Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Question about heating primary fermenter (brew belt, etc.)
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-05-2007, 06:07 PM   #1
Ernie Diamond
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 65
Default Question about heating primary fermenter (brew belt, etc.)

My local homebrew supplier sold me a "Brew Belt" to try and get my fermenter (and yeasts) into the optimal 75-80 degree range.

I'm not seeing a lot of activity after 36 hours. Does anyone out there have any experience with this thing? Everytime I feel it, it is cool. I had high hopes of a sudden rush of activity after plugging this thing in but my hopes have been dashed somewhat.

Short of heating the small room that I am storing my carboys in, does anyone have any good ideas as to how to bring the heat up to get the yeasts in the proper temperature range? Electric blanket? Hot water bottle? Heating pad?

Thanks.

__________________
Ernie Diamond is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:11 PM   #2
jayhoz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 160
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie Diamond
My local homebrew supplier sold me a "Brew Belt" to try and get my fermenter (and yeasts) into the optimal 75-80 degree range.

I'm not seeing a lot of activity after 36 hours. Does anyone out there have any experience with this thing? Everytime I feel it, it is cool. I had high hopes of a sudden rush of activity after plugging this thing in but my hopes have been dashed somewhat.

Short of heating the small room that I am storing my carboys in, does anyone have any good ideas as to how to bring the heat up to get the yeasts in the proper temperature range? Electric blanket? Hot water bottle? Heating pad?

Thanks.
Not an answer to your question, but are you sure 75-80 is the optimal range. Seems very high to me. My ale yeasts typically like temps in the mid 60's.
__________________
jayhoz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:12 PM   #3
Whiskey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Granville, Ohio
Posts: 735
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

Default

I thought the brew belts just keep that carboy at like 75 degrees range to keep your wort warm warm in a cold room? As far touching it, 75 F does feel pretty cool.

__________________
Insert catchy signature here....

Whiskey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:12 PM   #4
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 61,667
Liked 4636 Times on 3367 Posts
Likes Given: 909

Default

Well, it depends on what you're fermenting but 75-80 degrees is generally way, way too hot for anything. Wine, maybe, if it's a heat tolerant yeast.

Just as an example, if you're making an ale, using Nottingham yeast, the optimum temperature is 57-70 degrees.

Do you have a fermometer? One of those adhesive strips that stick on the carboy or bucket? It's like an aquarium strip thermometer. That will better tell you the temperature of the fermenting liquid inside, rather going by ambient air temperature or by feel. Most people like fermenting in the winter, because it's a little easier to keep the temperatures down, so we don't often have the opposite problem. My house is cold, so I use cool fermenting ale yeasts and generally ferment at 60-62 degrees.

I've never used an electric blanket or anything but I have seen some people use a fermentation box or an old fridge with a light bulb for a heating element.

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:22 PM   #5
mr x
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mainly Halifax
Posts: 1,589
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

I have used a heating pad wrapped around the carboy with bungees to keep the temp in an acceptable range. What do you mean by not a lot of activity?

__________________

This place really went to hell. Follow the OF standard stout. Bye.

mr x is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:33 PM   #6
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 69 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

In the dead of winter when my brewery is cold, I'll use the heating pad. Or even when it's not that cold, I'll use it to bring the fermentation temps up towards the end of fermentation so that it finishes out alright (the ester production has already taken place at that point, so there's no worries there). A brew belt seems kinda..wasteful. A heating pad and an old belt do the same thing but for less $$. But yeah, unless you're making a saison (or a wheat, depending on how much ester character you want), you want to keep your temps below 70, not above.

__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:33 PM   #7
Ernie Diamond
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 65
Default

I have a Belgian Dubbel in there now and the optimal temp is somewhere areound 75. In addition, I have two ciders that I just started and those are meant to be a little higher as well. Ambient temp in my basement is probably 62 right now.

__________________
Ernie Diamond is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:47 PM   #8
mr x
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mainly Halifax
Posts: 1,589
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

But what are you seeing when you say little activity and what kind of yeast did you use? Do you have a hydrometer?

__________________

This place really went to hell. Follow the OF standard stout. Bye.

mr x is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:49 PM   #9
the_bird
10th-Level Beer Nerd
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
the_bird's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Adams, MA
Posts: 20,544
Liked 378 Times on 311 Posts
Likes Given: 102

Default

The only time you would ever want to ferment north of 75° is with some Belgian ales, and even then, you're better off starting out cool and raising the temp gradually, after the bulk of fermentation is done. High temps = fusel alcohols = massive headaches and "hot," solventy taste. Frankly, anyone who told you that optimal fermentation temperatures are up to 80° doesn't know jack about making beer.

Off the soapbox.....

EDIT: I see it IS for a Belgian, so I'll back off my statement a little - but still, you're better off starting cool, raising it to the higher temps near the end to get your attenuation up without getting too many "hot" alcohols.

I'm not sure - are brewbelts even designed to get that warm? It's such a limited number of beers that woule want to be fermented that warm...

__________________
Come join Yankee Ingenuity!

"I'm kind of toasted. But I looked at my watch and it's only 6:30 so I can't stop drinking yet." - Yooper's Bob
"Brown eye finally recovered after the abuse it endured in Ptown last weekend, but it took almost a full week." - Paulie
"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
"... I'll go both ways." - Melana

That'll do, Pigley. That'll do.
the_bird is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-05-2007, 06:49 PM   #10
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 69 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie Diamond
I have a Belgian Dubbel in there now and the optimal temp is somewhere areound 75. In addition, I have two ciders that I just started and those are meant to be a little higher as well. Ambient temp in my basement is probably 62 right now.
What yeast are you using for the dubbel?
__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My First brew: How long should I leave it in the primary fermenter before bottling? trustyhank Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 09-22-2009 05:20 AM
Advice on Heating Fermenter dboblitt Equipment/Sanitation 3 02-23-2009 12:18 AM
Primary Fermenter Pail Question Ernie3 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 11-03-2008 09:25 PM
First Brew...primary fermenter Dominator6 Extract Brewing 18 12-30-2007 02:19 PM
Primary Fermenter Question? nmcabee General Techniques 4 02-15-2007 01:47 AM