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Old 10-14-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
Sep 2011
Robbinsdale, MN
Posts: 796
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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?

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Old 10-14-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
jafo28's Avatar
Aug 2010
Posts: 883
Liked 126 Times on 77 Posts

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

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Old 10-14-2011, 02:15 PM   #3
Mar 2009
Bend, OR
Posts: 320
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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

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Old 10-14-2011, 03:35 PM   #4
rekoob's Avatar
Feb 2011
Norfolk, VA
Posts: 1,421
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I used the light option and that seemed to work just fine.

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Old 10-14-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
pickles's Avatar
Feb 2008
Posts: 2,007
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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

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Old 10-14-2011, 04:25 PM   #6
Registered User
Dec 2007
Posts: 9,043
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#3, especially if it's a ceramic element.


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Old 10-14-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
CidahMastah's Avatar
Nov 2010
, New York
Posts: 4,242
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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

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Old 10-14-2011, 06:06 PM   #8
Aug 2011
Tulsa, OK
Posts: 15

I just bought one of these for this winter:

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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.

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Old 10-14-2011, 09:39 PM   #10
Jun 2010
Posts: 929
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I use this heating pad. Very satisfied with results.

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