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Old 01-19-2009, 10:29 PM   #1
Beernip
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Default Fermenter warmer

I currently have my fermenters sitting in my kitchen which sits at a nice 67 degrees. This was fine when I only had one going at time but when I added a second the SWMBO eyebrows raised a little but she said nothing. I'm wanting to add yet another small 2-3g carboy for cider soon and am concerned about the smell and pushing my luck too far.

So to avoid any "problems" I am looking to move my fermenters out of the kitchen and in to a home office I built in the garage. The office has an air conditioner to keep it cool during the summer but not a heater for the winter time (always just used a small space heater when I was out there). The office gets down in to the 30's during the winter time.

In doing some research a lot of people have a problem with cooling the fermenters but not seeing a lot for warming up the temp. Some suggestions I've seen are the fermwraps/brewbelts. Not sure if they can warm the 5G glass carboy up 30-40 degrees? Insulation box help? Also the idea of buying three isn't appealing.

Others use water baths and aquarium heaters. Not really an good option as I have paperwork & electronics in the room too).

The idea that I have is something like the son of a fermenter chiller with the chilling trays below. Instead of using ice to cool it down use a reptile heating pad to warm it up?

Any other suggestions? Sound feasible? Anyone else using brewbelts or fermwraps? TYIA


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Old 01-19-2009, 10:46 PM   #2
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I don't know if this will help you.....

I built a keezer (a chest freezer with a temperature controller to keep brew temps down for fermentation). This is the only way to go.

However, most people don't discover (or don't need to) that these work just as well during the winter for keeping your brew warm. I just stuck a ceramic heat lamp like you would buy at a pet store for a reptile cage in the freezer and unplugged the compressor from the controller. My controller can be switched to "inverse" or "heat mode" to turn on instead of off at desired temperature to control a heat source. Let me know if you need more details.


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Old 01-19-2009, 11:03 PM   #3
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I have thought about this but was wanting to try to keep the cost down for now. It SWMBO keeps compliaing about our current fridge and wants too get a new one on a year or so. Figured at that time I could convert it. I'll still troll craigslist to see if I could pick up a bargain. I didn't know you could heat a keezer so that is good to know and worth looking into. I'll let you know I need instructions on how to. Thanks.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:44 PM   #4
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I think I'm going to go the route of the ceramic heat lamp, as I am looking to work with some Belgian yeast strains in the winter... not exactly true seasonal brewing for me huh?

Let me ask this though, when I google for these lamps, I only see bulbs. Can I just use a regular light socket, or is there a particular lampstand I need?
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beernip View Post
I have thought about this but was wanting to try to keep the cost down for now. It SWMBO keeps compliaing about our current fridge and wants too get a new one on a year or so. Figured at that time I could convert it. I'll still troll craigslist to see if I could pick up a bargain. I didn't know you could heat a keezer so that is good to know and worth looking into. I'll let you know I need instructions on how to. Thanks.
A run of the mill heating pad will run you $15/ea. at the local drugstore. Wrap one of them around the carboy and tie it in place with some string. Voila! Now, you're not going to get it up 30-40 degrees without some insulation and maybe using two pads per vessel, but it's still cheaper than a brewbelt or ceramic heaters. You could also take up lagering, so that you don't have to raise it up so much.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:50 PM   #6
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I use a terrarium heater in my chest freezer in the garage. Works great.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:52 PM   #7
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I use a terrarium heater in my chest freezer in the garage. Works great.
Same here for my fermentation fridge, works great.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:54 PM   #8
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Not sure about the lamps, but make sure you've properly
protected your brew from the constant light source you
are subjecting it to!
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #9
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The good thing about the ceramic lamps is that they emit infrared heat, so it's a non-visible light source.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:05 PM   #10
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47% of sunlight is infra red.

It's still light, we just can't see it.

Wouldn't that still interact with the acids?


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