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Old 12-21-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
Sep 2011
Corona, ca
Posts: 754
Liked 19 Times on 18 Posts

So, who uses what to keep their fermentors warm during the winter months? I'm in Cali so it isn't that long of a period but it does get sort of cold (around 40s) at night so slowly but surely my chest freezer I use for a fermentation box drops in temp. I have a heat pad I have thrown in there but it doesn't warm it up that quickly. If it's cold outside it might just stay about the same temp if it's on all night or might rise one degree F.
Anyways, looking for cheaper suggestions if possible but open to ideas in general.


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Old 12-21-2011, 04:40 PM   #2
hillhousesawdustco's Avatar
Jan 2011
up near babb, mt
Posts: 646
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I have an insulated box rather than a chest freezer but it should be about the same. I just use an small, old space heater that was lying around. It has 5 degree increments for temperature from 50-75. I put a little thermometer in the box and it turned that when I set it on 65, the box stays at a perfect 62 degrees. Everytime I open the lid, it always reads 62 so I'm happy with it.

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Old 12-21-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
Jul 2011
Albany, NY
Posts: 1,395
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I just made one of these last night: brewstands.com - fermentation heater. The only difference I did was to drill the hole for the cord through the paint can lid as then I could use the knock-out on the pancake box and it also lets a tiny bit of light out (so I know it is on or off). One final note on this...I first put a 100 watt light in it, but felt it was getting way too hot...I measured the paint can @ 150 degrees (and then shut it off). With a 60 watt bulb it gets to 120 degrees or so, which seems just about right.

I also wired up one of the ebay digital controllers: eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices. These little things are nice, I like it so much I just ordered another one to use in a keezer build (instead of using a Johnson Analog controller I have). If you are just doing cooling, you can find single stage models for around $16-17. (I ordered the dual stage "just because" it is only $8 more and provides better flexibility.)

Last n brews: (P=Primary) (K=Keg) (B=Keg->Bottle)
7/26: Flower Power(P) 6/13: Rolling Rock (K), 6/09: Yooper's Pale Ale (K), 5/27: Columbus IPA (K), 5/17: Victory Hop Devil (K), 5/15: Summit MO SMASH (K), 5/12: Sierra Nevada Celebration (K), 5/03: Schwartzbeir (B) 4/10: Birch Beer (Soda) (K), 3/31: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (B), 3/25: Belgian Ale (SWMBO slayer) (B), 3/21: mrbowenz English IPA (B), 3/17: Mirror Pond Ale (K), 3/17: Blue Moon's "Old Country Cousin" (B), 3/15: Sculpin IPA (B),

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:35 PM   #4
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unionrdr's Avatar
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
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I don't have anything like that-yet. So I have an electric oil heater in the room. I always have a dark tee shirt over the FV's when in use. If it gets really cold,I even throw an old fleece lined CPO over the fermenter as well. Ican hold it at a steady 68F (20C) this time of year.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #5
smokeyfisherman's Avatar
Dec 2009
Posts: 43

I got my buckets in a plastic tote ($10 @ Walmart) and an adjustable aquarium heater ($30 at petco)... I plan on insulating the tote this weekend to make it more consistant. Fill the tote up just above the 4 gallon mark on your buckets and your good to go. So far each morning afternoon and night when i check the temp its pretty consistant.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
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luke2080's Avatar
May 2011
Boston, MA
Posts: 460
Liked 19 Times on 18 Posts

I just hug my fermenter when its cold. Seems to do the trick.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:43 PM   #7
Double_D's Avatar
Feb 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,893
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I stole my wife's hair dryer a couple winters ago and plugged it into my (Ranco) temperature controller then set it to the heating cycle and desired temperature. The bonus is it has a low setting and it adds convection.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:45 PM   #8
Sep 2008
Finger Lakes
Posts: 752
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The simple solution is to brew a lager I do like copyrights idea and the aquarim heater. I might give one of them a try
"Your HYDROMETER is the only BEST indicator of fermentation activity. Nothing else is accurate or consistent"...Revvy

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
helibrewer's Avatar
Nov 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,808
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You can buy "FermWrap" by the foot at - The Bean Farm , connect an AC cord and a dimmer switch then dial in your temperature. I use an AC voltmeter in my enclosure which allows me to calibrate my temp to voltage. You could also use the digital controller above (STC-1000) to control the FermWrap...I have 2 controllers, one for my cool ferm chamber (Restless Cellars - Photos) and another for my FermWrap when I need heat.
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

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On Deck: German Lager

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:40 PM   #10
Dec 2011
Irvine, CA
Posts: 57
Liked 4 Times on 2 Posts

I'm just down the road in Irvine and have had good success with a brew belt. I wanted a ferm wrap but the timing didn't work out. I have it plugged into a digital temp controller and inside my unplugged mini-fridge. It's been holding steady at 68 for a couple of weeks now in my garage. The investment up front is a little more than some of the other ideas, but it's pretty much worry free. Just check the controller each time I get in the car and twittle my thumbs waiting for my brew to be done.

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