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Old 10-20-2007, 03:14 PM   #1
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Default Tron's Better Bottle Warmer

I'm new to this hobby, so forgive me if this idea has been done before. I would be surprised if it hadn't. I'm making my first batch of EdWort's Apfelwein and wanted to keep my carboy at 70-72F while in the fall and winter my house is usually around 64F. One of my other hobbies is saltwater aquariums, so I had a supply of heaters that weren't being used. I bought an oil drain pan from Menards for $7.44, cut a hole in the top for the BB, a small hole for the heater, put in the BB, filled the pan with 2 gallons of water, set the heater for 70, put it in, and I was done. Let me know what you think.



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Old 10-20-2007, 08:47 PM   #2
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Nice indirect heating, there! Looks like a cheap'n easy winner to me, and I haven't heard of it before.

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Old 10-21-2007, 05:25 AM   #3
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Looks good, but I would say 64 F is a better temp. than 70 F for most ales.

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Old 10-21-2007, 01:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mew
Looks good, but I would say 64 F is a better temp. than 70 F for most ales.
Perhaps, but this is for Apfelwein, not ale.
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Old 10-21-2007, 02:05 PM   #5
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Where does the water flow, or does it just sit in the interior of the drain pan, so the carboy is never actually touching the water?
When you set the water for 70F, and the large carboy is sitting 1/2 inch above the water, if the room temp is 60, will the carboy liquid even come close to 65F? I like the idea, just curious if there's enough heat transfer. Is there a thermometer "label" on your carboy so you can see the temp of the fluid?

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Old 10-21-2007, 06:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouT
Where does the water flow, or does it just sit in the interior of the drain pan, so the carboy is never actually touching the water?
When you set the water for 70F, and the large carboy is sitting 1/2 inch above the water, if the room temp is 60, will the carboy liquid even come close to 65F? I like the idea, just curious if there's enough heat transfer. Is there a thermometer "label" on your carboy so you can see the temp of the fluid?
The carboy sits on the bottom of the drain pan and the water flows all around it, so it is touching the sides of the carboy all around to a height of about 5 inches. The heater is in the water which heats the carboy by direct contact.

No thermometer label. There is a vent hole on the handle that is just like the vent on the back of a plastic gasoline can. I can poke a digital probe thermometer through to monitor temperature.
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:45 AM   #7
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This is what I do in the cooler months except I use a ten gal plastic trash can for a 5 gal carboy with an aquarium heater. I fill it nearly to the wort line to maximize heat transfer.

I also use a 25 gallon rubbermaid storage bin for two 5 gal carboys. In this one I run the aquarium heater and an aquarium pump to circulate the water.

I put a little bleach in the water so it doesn't smell funny after a few days.

Never thought about using a shallow pan, should work just as well, that's a good idea.

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Old 10-22-2007, 09:28 PM   #8
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I am liking this idea. In the winter I want to brew some ales and maybe even a lager. How good would this do in a garage dead middle of the winter? Maybe get a 10 gallon trash can and fill the water line up to the wort line, would the aquarium heater keep the water heated to where it needs to be in a garage where temperatures sometimes drop below freezing?

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...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. :)
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:06 AM   #9
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I like your idea, originally misunderstood that you had cut a hole for the carboy. I still think a stick on thermometer about halfway up the carboy will give a better measure of the actual beer temp.

I'm going to steal this concept shamelessly for my own use! Thanks for posting!

I wonder how many watts an aquarium heater is. That would be useful for answering the above question about use in a garage.

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Old 10-23-2007, 12:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouT
I like your idea, originally misunderstood that you had cut a hole for the carboy. I still think a stick on thermometer about halfway up the carboy will give a better measure of the actual beer temp.

I'm going to steal this concept shamelessly for my own use! Thanks for posting!

I wonder how many watts an aquarium heater is. That would be useful for answering the above question about use in a garage.

According to the box i have in front of me a submersible aquarium heater rated for 15-40 gallons is rated at 100 W
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