Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Old fridge as a fermentation chamber
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:10 PM   #11
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Use one of the ceramic bulbs.. they come in different wattage and don't give off any light.. They are about as safe as anything you can use.. You can get them at most pet stores. They are used to heat reptile cages and they also offer them for dog house heaters.. You can make something like this. http://www.gundogsupply.com/hound-he...tter-2604.html


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Old 02-04-2011, 03:55 PM   #12
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40 watt ceramic heater will give off exactly as much heat as a 40 watt incandescent light bulb. So there is not much efficiency issues. Heating pads are not necessarily the safest either. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/warn...-night-112948/

if you are worried about light issues, then get the terrarium ceramic heat bulb. you can get them at any pet store (will run around $20) and use a nice sturdy shop clamp light from a hardware store. That should be the best and safest bet.


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Old 02-04-2011, 04:12 PM   #13
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Hmm, I'm gonna have to redo the heating option in mine as well. I upgraded to a Morebeer conical over the holidays, and managed to score a 15cf upright freezer on Craigslist, and the wee 25 watt heating pad from Williams that I've been using is about as useful as a one legged man in an arse kicking competition. I've got a porter in there at the moment that was initially at 64, and I bumped the temp to 69 to try to get the yeast to finish up, and it took almost 36 hours to raise that five degrees.

Fellow HBTer Ricand found these heating pads - beefier at 150 watts - but the thing was a monster. This tiny wee pad about 6" square, but on plugging it in, was too hot to touch within 60 seconds. I'd be extremely wary about using it anywhere around anything that might be flammable.

Was thinking about just picking up a small desktop heater at the local hardware store - they're cheap enough, something like this - but am now gunshy... maybe the reptile heater bulbs would be the best option?
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:19 PM   #14
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If you are looking for heating pads, you can try a car or truck battery heater. They make lot's of different sizes and wattage.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:35 PM   #15
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I use a 40w ceramic with a small 110v clip on fan to distribute the heat. Works great. Cost me about $.70 per week with highs in the 50's and lows in the 20's. Right now I'm fermenting at 66 deg.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubermick View Post
Hmm, I'm gonna have to redo the heating option in mine as well. I upgraded to a Morebeer conical over the holidays, and managed to score a 15cf upright freezer on Craigslist, and the wee 25 watt heating pad from Williams that I've been using is about as useful as a one legged man in an arse kicking competition. I've got a porter in there at the moment that was initially at 64, and I bumped the temp to 69 to try to get the yeast to finish up, and it took almost 36 hours to raise that five degrees.

Fellow HBTer Ricand found these heating pads - beefier at 150 watts - but the thing was a monster. This tiny wee pad about 6" square, but on plugging it in, was too hot to touch within 60 seconds. I'd be extremely wary about using it anywhere around anything that might be flammable.

Was thinking about just picking up a small desktop heater at the local hardware store - they're cheap enough, something like this - but am now gunshy... maybe the reptile heater bulbs would be the best option?
I know what you mean. I was originally intending to put a little personal heater in. But when push comes to shove there was no way I would just leave it like that when I'm at work. Too much to worry about, not worth it.

Also other options out there that should be pretty safe are:

Toasty toe heater - http://www.amazon.com/Indus-Tool-Coz...6840833&sr=8-1


cable heater for plants - this one is especially nice since you can wrap the entire interior of your fridge for even heat distribution. http://www.amazon.com/Hydor-HYDROKAB...6841022&sr=1-1


Roof De-Ice cable - Just like above, you can get that in any length, and its about 5 watt per foot. so its easy to adjust the heating power

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Heat-ADKS...6841195&sr=1-3


and of course a ceramic heat bulb - http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiC...6841334&sr=8-2


or you can go cheap like me and get an incandescent light bulb. Cant go wrong with a 40-60 watt heater for a buck.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:52 PM   #17
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I can't see why any of the small heaters are any more dangerous than a heating pad or a light bulb. More than likely, if it shorts out, it will trip the fuse/breaker. I think they all have heat shutoffs now too.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:08 AM   #18
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I know each brew and yeast and brewer will have their own temp, with that being said, the two stage ranco has a few different settings. I think I understand the instructions but please correct me if I am wrong. Say I want to ferment at 65 F
I will set stage 1 to turn on at 65 degrees (cool)
I will set stage 2 to turn on at 64 degrees (heat)
I will program a 1 degree differential for both stage 1 and 2.....
Does that mean the fridge will kick on once the probe reaches 66 degrees and will stay on until it cooled to 65, and/or the heat will kick on when it drops to 63 and will heat until I am back to 64. do you think this is too big of a swing in temp. How do you have your ranco programed?
I hope this makes sense...
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:12 PM   #19
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Why don't you try a An aquarium heater? This is what I do, and it works great. I got the 50 watt one
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:03 AM   #20
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Aquarium heaters are not supposed to be used out of water.


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