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-   -   Experience with Carboy Warmer? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/experience-carboy-warmer-297534/)

Mattbrc2001 01-23-2012 10:01 PM

Experience with Carboy Warmer?
 
Anyone have experience using a "Fermwrap Carboy Warmer"?

It's winter in L.A. (I know, what a joke, right?) so the 55-65 degree ambient temps are great for most ales, but I have a Belgian Trippel in secondary that I am having trouble keeping warm. (OG 1.082) Plus want to get better at temperature control for all my beers, especially since I like high gravity ales with lots of esthers and complex flavors.

I am thinking about ordering one of these Fermwrap Carboy Warmers. Anyone use them, love them, hate them? Thanks!

Hammy71 01-23-2012 11:20 PM

I use one but not in the way intended. I use it to warm my fermentation chamber (an old fridge). It's tywrapped across the back and has no problem keeping the temperature in the fridge where I want/need it.

ShinyBuddha 01-24-2012 03:24 AM

I'm in the same climate zone as you (San Diego) and it's downright chilly...I think it got up to 58 today...but last week it was near 70, yeah we're spoiled.

Ok, back on topic.

So my fermentation chamber is a 6' tall wine cooler in which I can fit two 6.5 gallon carboys. I brewed a Black IPA a few weeks ago and after the usual aeration/yeast starter/shake I noticed after two days that fermentation wasn't as vigorous as it has been/usually is with a style like that. So I take a temp reading and the interior of the cooler is 59 with the fermetometer on the carboy reading 61. That was a little too low for me. So I purchased the Fermwrap Carboy Warmer and attached that to a $8 lamp timer (something like this). Since the Wrap is supposed to warm the cooler anywhere from 5 to 20 degrees above ambient, I set the timer to come on for four hour periods with three hour rests. I also try to keep the temp in the wine cooler stable by filling it with thermal mass (1 gallon RO water bottle bottles that I use for brewday work well).

So far, the wrap has worked great. It popped the fermenting temp from 60 to 68 and kept it there for the length of the primary (about 10 days before racking to secondary). I feel that it's been a good investment for myself, cheaper than some other options out there, and better than a temperature belt I've seen at some of the other shops.

Best of luck,
~SB

sweetcell 01-24-2012 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShinyBuddha (Post 3700110)
Since the Wrap is supposed to warm the cooler anywhere from 5 to 20 degrees above ambient, I set the timer to come on for four hour periods with three hour rests.

i'm certainly no expert at this but instead of 4-on/3-off, methinks it would be better to alternate 1-on/1-off/1-on/1-off/etc. that would have been more even, instead of a 4 hours warn peak and then a 3 hour cool off.

thoughts?

ShinyBuddha 01-24-2012 06:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sweetcell (Post 3700380)
...thoughts?

I like your idea...but only because it makes sense =)

Oh, and I hope you don't mind if I steal this idea.

Since this is a new toy I think you've got a great idea. My main focus was to have it on during the evening when ambient dropped but have it off during the day with the rising of the daystar. Since the "Wrap" is only 40w it took a while to get up to temp (roughly 4 hours which is where I got that number)....well, I was going to type up my rational but to keep it short. By the time it arrived I only had it on the primary for three days and the temperature seemed to be nice and even. however, the 1on/off would be a much better method once the primary got up to fermenting temperature. I like it!

~SB


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