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Old 03-23-2008, 03:59 PM   #1
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Default how effective are heat belts.

Hi -

My garden shed here in London is around 45F at the moment. Are heatbelts good enough to be able to bring a plastic fermenting bucket up to a suitable fermenting temperature from 45F ?

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 03-23-2008, 09:31 PM   #2
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A heatbelt will raise the fermenter temp up, but it isn't recommended to be used on a continuis basis. Watch your temperture rise and only leave it on for a day at a time before letting the belt cool down. Follow the manufacturers instructions on the belt if contrary to what I said.

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Old 03-23-2008, 11:05 PM   #3
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screw a heat belt, get some lagers going!

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Old 03-24-2008, 08:03 AM   #4
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Yeah - I thought about doing a lager but this is my first try and I wanted to do an ale first because I hear that they are harder to screw up than lagers.

What is the best temp controlling device then, in the situation where i need to heat rather than cool.? I see heat belts and mats on the market. Is there a fermenter available with built in heater/thermostat?

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Old 03-25-2008, 10:25 PM   #5
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I've used a Ranco controller by placing the probe under the fermenter.

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Old 03-27-2008, 08:49 AM   #6
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I have received my heatbelt now, and in fact the instructions say to leave it switched on all the time until fermentation completes. Apparently leaving it positioned 4 inches up from the bottom of the fermenter will hold the brewing temp in the mid 60's, even though my garden shed is about 40 right now.

So, we'll see!

Cheers!

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Old 03-27-2008, 12:26 PM   #7
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It'll probably work fine for you. In a pinch, it is a reasonable method. I have a lid with a hole in the middle just undersized from the diameter of a long stemmed thermometer (you know 1/8" or so). So if you want to keep an eye on the temp, and have a long stemmed thermometer laying around it's some food for thought. I just cover it with a piece of tape when not in use.

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Old 03-28-2008, 10:28 AM   #8
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Just as an update, in case anyone is interested.

I tested the heatbelt over night in my shed with a 25L bin full of water.

The temp in the shed was less than 40F thru the night, and when I checked the temp of the water this morning it was bang in the middle of the fermenting range on my thermometer, at around 65F.

I was surprised it worked so well.

It's a blunt instrument I know, but looks like it will mean I can ferment my next brew in the shed and keep the Mrs off my back

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Old 03-28-2008, 11:20 AM   #9
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I initially thought "yeah, good luck buddy" when I first read this thread. And so you say it works? Hmmmmm. It's 40 everyday now here, and will be till May .... maybe I'll have to find one of these and use the shed myself. Thanks for the update on this ashbyp.

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Old 03-28-2008, 11:31 AM   #10
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No worries - I need to check the temp a few more times over the next day or two but I will report back if anything changes.

Cheers!

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