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Old 12-14-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default 1,000 watt heater too hot in fridge?

Hey gang...... I've been using a ferm-wrap heater taped to the back wall of my fridge in the garage plugged into a 2 stage temp controller and it has been working great until i noticed this morning it wasn't quite keeping up. I read a couple posts on people saying they're going to try a small forced air heater, but i never found anybodies actual results after doing so. I have this small ceramic heater with a fan and figured that ought to do, but was wondering if at 1000 watts, even plugged into the temp controller, would it pump out air that's just too hot when it running?

Just curious if anybody had tried anything like that or had any thoughts...

Thanks gang...
Cheers...
Kyle...

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Old 12-14-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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If your control circuit fails you could have quite a mess/fire, especially if you have a plastic liner. I wouldn't risk it personally. You also risk considerable overshoot on the hysteresis.

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Old 12-14-2010, 06:36 PM   #3
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I just wrap my fermwrap around my bucket/carboy and tape with electrical tape. Seems to do fine then. I think it is more meant to be in contact with the item it is heating rather than heating a space up. I would try that first. I also use mine inside a fridge with a 2-stage ranco.

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Old 12-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #4
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Here is a space heater that doesnt need to be in contact with the carboy. http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWER_S_EDGE_SPACE_HEATER_P518.cfm

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Old 12-14-2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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I would agree with MachineShopBrewing on the proper use of the fermwrap. However if you are fermenting more than one beer it obviously won't work that way.

I use a small forced air heater like what you are talking about. It's in a small fermentation closet with a 15 gallon corny and it works fine. Even if your temp controller failed, the heater has an overload circuit, which hopefully works.

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Old 12-16-2010, 03:13 AM   #6
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Hey gang.... Thanks for the thoughts.... Much appreciated... Yea... the reason i don't wrap the carboy with the fermwrap is what samc mentioned. Doing 2 at once in the fridge. It usually works pretty good unless it gets really cold like a couple days ago. The basement would probably be better, however, the garage is my space, if you know what i mean... heh... so i work with what i can. My current thinking now is that i'll probably sneak by with the current setup for a while, and i'm kicking around the idea of building a bigger insulated temp controlled box to hold a bunch of carboys for when we start doing bigger batches.

My thinking is build a box with 2x4's and plywood and insulate it with R-30. Hinges on a side to open it. Have one end open. Take the doors off the fridge, and match the fridge up with the open end of the box to cool it. Seal that up some how. Possibly line the inside with sheet metal or something similar to minimize chances of fire from the use, and possible malfunction of the aforementioned small forced air heater that Hermit mentioned just to be safe.

Ha.... whether that comes to pass or not remains to be seen.. heh... but it seems like that might work, and make a pretty nifty big ferment chamber... And just kinda fun to build perhaps...

Thanks gang....
Cheers....
Kyle....

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Old 12-16-2010, 03:56 AM   #7
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When refrigerators started coming out with plastic liners the company confiscated out 'heat guns' (used for defrosting coils) because liners started to melt/deform. That is why I'd be nervous about using something that is obvious overkill inside one. If you sense air temp then you might be safer with a high wattage unit since it will pick up the change more quickly. If you tape the sensor to a carboy the air could get quite warm before it cycled off.

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Old 12-17-2010, 05:39 PM   #8
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I use a heating pad to keep my fermentation fridge warm. It has provided enough heat for my full size fridge in a garage that gets down into the low-mid 40's. Just make sure you get the older style that does not have an automatic off feature.

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Old 12-17-2010, 05:45 PM   #9
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I use one of those 125W heat lamp in a chest freezer and works great

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Old 12-18-2010, 03:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humann_brewing View Post
I use one of those 125W heat lamp in a chest freezer and works great
^^ This. PLEASE do not put a ceramic heater inside a refrigerator. Murphy's Law.
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