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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Aquarium Heater Size - 100, 150, or 200 Watt?
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:13 PM   #1
ultravista
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Default Aquarium Heater Size - 100, 150, or 200 Watt?

Amazon sells the Fluval M heaters, the 50, 100, 150, and 200 watt are the same price, $19.99.

The heater will be controlled through a Johnson A419 so if you were me, would you go with the 150 or 200 watt model? Bigger is better right?

My batches are 5.5 gallon.

http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-M-200-W...words=Fluval+M

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:19 AM   #2
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I use a 75 watt in my swamp cooler and it does fine for temps to the mid 80s.

Yes, bigger is generally better. But bigger means more heat, so if it is going to be up against a plastic bucket, I'd be concerned about the heat melting the plastic (probably not a real concern). For that reason, I think I would go for the 100W heater.

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Old 12-29-2012, 04:24 AM   #3
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The 100 watt is rated for 30 gallons so that's likely the right size. 5 gallons of wort and maybe another 3 or so in a container.

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Old 12-29-2012, 04:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultravista View Post
The 100 watt is rated for 30 gallons so that's likely the right size. 5 gallons of wort and maybe another 3 or so in a container.
I think you will have a lot more water in your 'container'. My fermenters are 7 gallons (about 6.25 gallons of wort), and I think I have somewhere between 10 and 15 gallons in the swamp cooler. I think the overall container size (from memory) is 26 gallons.

I think you will have a lot more water than you think. But 100W should do it.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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Question about this discussion. I'm pretty new to brewing. After reading numerous threads on the HBT and B3 forums regarding swamp coolers, chilled glycol baths, aquarium pumps, chambers, etc., I decided to go with the 7 cu ft Holiday chest freezer from Lowes (using a small space heater or a blow dryer for the heating phase).

Recently my son became convinced that we need a conical and that we need to be able to ferment several beers at different temps - as opposed to planning your brewing so as to coordinate the needed temps for the beers you want to have available.

Regarding this aquarium heater: are you guys placing the carboy or bucket into another container containing water? Although a bit messier, I've read that the water/liquid bath is much more efficient than using ambient temp control (chambers).

So, is the aquarium heater going into the outside bucket thereby heating the water around the carboy?

Are any of you using any external means of cooling your fermentation other than using a wet towel over the carboy?

Thanks,
Keith

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Old 12-29-2012, 05:31 PM   #6
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I’ve done it both ways. I was using a convection heater set to 500w to heat my laundry closet. The adjustment did a pretty good job as a thermostat. It would run about a third of the time to heat up my laundry closet / fermentation chamber to 70 ish. I keep my apartment about 60F in the winter.

This year I have two of the rope handle tubs, one for cooling, one for heating. I am using a temperature controller with a 100w aquarium heater. There’s four gallons in the tub and five in the fermentor. At 65F it runs a few minutes an hour with the probe in the water.

I get tighter regulation on the beer that’s being finished out, and I don’t have to use as many frozen water bottles on the younger one. Plus by retiring the space heater I save a little on electricity.

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Old 12-31-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
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I just put a similar setup together. I have 5 gallons in my glass carboy and about 6 gallons in my swamp cooler (which is where the heater is). My basemnt is at about 55°. With the heater on the lowest setting, it keeps that swamp at about 64°.

Bye the way, I noticed that the water does not circulate well so I was getting hot and cold spots so I just spent about $15 to get a very small submersible circulating pump from Amazon. I hope that will take care of it.

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:02 PM   #8
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I have a 150 watt Aqueon Pro. The temp is adjustable from 68 -90 and it hold temp to within +/- 1/2 degree. I use a big 80 qt cooler so there is a lot of water surrounding the fermenter. My basement is 58 degrees right now and I have a Saison sitting at 84 degrees.

http://www.aqueonproducts.com/downlo...name=06107.jpg

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