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Old 08-13-2007, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default Fish Tank Heater

So this isn't the season for this topic, but I figured I would research fish tank heaters to control my fermentation temps in the winter. I keep my brews in the basement/garage and they stay plenty cold in the summer. It is the winter that has me concerned.

So, what kind/brand/model would people suggest for heating enough water surrounding two 5 gallon carboys to keep a consistent temp? Lets assume that I would be fermenting a couple IPA's at common ale temps. Any insite or tips people have regarding heaters. Thanks for the imput!

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Old 08-13-2007, 11:45 PM   #2
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I'm not sure I can recommend a particular model, but...

The amount of water being heated up surrounding the carboy and the carboy are waaay less volume than most aquariums.
I would guess that most of the smaller ones would work.
You might want to look into the water circulation issue as I'm sure you're bound to get hot and cold spots without circulation.

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Old 08-13-2007, 11:46 PM   #3
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Brew Belts are less than $20. Seems to me that would be quite a bit easier than messing around with water.
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hialtitude
So this isn't the season for this topic,
my flipping aunt it is! I have the heat belt out and it is still only hitting 16C in my cellar.


P.S. 1-10C = 33.8F -> 50.0F, 16C = 60.8F i.e. fecking cold!
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:40 AM   #5
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Get an electric blanket for cheap...then set it on low/med and tape that sucker to the carboy! I do it, and as long as you're not sitting your carboy on a cold cement floor, you should be able to maintain temps.

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:41 AM   #6
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OOPS! My mistake. *NOT* an electric blanket....a heating pad! Big difference in size!

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:47 AM   #7
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Devils advocate:

http://www.aquariumguys.com/thermaflow2.html
$7.99 Heats 10 gallons.

Never done it (nor will I need to), so take my advice with a pillar of salt.

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:56 AM   #8
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I wouldn't. Even with ~1400gph water flow, its still warmer around the heater in my small aquarium than it is further away from it. Also, the heater is quite hot to the touch (all have this issue) and tends to bake crud onto it which needs to be cleaned off periodically (it attracts Ca out of the water). I imagine it'd cause scorching of any beer near it.

-D

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:57 AM   #9
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In my opinion, a warm water bath is ideal because you're not applying heat to the carboy in a narrow band like you would with a brew belt. I plan to just continue using my fermentation cooler (temp controlled freezer) in the winter by just running a very low wattage bulb in there.

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarian
I wouldn't. Even with ~1400gph water flow, its still warmer around the heater in my small aquarium than it is further away from it. Also, the heater is quite hot to the touch (all have this issue) and tends to bake crud onto it which needs to be cleaned off periodically (it attracts Ca out of the water). I imagine it'd cause scorching of any beer near it.

-D
No one would advocate submersing the heating in the wort directly. You'd put your carboy in a tub of water and the heater in that water as well.
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