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Old 09-27-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
karinp
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Default new KT brewer in cold climate

I'm just a single person with a small cool (temp-wise) apartment trying to brew my first batch (1 gallon) and I'm realizing that there is no place that will be consistently 70 degrees in my house (actually, daytime temps are more likely to be in the low 60s and night time temps could be in the 50s when the weather turns even colder out. So, I have read about how others have dealt with this issue and I'm still unsure of the best solution. I could get a seed-starting mat but they seem too big for my 1 gallon jar (and some people say they won't be strong enough, and/or too stiff), I could get a small reptile tank heat pad and stick it against the side of my 1 gallon jar - but they are $20 for the smallest pad and seem to have bad reviews - like they stop working pretty quickly. I have a crock pot and I'm trying to think if I could use that in some way. If I used it a lot - I could use it next to the KT jar - but truthfully, I don't use it much.

A box with a light bulb sounds inexpensive and good - but since I'm only brewing 1 gallon in an already small apartment - I would love to find a solution that took up less space, was safe and was easy for me to rig up.

Any suggestions or ideas would be very appreciated!!!

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Old 09-27-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiT...words=heat+pad
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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What do you think about that? To stick against a 1 gallon jar?

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Old 09-27-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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I was looking into these for a short while myself. What I noticed is that some of them get up to +100℉ and that will cook your brew. I don't know about that model specifically, but the Q&A on that ad says it's 95-100.

A crock pot filled with water around the jar would be a decent solution, but you'd need to use a controller to turn the pot on and off, or it could boil your brew.

I use a 10-gal aquarium that I upgraded from, filled about halfway up with water, and a cheapo pre-set submersible aquarium heater keeps my solutions right at ~78℉. It turns itself on and off. Seems tropical fish like a similar temp range as kombucha!

If you're not wanting to spend any money, and don't have any other options, a box and night light may be your best bet.
Let us know what you come up with!

20130923_203010_lls.jpg  
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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That is brilliant! Are the fish heaters cheap and set for exactly that temp - or do I need another gadget to get the heater to turn on and off. If I bought/found a container slightly bigger than my 1 gallon jar - could fill it half way with water and just dip the plugged-in fish heater into the water and voila? Even if I started out using a soup pot on the counter filled with some water and my gallon jar of KT? What should I look for in a fish heater? Amazon (for research purposes)?

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Old 09-27-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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That is brilliant! Are the fish heaters cheap and set for exactly that temp - or do I need another gadget to get the heater to turn on and off. If I bought/found a container slightly bigger than my 1 gallon jar - could fill it half way with water and just dip the plugged-in fish heater into the water and voila? Even if I started out using a soup pot on the counter filled with some water and my gallon jar of KT? What should I look for in a fish heater? Amazon (for research purposes)?
The pre-set heaters are the cheapest. Look for one rated for up to 10-gal. They'll be lower wattage.

Yea just stick it in the water, but you have to leave it in there for a little while before you plug it in so it warms up to the water temp. Like half hour or so. Some, like mine, are fully submersible but others have a water line. Make sure you get one that'll better match your situation. I can turn mine sideways to warm a wider area of water. But all of them have to have at least a certain amount underwater or it'll burn it and possibly crack the glass.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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I realized I have a heated dog water bowl I sometimes plug in outdoors on the coldest winter days. Its not cold enough to use it yet - but maybe I could plug it in on my kitchen counter and put my glass jar of brewing KT in the bowl to see if that adds just a bit of warmth. I don't know if its safe to use it without water in the bowl of not.

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Old 09-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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I realized I have a heated dog water bowl I sometimes plug in outdoors on the coldest winter days. Its not cold enough to use it yet - but maybe I could plug it in on my kitchen counter and put my glass jar of brewing KT in the bowl to see if that adds just a bit of warmth. I don't know if its safe to use it without water in the bowl of not.
Definitely put water in it. It may be fine empty on its own but you want the water. Put the jar in the bowl then add the water second so when the jar displaces the water it doesn't go everywhere.
I would advise running it with water but without the jar for a while so you how how warm the water will get in it before you commit your brew to it. I can't imagine it making the water hot since its purpose is just to keep some water from freezing in the winter, but it was also designed to be used outside and in the winter.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:41 AM   #9
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That's an ingenious solutions kyt! I suppose continuous brewing is out of the question with that kind of setup though.

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Old 09-29-2013, 02:52 AM   #10
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Not necessarily, but you probably wouldn't be able to use a container with a spigot in a heated dog bowl lol

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