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Old 11-01-2010, 12:48 AM   #1
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Default Fermentation Freezer + heater

I have an upright freezer that I use to ferment in with a digital temperature controller. It worked great in the summer. Now with winter the garage gets quite cold.

I'm considering switching to a 2 stage temp controller and using a reptile heating pad which is similar and cheaper than brewer's edge space heater

Will this work to keep the fridge at ale temperature? Would I need more than one? Where is the best place to mount this?

Currently I just use the bottom shelf to hold two fermenters, but I plan to build a wood shelf for 2 more fermenters above the bottom.


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Old 11-01-2010, 12:55 AM   #2
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A lot of guys just use a light bulb for heat.


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Old 11-01-2010, 01:01 AM   #3
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No worries about light exposure? I doubt it has all that much UV though.
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Secondary 1 - Hibiscus Saison
Secondary 2 -
Secondary 3 - Malkore's Not So Ancient Orange Mead(2.5 gal)
Secondary 4 -
Gallon Fermentor - Joe's Ancient Orange, Joe's Quick Grape Mead, Pomegranate Mead
Bottled/aging - Sunshine Wheat Clone, Fat Tire Clone, Hard Cider, Scotch Ale, Orange Blossom Sweet Mead
Coming soon... - Weizenbock, Belgian Wit, Apfelwein
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:14 AM   #4
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I use one of the small ceramic element space heaters. A light bulb will work, but I would shield it with something to prevent light exposure. A coffee can might work, but some caution to avoid a fire hazard would be advised. Even a light bulb could overheat in an enclosed capsule like that. The bulb itself would probably pose no danger, but the socket and cord might if exposed to excessive heat. I suppose you could wrap the bulb with aluminum foil, but again, I don't know what kind of hazard that might present. The reptile heater would be much safer I would think. How much heat your chamber might require would depend a lot on what extremes you face with ambient room temps, but being that it's an enclosed, insulated compartment, it shouldn't require much at all. Keep in mind that unless you have some way of circulating the air in the chamber, it will be much warmer at the top than at the bottom. How much warmer I don't know, but it will be a significant difference.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:27 PM   #5
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I'd go with the reptile heaters maybe one on each side of the chamber. My whole outlook on building things is to overbuild. It's better have more than enough than not enough a majority of the time. Then for real simple air circulation you can get some oust fans they have a 5min on and 15min off cycle. They run off D batteries just don't put the scent part in, and there's your $8 no brainer air circulation.
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:17 PM   #6
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I was thinking about using a ceramic reptile heater when I build mine.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...9&pcatid=19739
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JByer323 View Post
I was thinking about using a ceramic reptile heater when I build mine.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...9&pcatid=19739
That's what I plan to use if my little space heater ever gives out. I use a muffin fan to circulate the air continuously same as with my serving freezer. I don't like having to replace batteries endlessly.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:24 PM   #8
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I use a hair dryer....it circulates the air and has it`s own built in gfi on the plug.The price is right too.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I use a hair dryer....it circulates the air and has it`s own built in gfi on the plug.The price is right too.
Now that's an interesting option! Even one of the tiny ones should work well and they don't cost much at all.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I use a hair dryer....it circulates the air and has it`s own built in gfi on the plug.The price is right too.
Now that's what I call using your head...er um hair dryer. That is a good idea. It has everything: heat, fan, GFCI. All you need is a thermostat to turn it on and off.


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