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Old 10-15-2013, 03:40 PM   #11
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Fo' realz? That sounds like an awesome solution!
I have 2 of them and used them all winter long last winter they work great.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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The heaters i have are, Aquatop 100 watt submersible heater, model # HT-100

I did some research before i bought them and this heater seemed to have better reviews than most of the others.

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Things come and go. Good beer will live on for ever ! WileECoyote

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Old 10-15-2013, 06:50 PM   #13
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I used my lunch hour to buy one for $25. There were options at $15 and $20, but those have the "feature" of "not having to set the temp", which means they're at 78F and you can't do nothing to change it. I thought different species of fish have different ideal water temperatures but oh well. I got the adjustable one and now I can go nuts with a up to a 30 gallon swamp cooler!!!

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Old 10-16-2013, 12:07 AM   #14
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I used my lunch hour to buy one for $25. There were options at $15 and $20, but those have the "feature" of "not having to set the temp", which means they're at 78F and you can't do nothing to change it. I thought different species of fish have different ideal water temperatures but oh well. I got the adjustable one and now I can go nuts with a up to a 30 gallon swamp cooler!!!
Spend another $18 and you can wire that heater into a digital ST-1000 controller. You set the temp you want and the controller will turn the power to the heater on and off as needed.

BTW- 60*F ambient is a great temp for most ale yeasts since the temp inside the fermenter will run 6-10*F warmer at peak ferment. I'd only use the heater to warm it into the mid-60's after the first 4-5 days.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:10 AM   #15
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I used my lunch hour to buy one for $25. There were options at $15 and $20, but those have the "feature" of "not having to set the temp", which means they're at 78F and you can't do nothing to change it. I thought different species of fish have different ideal water temperatures but oh well. I got the adjustable one and now I can go nuts with a up to a 30 gallon swamp cooler!!!
That's what I did! While some of my favorite yeast strains do best at 60-64 degrees (Wyeast 1335 and 1450, the "pacman" strain, WLP001), as well as the hybrid California lager strain, I got a small 10w aquarium heater and can keep the water bath at whatever temperature I want.

The cool thing is that you can ferment at 62 degrees for 5 days, and then finish the fermentation off at 70 degrees with just a turning of the knob. It works great for me!
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:40 PM   #16
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The model # HT-100 heaters are temp adjustable too, another reason they were the ones I purchased.

I also do like Yooper said and set them at 62 for 5 days, and then turn it to 70 to finnish.

One of the best brewing tools ever.

Cheers

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I have spent more $ on brewing equipment than my truck cost!

Green beer sucks, let it age/condition/finish and become great before drinking it. WileECoyote

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Things come and go. Good beer will live on for ever ! WileECoyote

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Old 10-16-2013, 05:40 PM   #17
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.

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Old 10-16-2013, 05:41 PM   #18
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Unfortunately the one I got looks like it only goes down to 72. Not sure yet, only time will tell if it'll work for my needs. I don't own a fish tank but I guess I never realized that every fish that ever lived can only live in upper 70's water.

And I only had the heater plugged in for like a half hour, because I also put more (warm) water into the swamp cooler to get the level high enough for the heater to function properly, and it got to 64 and has been there all by itself since then - with very vigorous airlock activity.

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Old 12-25-2013, 04:09 PM   #19
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I know this is an older thread, but I thought I should throw this out there.
In the past I spent a lot of years keeping multiple tropical fish tanks. Those heaters are consistent, but not accurate. By that I mean you might set it at 70 and it might do a great job of keeping the water at 74. I would recommend checking the temperature of your swamp heater/cooler with a good thermometer occasionally to make sure it is where you want it. Also I lost almost an entire tank of fish when the cheapo heater got stuck 'on' and took the temperature into the high 90's. You definitely get what you pay for with those things so get a decent one and keep an eye on it. A good one should last for years.

As to why they all seem to only go down to 70 or 72.... tropical fish need those higher temps. If a hobbyist is keeping fish that require cooler temperatures they just do with out the heater. I kept a tank of fancy gold fish in my basement for years where the temperature in the winter dropped into the mid 50's and they did fine with no heater.

Sorry, geeked out there for a minute..... back to beer!

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Old 12-26-2013, 09:20 PM   #20
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Thanks for the tips! As for now, it's been soooo cold that the heater is struggling to keep the swamp water above 60! I know it's working, because when I take a fermentor out of the swamp (well after activity has settled) I have to move it into an especially warm part of the house or the temp will drop into the low 50's or upper 40's. It's only really a problem when it gets 10F or below outside, unfortunately that's been the rule rather than the exception so far this winter.

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