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Old 12-21-2011, 05:43 PM   #11
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A clamp on lamp and ceramic IR bulb works for me. I only use the 60w so it doesn't generate too much heat but it is enough that when the controller kicks it on it keeps things from getting too cold.

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:01 PM   #12
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Being in MI gets colder than CA (not so much this year), but I got a ceramic heater for the fridge in an unheated pole barn where I brew. Moves the air and keeps a constant temp with single controller. Cold crashing is as simple as removing the fermentor from the fridge. Bottling in the cold is interesting.

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Old 12-21-2011, 07:40 PM   #13
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Here's what I did:
1) Got a 10 gallon utility bucket (the kind with handles)
2) Filled with water (keeps temperature stable)
3) Placed carboy in water
4) Got $15 100 Watt fish tank heater off Amazon & placed in water.

Result: rock solid temp readings of 66°F.

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Old 12-23-2011, 03:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke2080 View Post
I just hug my fermenter when its cold. Seems to do the trick.
I think this is the best idea of them all!

Thanks for all of the ideas. I have a small space heater, the wife was just worried about putting it into a chest freezer for any period of time, but i think it would be fine.
Anyone have their doubts about doing this or being a big fire hazard?
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:42 AM   #15
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I use a water bath and add hot tap water.

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Old 12-23-2011, 03:45 AM   #16
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I keep them in a chest freezer because I usually have 2-3 beers fermenting at once and some bottles carbing up sometimes as well.

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Old 12-23-2011, 10:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke2080 View Post
I just hug my fermenter when its cold. Seems to do the trick.
This! People often forget that love truly is the secret ingredient in most beers
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyfisherman View Post
I got my buckets in a plastic tote ($10 @ Walmart) and an adjustable aquarium heater ($30 at petco)... I plan on insulating the tote this weekend to make it more consistant. Fill the tote up just above the 4 gallon mark on your buckets and your good to go. So far each morning afternoon and night when i check the temp its pretty consistant.
+1. although I got a little "puckered up" the first time I tossed an electric appliance in a bucket of water. If you do this, be sure the heater will operate at the "lower" temperatures required by your yeast. Mine was a 100 watt tropical aquarium heater that did not have a setpoint below 70F. A little too warm for most yeasts. Not using it any more, but that's how I started. The water in the plastic tote acts as a heat sink to slow the temperature swings.

When I first got my ferm chamber, I bought a small quartz space heater but returned it when it kept shutting off due to a safety interlock. Apparently a lot of space heaters won't run more than ***** hours and then need to be unplugged to reset the interlock.
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:23 PM   #19
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For inside your chest freezer, I would follow the advice from post #3.

Get a heating light bulb, and get a 2 stage temp controller. This will warm the freezer when it is too cold, and cool it when too hot. Just be sure the temperature probe is in water or something, so the temp doesn't swing too wildly. And set the temp differential to +/- 2 degrees.

A light bulb would do the trick and be much safer than a space heater. And draw less power (I assume, I won't pretend to know how to prove that).

Of course none of this is needed if the hugging works.

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Old 12-23-2011, 07:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke2080 View Post
Of course none of this is needed if the hugging works.
So true.... I guess I'll stick with hugging!
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