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Old 11-06-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
QJoshH
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Default Heater in a ferm-freezer?

I'm not ready to stop brewing ales yet this year, but my ferm-freezer is in the garage, and in cool weather I can't keep the temperature above the ambient temp (right now, lower 50s). What if I put a small ceramic space heater (like the ones people put in their offices) inside the freezer, and route it through my Johnson temp controller? Concerns?

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Old 11-06-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by QJoshH View Post
I'm not ready to stop brewing ales yet this year, but my ferm-freezer is in the garage, and in cool weather I can't keep the temperature above the ambient temp (right now, lower 50s). What if I put a small ceramic space heater (like the ones people put in their offices) inside the freezer, and route it through my Johnson temp controller? Concerns?
Will work fine. I placed a 40 watt light bulb on a ceramic base inside a #10 can to do the same thing in my garage fridge for fermenting and lagering during the winter. If you want to be really nice to your beer, put a 12v computer fan (powered by a wall wart) in the fridge to keep the air circulating so the heat doesn't puddle in the top of the fridge.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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No concerns, just make sure to keep the heater above the level where there would be beer if something were to happen with the fermentors. In fact, I do this in my ferm chambers and it works well, even with the freezer plugged into the cool side of the controller. Some people use small lights to heat their chambers. The heat from a light bulb is enough to warm a sealed and insulated chamber.

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
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Take a look at this - http://brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html

It uses a light bulb, but keeps the light from shining on your beer and skunking the hops.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:25 PM   #5
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I use 2 controllers, one for the ferm chamber (set at about 45F since I have kegs in there too). The second controller is attached to a fermwrap on the fermenter with the probe in a thermowell. This way my kegs stay nice and cold but I can still ferment at any given temp above the 45F chamber....I do all my lagers and ales this way.

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Old 11-07-2013, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post
Take a look at this - http://brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html

It uses a light bulb, but keeps the light from shining on your beer and skunking the hops.
It may be worth further investigation, but I believe that incandescent light is not likely harmful to the beer. Beer is generally considered to become skunks when the green and blue energy light hits it, while incandescent light, being more towards the red end of the visible spectrum, does little damage.

IIRC skunking has been associated with around 380-500 nm wavelengths, with red light being more in the 700 nm wavelength.

That said, a paint can is still good insurance and a ceramic heater also does not promote skunking and they usually have a built in fan to even out the temperature (When they cycle on)
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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I used this:

http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Reptil...ile+heat+cable

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Old 11-07-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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60 watt bulb inside a paint can is what i use on my 5 cb/ft ferm chamber that sits in an non-insulated shed.

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Old 11-08-2013, 01:28 AM   #9
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Totally going to buy that heat cable...

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Old 11-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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Is the light bulb in a paint can safe? I made one last night and was 2nd guessing whether or not it was safe inside a 7cu ft freezer

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