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Old 09-20-2012, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation Chamber Question

I recently picked up a old beat up fridge off CL and I wanted to build up a fermentation chamber.

I built up the ebay aquarium temp controller build yesterday and that's working just fine.

I'm debating what to use as a heating source though. Here's the catch. I live in Northern Idaho and this will be in a unheated garage so the garage can be over 100 degrees in the summer and down in the single digits in the winter. I'm thinking a small ceramic heater for the heat source. Thoughts?

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Old 09-20-2012, 10:05 PM   #2
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You won't need a ton of heat, even with the cold northern idaho temps in the winter. A heater or ceramic reptile bulb would do the trick. Some people use hairdryers too. You may also want to consider using a brew belt that is strapped onto your fermenter, or a heating pad that is directly under your fermenter for better efficiency in your heat transfer. It's more efficient to heat the beer directly than it is to heat the air around the beer.

Whatever you do, just be sure that your temp probe is either in (via a thermowell) or strapped to your fermenter so you are measuring the temp of the liquid, rather than the air.

Cheers!

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Old 09-24-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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I have this little Lasko heater in mine (upright chest freezer). It's perfect and doesn't take up much room. Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 4.3 x 6.1 inches


http://www.amazon.com/Lasko-MyHeat-Personal-Ceramic-Heater/dp/B003XDTWN2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348508816&sr=8-1&keywords=lasko+personal+heater

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Old 09-24-2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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I use 11" flexwatt heat tape.

http://www.reptilebasics.com/flexwatt-heat-tape/11-flexwatt-heat-tape/

Just make sure to get the wire and clips also:

http://www.reptilebasics.com/wire-clip-insulator-set

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Old 09-25-2012, 02:34 AM   #5
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Thanks all. I went with the bulb while the temps are more in line with the weather. Here's another question. I just finished a New Belgian Belgo clone and I pitched yeast about a hour ago.

I tapped the temperare probe to the fermenter . But I know the temp in the fermenter can be 1-2 degrees higher than the outside temp. So should I set the control temp to 1-2 degrees colder than what I want to ferment at?

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Old 09-25-2012, 06:15 PM   #6
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I also tape the probe to the side (use foil tape if you have it), and usually do this for good measure during the first 72 hours or so of fermentation. If you ever get a thermowell and actually insert the probe in the beer, then obviously just set it to the precise temp you want.

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Old 09-26-2012, 03:12 AM   #7
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Temp probe came loose from the fermenter today. I wanted to hit 68 degrees except it crept up to 72-734 thank goodness it's a Belgian yeast. And I caught it before it went above the temp threshold for the yeast strain.

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