Best Heating Method Inside Small Chest Freezer - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Best Heating Method Inside Small Chest Freezer

Thread Tools
Old 10-14-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
Sep 2011
Robbinsdale, MN
Posts: 796
Liked 77 Times on 64 Posts

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?

Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
jafo28's Avatar
Aug 2010
Posts: 898
Liked 132 Times on 82 Posts

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

Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 02:15 PM   #3
Mar 2009
Bend, OR
Posts: 320
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

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.
Empire Brewing - Bend, OR

Fermenting: Guv'nor ESB
Kegged: Ominous Black Ale, Molotov IRA, 2011 Below Zero Barleywine, Cream Dream Stout, Amarillo IPA, Apfelwein

Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 03:35 PM   #4
rekoob's Avatar
Feb 2011
Norfolk, VA
Posts: 1,433
Liked 108 Times on 83 Posts

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

Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
pickles's Avatar
Feb 2008
Posts: 2,007
Liked 49 Times on 41 Posts

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.
Gaptooth Brewhouse

Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 04:25 PM   #6
Registered User
Dec 2007
Posts: 9,043
Liked 173 Times on 158 Posts

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


Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
CidahMastah's Avatar
Nov 2010
, New York
Posts: 4,242
Liked 42 Times on 39 Posts

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
Man,... That's a lotta hooch!
Steel rig in progress
ebuild info

LibertyHillBrewery Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 06:06 PM   #8
Aug 2011
Tulsa, OK
Posts: 15

I just bought one of these for this winter:

Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 08:55 PM   #9
Sep 2011
Robbinsdale, MN
Posts: 796
Liked 77 Times on 64 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 09:39 PM   #10
Jun 2010
Posts: 930
Liked 64 Times on 49 Posts

I use this heating pad. Very satisfied with results.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
chest freezer Aschecte Kegerators & Keezers 1 07-21-2011 06:32 PM
1.25" hole to small for Home Depot heating element...anyone have a quick fix? Ranger9913 Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks 6 02-22-2010 01:45 AM
Plug/outlet inside the chest freezer BeerLane Fermenters 6 09-03-2009 04:47 PM
Small chest freezer daytondb Kegerators & Keezers 11 01-05-2009 10:02 PM
Is a 5 cubic ft. chest freezer too small for 2 cornies? Saerf Kegerators & Keezers 3 10-15-2008 11:34 PM

Forum Jump