Hair Dryer for Temperature Control? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
blackcows
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Jan 2007
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I read somewhere of someone using a hairdryer in a chest freezer to control fermentation temps. It was connected to a temperature controller. Personally I think this is a great idea for a few reason; first of all we have any extra hair dryer so I wouldn't have to purchase anything, rather than just heating the air the fan in the hair dryer moves the hot air around, also the hair dryer has a built in ground fault so there is a bit of safety built in.

Any reason I shouldn't use a hair dryer?



 
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
olsond
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Jan 2011
West Dundee, Illinois
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I completely killed an old hair dryer in a week using it for that. It may not last.



 
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
porcupine73
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Aug 2012
Fort Meade
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Running that or one of those little space heaters seems to be what many people do but I really don't think it is the safest option. Something radiant like a seedling heat mat or reptile heat pad seems much safer.

I think the heat source should be just adequate to maintain temps down to the lowest ambient temp you will see. For a chest freezer to stay say 60F inside even at 20F ambient, even 50 watts should be plenty adequate.

For one thing if for some reason the heat gets stuck on, if you have a hair drier going in there, it's going to get really hot really fast. If a 30 watt reptile heater gets stuck on it will get a bit toasty in there after a number of hours, but nothing like an 800 watt plus hair drier going in there.

Also would have to check your thermostat relay rating, most hair driers it seems even on low they might still be 800 watts, on high they can be 1800 watts on some of them.

 
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
Monster Mash
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Apr 2006
Castaic, CA
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A 100w incandescent bulb works fine for heating the inside of a freezer, if you use carboys just cover them with a shirt to protect them from the light
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
slakwhere
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Dec 2009
Salt Lake City, Utah
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assuming the fermentation cabinet is insulated, it requires a VERY small amount of heat to keep it at temp. a 60w bulb or reptile heater will bring the temp up slowly (which you want) instead of producing spikes and overshooting your volumes. i was using a 1500w heater and switched to reptile heating cord from the pet supply store. i don't overshoot anymore when the heat kicks on and the cost is a lot less (1500w vs 50w).

a hair dryer isn't built for that kind of duty cycle.

 
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
scottsr123
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Sep 2011
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I just finished building my fermentation chamber and am testing now. It is about 24 cu. ft, and here's what I'm using for heat. $14 at PetSmart. Seems to be working well so far.



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Old 11-06-2012, 05:22 AM   #7
jaz5833
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Mar 2011
San Diego, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olsond View Post
I completely killed an old hair dryer in a week using it for that. It may not last.
I've been using mine for an extended amount of time now without a hitch
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:30 AM   #8
Icenine61
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Oct 2012
, Illinois
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Hair dryer is overkill, especially for an insulated ferm chamber.

In a past life I managed a company that sold and repaired hot tubs. My techs used hair dryers when a tub broke down to keep the pipes from freezing. I have seen one maintain 83+ degrees with below zero ambient temps for days on end.

I use this one the teflon is very nice. I've been using this style in my garage for years even if the bulb does break it doesn't drop shards.



 
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