Heat Tape or Light in a Bucket - Home Brew Forums
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
DavetheDog
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I am looking into either using the heat tape found here: http://www.reptilebasics.com/heat-tape or the light bulb in a paint can method in order to warm my fermentation chamber.

The paint can idea is cheap but something tells me it is a little unsafe. I love beer but don't want to burn the house down while making it. Also, the paint can would take up a significant amount of space in the 7 cubic foot freezer I plan to use.

I like the idea of the tape and but don't know how efficient it is. I was thinking of buying two, two-foot pieces and placing them on opposite walls in the freezer and wiring them together to run off one temp controller. Is that much even necessary?

Is there anyone with experience with both of these that would like to weigh in? I feel like the tape is the better bet because it is out of the way and seems to be safer.



 
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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I use the heatbelt with an ebay temp controller in my ghetto lagering chamber, and for general temp control, like when brewing saisons or belgina beers to raise the temps.




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Old 02-12-2013, 08:48 PM   #3
GrogNerd
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Zoo Med ReptiCare Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter

in that paint can instead of a light bulb
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:19 PM   #4
helibrewer
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I believe the heatwrap generates about 40 watts per foot. I use it on individual vessels with a dedicated controller within my larger cold fermentation cooler, that way I can do lagers and ales side-by-side keeping the large chamber (freezer in your case) at a steady temp (35-40F).

I have both a heat belt and heatwrap (11"x24") and find the heatwrap works better under my conditions.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
BetterSense
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The heat tape is 20 watts per foot.

I recently set up a corny keg with reptilebasics heat tape for use as a fermenter in my keezer. I'm super impressed with the heat tape for brewing purposes. 2 feet is perfect for wrapping around a ball-lock keg. I put the heat tape on full-time and wrapped insulation around a keg full of water and it heated from 15C to 35C in about 6 hours. Right now it's in my keezer maintaining my lager at exactly 10C. I measure the temperature with a thermowell.

However the heat tape is $20 including shipping, it's not any safer, and it might be simpler to set up a light bulb, because you won't need a thermowell to measure the beer temperature if you control the ambient temperature.

 
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:00 AM   #6
ParadiseBeer
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i use one of these in my ferm camber, i run it off my my dual stage temp control. i like that it's flexible and thin, just screwed it the back side it's more then enough heat w/ low watts..
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:02 AM   #7
TacoBrew
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I use the light in a can and have had no problems at all with it. Works fine in my ferm. fridge, but to be honest, I wouldn't mind trying out the heat tape. Would allow me to keep another fermenter in the fridge, I bet.

 
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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There are low voltage options like 12V halogen bulbs. Aluminium clad resistors do the same thing and don't burn out.

 
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
I believe the heatwrap generates about 40 watts per foot. I use it on individual vessels with a dedicated controller within my larger cold fermentation cooler, that way I can do lagers and ales side-by-side keeping the large chamber (freezer in your case) at a steady temp (35-40F).

I have both a heat belt and heatwrap (11"x24") and find the heatwrap works better under my conditions.
So there's no heat generated on the outside of the heat wrap, so it doesn't affect the surrounding environment? So I could conceivably use one inside my keezer to control the temps of a fermenter to ferment and the lager a lager without affecting the temp of my kegs? I could have a heatwrapped bucket at whatever ferm temp I wanted it at, and still keep my beers at whatever temp I like to drink them at if it's below?
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
So there's no heat generated on the outside of the heat wrap, so it doesn't affect the surrounding environment? So I could conceivably use one inside my keezer to control the temps of a fermenter to ferment and the lager a lager without affecting the temp of my kegs? I could have a heatwrapped bucket at whatever ferm temp I wanted it at, and still keep my beers at whatever temp I like to drink them at if it's below?
Revvy,
See my sig line for my multi-temp chamber. I successfully used this heat wrap from reptile basics to lager while fermenting an ale... Very impressed. I am going to wrap each fermentor with reflectix to improve it's efficiency even more...



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