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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Guess I'll be looking for a better way to heat my fermentation chamber
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default Guess I'll be looking for a better way to heat my fermentation chamber

I was using a Lasko Personal Heater like the one in the link.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lasko-Prod...eater/16503222

But on Sunday I noticed the chamber had dropped below my set range. When I opened the door of the chamber the heater power light was on, but the fan wasn't blowing. So I pulled it out to check if it had died on me. As soon as I plugged it I the fan came on and it started blowing heat out. I put it back in and it seemed to work fine after that. Until last night that is. It was doing the same thing. It's new and I've only had it in there for 8 days. I'm wondering if there was too much moisture in my ferm chamber (it's a mini fridge), and that is causing a problem for the heater. I ended up pulling the beer out of the fridge and putting the ferm bucket in a coat closet (it's cooler in there than the rest of the house). I believe fermentation is done (or damn close) anyways. I did a gravity ready on Sunday and it had dropped and was close to FG, so I don't think it will hurt anything.

I guess I'll have to look at some kind of heating tape as I keep the chamber in my garage and will need some kind of heat for my next batch.


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Old 02-14-2012, 06:13 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like the heaters internal T-Stat or Thermal overload was tripped. Might want to check the troubleshooting documentation for the heater.

Are you measuring the temp of the wort, or the chamber temp?

If the former, you may be just fine in that the chamber temp is hitting the heaters capacity but the wort temp just isn't rising as quickly.


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Old 02-14-2012, 06:27 PM   #3
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I had the probe in a big plastic bottle of water figuring that would keep me from getting wild temp swings. The wort was still at a good temp since it was only about a day (the best I can figure) that the heater wasn't working right. I go through my garage at least twice a day and I check temps every time through. All week it was holding steady at about 65 degrees (according to the temp controller), but last night it was down to 59.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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I had trouble using a small space heater also. I'm now using a ceramic bulb reptile heater. I think I have a 100W ceramic bulb in there. It heats up my 7 cu foot chest freezer really fast, could have done the 60W heater easily.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
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I use that exact model to heat my chamber and haven't had a problem yet. I used to use the ceramic bulbs but they couldn't keep up (I keep my chamber in the garage) and I ended up replacing them often. I had a very similar problem using a different model of Lasko to heat my dog's "house". The problem I had was after a couple of minutes it would trip the overheat protection. The solution for me was to turn it to the lower heat setting and it now works fine. That isn't an option for you with this model. How long will it run before it turns off?
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcl View Post
I use that exact model to heat my chamber and haven't had a problem yet. I used to use the ceramic bulbs but they couldn't keep up (I keep my chamber in the garage) and I ended up replacing them often. I had a very similar problem using a different model of Lasko to heat my dog's "house". The problem I had was after a couple of minutes it would trip the overheat protection. The solution for me was to turn it to the lower heat setting and it now works fine. That isn't an option for you with this model. How long will it run before it turns off?
I have no idea. I've actually have never heard it run while it was in the FC. But I'm sure it did because like I said it was holding steady at 65.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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If you give up on your current heater, you could build one of these:http://brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html (paint can heater). I have a 60 watt bulb in mine and it heats up my fermentation chamber (aka old refrigerator) quite nicely. I control it with an STC-1000 (aka "Ebay Digital Temperature Controller", e.g. http://www.ebay.com/itm/All-purpose-...item3369717de0.

I liked the STC-1000 so much I got two (one for the fermentation chamber, and one to eventually use in my keezer for which I'm currently using an analog Johnson controls).
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:54 PM   #8
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I already have a STC-1000 as my temp controller. I was thinking of building a paint can heater instead of going back to the heater.


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