..

here is one that has a "heater guide" telling you how many watts you need to heat a certain number of gallons a certain number of degrees..

http://www.aquariumpros.com/Merchant...t_Code=PHE350W

ws

parasonic 04-04-2006 04:09 PM

You should have no problem with using an aquarium heater. I've never used one in a carboy...just a plastic fermenter when I had a legitimate reason to use a bucket ;) I got one at Wal-Mart, intended for aquariums. They sold one that was like a 5-15 gallon size and one that was for larger aquariums, like 15-30 or something like that. It worked very well and was fully submersible in case of accidental droppage into the tank ;) Just be careful about keeping everything below the marked water line as these things are not made of borosilicate and may crack if you crank the sucker up in a cold bath. I'm not sure how often the heater will turn on, but it can maintain probably a 5degF (guessing) temperature. There was a little stopper thing on the bottom to keep the tip of the heater from banging against an aquarium or possibly melting through the fermenter bucket, and when I regrettably took it off, I found that it was attached with a compound that I'm SURE was silicone. So...you should be able to use one.

Baron von BeeGee 04-04-2006 04:44 PM

parasonic, did you actually put the heater in the fermentor? I think (but may be wrong) what's being discussed is placing the fermenter in a water bath and using the heater to heat the bath.

cweston 04-04-2006 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
parasonic, did you actually put the heater in the fermentor? I think (but may be wrong) what's being discussed is placing the fermenter in a water bath and using the heater to heat the bath.

Correct--no effing way am I putting any device inside the actual fermenter.

Desert_Sky 04-04-2006 05:11 PM

*edit

i stand corrected

rod 04-04-2006 11:51 PM

fyi aquarium heaters can heat as well
i had a 200 watt heater with the bi-metal type thermostat(they are digital now) stick on in my 65 gallon tank.
it raised the temp overnight from about 68 degrees to over 85 degrees,
the fish were not happy but survived

david_42 04-05-2006 12:21 AM

If you are planning on buying the pan for the water bath and a heater, wouldn't it be more reasonable to buy a carboy heater?

By the way, I heat my fermenter using a small space heater with a built-in thermostat and a cardboard box over the whole thing. The heater was originally purchased to use in my RV and the box was left over from my last move.

cweston 04-05-2006 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by david_42
If you are planning on buying the pan for the water bath and a heater, wouldn't it be more reasonable to buy a carboy heater?

By the way, I heat my fermenter using a small space heater with a built-in thermostat and a cardboard box over the whole thing. The heater was originally purchased to use in my RV and the box was left over from my last move.

I've thought about that scheme: I'm not crazy about the whole unattended space heater in a confined space thing, though.

I have a big tub that would hold two carboys/buckets. I normally do primary in a bucket, so I have to be able to accomodate both. Plus, aquarium heaters are relatively cheap and thermostatically controlled to within +/- 1 degree or so, or so I've read, anyway.

Since I'd only need the water bath to hold at about 5-8 degrees above ambient temp, it just seems like a good, cheap solution.

KA6GZJ 04-05-2006 04:37 PM

Just another idea, for what it's worth.
I built a box from plywood with a hole in the top, about 11in dia. inside a 60watt light bulb and an old waterbed controler. I fermint mostly in 15gal kegs, but when i use a carboy i place a piece of aluminum plate over the hole and the carboy on top of that. (Poor people have poor ways):mug:

Jim


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