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Old 02-18-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
crookedibrews
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Feb 2012
Watauga, texas
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I want to convert an old frig to have temp. control. I understand how the cooling side of it would work but what about heating the batch in the winter. Texas is crazy weather, one week it is hot and cold the next. i will be setting up the frig in the garage and will need to control the temp. Does any one have a suggestion on an eficiant way to add heat

 
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
postal_penguin
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Sep 2011
Aurora, Co
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First you will need a dual stage temperature controller that can activate a heating element and a cooling element.

I've seen a few methods of adding heat. Electric blankets, small space heaters, brew belts, aquarium heaters(place fermenter in tub of water, put heater in tub) or even a simple incandescent lightbulb.

The method you use largely depends on how much heat you have to add. A lightbulb will work if you only need to heat a few degrees but more than that and you should look into getting a brew belt or aquarium heater.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:05 PM   #3
crookedibrews
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Feb 2012
Watauga, texas
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The cold spells do not last to long here i think i will try to start with the light bulb and see. Winter is over here any way and i wont have to worry much about heating until next October thanks for the info!!

 
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
cherrob123
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Jun 2011
Houston, Texas
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Im new to the hobby myself. I have successfully brewed my first partial mash. It's St. Arnolds Christmas Ale clone. I stuck to ales in the beginning so that I didn't have to worry too much about temps.

I am going to try a Kolsch for my next batch and I too am going to convert a refrigerator to get the correct fermenting temps.

What part of the State do you live in? I live in Houston and I never gave any consideration to the heating issue you bring up. While our temps in winter time sometimes dip into freezing, the garage itself will keep temps above freezing and the refrigerator's own insulation will keep the inside fairly even. That is, if the temps don't drop below freezing and stay there for a day or two. That happens very rarely.

I will be very interested in knowing if anyone else in the Houston area has a heater in their fermenting fridge.

Great Question!!

 
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
crookedibrews
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Feb 2012
Watauga, texas
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cherrob...Im in the Dallas area which isnt to much of a diffrence here. Mabe im being over cautious. Better safe than sorry i guess. There were a few weeks last year that were below freezing. This year not so much. Im sure the frig insulation would sufice in the short coold spells we get here in texas. thanks

 
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
thewurzel
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Baltimore, MD
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you can get a 25 watt heating mat from Williams brewing it just a Mat that sticks to the side of the fridge and takes up no space at all
http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWE...ATER-P518.aspx

 
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:02 PM   #7
helibrewer
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The Bean Farm (www.beanfarm.com) also sells the FermWrap material by the foot so you can make it any size you need. You can also order the clips, cords, etc. if you need to.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
crookedibrews
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Feb 2012
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thanks the matt sounds way better..

 
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:19 AM   #9
morbothegreat
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Jun 2011
baton rouge, la
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In live in Baton Rouge which is similar temps to Houston and I used heating in my fermentation fridge the last few weeks. It was getting too to cold at night and wanted the temps in the fridge to stay above 60. So I used the "light bulb in a paint can" trick, from this link:
http://www.wortomatic.com/articles/F...ion-Can-Heater

and i built the temp controller from this link:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay...-build-163849/

both worked great. but, out of curiosity, does anyone know if there is any danger to the fridge by putting a heating element in it? Could it burn up the fridge?

 
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:57 AM   #10
Just-a-Guy
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Dec 2011
ny, ny
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I hope you guys don't mind the intrusion of a complete newb here.... But... what the heck are you guys talking about? You are putting the FV in a fridge, then heating the inside of the fridge? I don't get it. I understand the need to keep the FV in a certain temp range, and not below a certain level, in order to ensure that fermentation occurs. But if the issue is it's too cold in the fridge...why not just put the FV somewhere else, like inside the house? What am I missing?

Thanks for any insight, I am genuinely confused.

Mark

 
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