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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Anyone use a reptile heating pad (Zoo Med ReptiTherm) to heat a fermentation chamber?

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Old 01-19-2014, 04:13 PM   #1
thehopbandit
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Default Anyone use a reptile heating pad (Zoo Med ReptiTherm) to heat a fermentation chamber?

I have been looking into getting a ZooMed ReptiTherm reptile heating pad to heat my relatively small fermentation chamber and was looking for someone to share their experiences with it.

Their website lists the following wattages:
Mini - 4 watts
Small - 8 watts
Medium - 16 watts
Large - 24 watts

I am curious to find out:
-What approximate temperature the pad, itself, gets to.
-How quickly it heats up a fermentation chamber.
-How warm it can get the chamber to over ambient.
-How well of a job it does to maintain the temperature.

Please note which size you have.

Thanks!

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Old 01-19-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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I tried the large, but my ferm chamber is in a non heated garage. It could not keep up when heat dropped below about 50 degrees. I decided to spend $10 on a ceramic heater with a fan. It keeps the chamber at temp when the outside temp is below 0 degrees. Plus no hot spots due to the fan.

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Old 01-19-2014, 04:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB09 View Post
I tried the large, but my ferm chamber is in a non heated garage. It could not keep up when heat dropped below about 50 degrees. I decided to spend $10 on a ceramic heater with a fan. It keeps the chamber at temp when the outside temp is below 0 degrees. Plus no hot spots due to the fan.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm assuming you got the Lasko mini heater? I was looking into that but was afraid it would get the inside of the fermentation chamber ridiculously hot while the thermal mass of the wort was heating up.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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Yep lasko. I always try to cool my wort to pitch temp/ferment temp. And only heat up last couple days of primary.

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Old 01-19-2014, 04:52 PM   #5
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It really depends on where you live and how cold it gets. I live in Dallas,Tx and I use the large reptile heater and it keeps the temp right where I want it. I keep my fermentation chamber in the garage and it can get in the 40's at night.

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Old 01-19-2014, 05:19 PM   #6
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I use a brewbelt, 15W. So far it keeps a full sized upright freezer warm enough for fermenting two 5 gallon lagers in a detached garage. (50F inside, 28 - 33F average outside).

Using a fan to circulate the air is important. What you would want to do is mount it to a wall and use a fan to circulate the warmed air. I have a desk fan in my freezer right now but I'm working on making a computer fan panel. It's similiar to a stir plate build but without a rheostat or magnet.

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Old 01-19-2014, 06:33 PM   #7
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Somebody posted recently about using a hair dryer and a temp controller. The hair dryer provides heat, has a built in safety circuit and IS a fan. Struck me as genius...

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Old 01-19-2014, 06:48 PM   #8
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I use a small reptile heating lamp. With the ceramic heat bulb (no light). And that works great for me. My garage gets to about 20F

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Old 01-20-2014, 02:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddcow View Post
I use a small reptile heating lamp. With the ceramic heat bulb (no light). And that works great for me. My garage gets to about 20F

I have also been considering this. What wattage are you using and did you make your own fixture?
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