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Old 08-24-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
Mirilis
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Default Flex Watt heat tape help

So I am going to buy some flex watt heat tape to rig to a temp controller for a sanke keg. I know if you get the 11 inch its pretty much a fermwrap.. but I dont think it would tape onto a sanke fermenter well because of the shape.

My solution is to get 4 feet of the 3 inch. It says that 1 foot of 3 inch is 10 watt.. so 4 feet would be 40 watts of heat getting put into the keg. I can just tape the 3 inch strip around the entire keg.. then just put the probe above it or to measure temp.

Would this be sufficient for an 11 gallon batch? Ive never used the stuff before. Ive been researching it on here and through their site and I think it will work but I just thought Id ask.


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Old 08-24-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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Nobody has any helpful tidbits to share?


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Old 08-24-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
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So your fermenters are getting too cold and you want to use this heat tap eto maintain the temp? The question of whether 40 watts will be enough depends on what the ambient air temp is in the room you are storing it in and what temp you are trying to hit.

This is kinda surprising as most people are trying to cool their fermenters down!

I would say give it a go and make sure to insulate the fermenter so you dont lose heat to the ambient air as quickly.


Another way to look at it is that 40 Watts = 136.577 BTUs. 1 BTU is the amount of energy need to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree F assuming no heat loss. 1 gallon of water wieghts 8.345404 pounds. 11 gallons weights about 92 pounds. At 40 watts you should be able to bring 11 gallons up about 1.5 degrees in an hour assuming (and this is obviously very important) NO HEAT LOSS. So insulate as much as you can and you should be fine? Especially with the heat generated from the yeast/fermentation process.

HTH

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Old 08-24-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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No direct experience, but i would think 40w is plenty unless of course you are thinking extreme conditions like outside in the winter??

Yea, i'm a bit curious as well, why are you trying to heat your fermenter in August in OH? Or are you just planning for winter. IMO one might not even need heat for fermentation in a cool basement in the middle of winter, w/ just a bit of insulation.

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Old 08-24-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
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Oh and make sure to heat from the bottom and take your temp reading from the bottom. You can get some crazy heat gradients in a jug of water the size of a keg.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:26 PM   #6
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My basement is in low 60s. In winter it stays at around 60 constant but some beers I want to ferment at 68. During summer I want to have a lager in my freezer at 50 and an ale in the same freezer at 65 or so. I don't let temps swing more than a degree during the ferment and sometimes I want to warm slightly to encourage attenuation to maximize.

Basically I want complete control over my ferment.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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Fermwrap for carboys are 20 W...so I'm thinking 40W will be sufficient for a sankey
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirilis View Post
During summer I want to have a lager in my freezer at 50 and an ale in the same freezer at 65 or so.
That one might be tough with only 40 watts. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:59 PM   #9
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You plan to insulate around it though right?
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:17 AM   #10
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yeah, I plan to insulate it. I will have one sankey for lagers, and either a carboy or a second sankey that will be insulated with a heater for ales. I got the idea from listening to one of the brewstrong shows. The only difference is Jamil used two carboys.


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