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DSmith 10-14-2011 01:49 PM

Best Heating Method Inside Small Chest Freezer
I'm new to temperature control. I purchased a 5 cu ft chest freezer and A419 controller and have cooling taken care of. What's the preferred equipment for heating inside the freezer for a single fermenter?

1. Buy a heated wrap at a homebrew shop. Can you still have the probe on the outside of the fermenter (under insulation)?

2. Put a flat heating pad (plant heater or reptile tank warmer) on a freezer wall. I have a 15W one for plant seed starting that doesn't seem to put out much heat.

3. DIY reptile heater bulb (no light emission) placed inside the freezer. My local pet store has 60W, 100W & 150W.

4. Other?

jafo28 10-14-2011 02:02 PM

I use number 3, and it has worked great. I have it in a small desk lamp.

kmat123 10-14-2011 02:15 PM

I use a 40 watt incandescent bulb in my ferm chamber which is on all the time in the winter. But I also ferment in corny kegs so I'm not concerned about light transmission.

rekoob 10-14-2011 03:35 PM

I used the light option and that seemed to work just fine.

pickles 10-14-2011 04:00 PM

I use a small heater that has a fan in it. It cost $15 at Walmart. It works great. The fan is nice to move the air around the chamber.

wildwest450 10-14-2011 04:25 PM

#3, especially if it's a ceramic element.


CidahMastah 10-14-2011 05:33 PM

portable hair blow dryer is what I use. You get heat and air circulation in one. If you do belgians... good luck with a light bulb! Not saying it won't work, just that a hair dryer will work better IMO

like this:

I have the portable one with a folding handle from revlon in my fermentation chamber. Think it was about $10

OKHopHead 10-14-2011 06:06 PM

I just bought one of these for this winter: http://www.amazon.com/Lasko-MyHeat-Personal-Ceramic-Heater/dp/B003XDTWN2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318615541&sr=8-1

DSmith 10-14-2011 08:55 PM

I'm trying a 50W heating pad now with success in controlling my fermenter at 72F with my basement temperature at 68F. It's an older heating pad that I know doesn't turn it self off. I've got a computer fan running inside to circulate the air. I'm doing a long primary and am at the final gravity and want to keep a constant temperature through 4 weeks.

The A419 probe is under a small piece of ceramic fiber blanket insulation on the fermenter. I've got 2 thermocouples also in the freezer (borrowed from work with a handheld reader). One is by the A419 probe and reads the same temperature. The second is hanging in the air and read 80F max during the heating and is dropping fast when the heating pad is cycled off. The fermenter might overshoot 0.5F.

All the suggestions from this thread sound great. I've got the fan already so I think the 100W reptile heater would work for everything. My 50W heating pad would have a hard time for a higher temperature ferment but is what I can stick with until that situation comes up.

cfonnes 10-14-2011 09:39 PM

I use this heating pad. Very satisfied with results.


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