Fermentation chamber heating source

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mwm5461

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Hello all! I recently built a fermentation controller featured at this site: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pimp-my-system/build-temperature-controller/

I am currently in the process of trying to find a solid chest freezer on craigslist as the cooling source and plan to have a 7+ cubic feet size so I can fit more than one fermenter in the chamber. My question is regarding the heating source. I understand that seedling/reptile heating mats and products like the FermWrap are good choices. Since I am planning to have multiple fermenters I would need multiple FermWraps and have to use an adapter to allow for multiple plugs into the heat source outlet for the controller. Has anyone done this?

If I use the mats do people wrap these around individual fermenters or just sit the fermenters on top of the mats so you only need one among multiple fermenters? If this is the case are there ever issues since the mat is only heating the bottom of the fermenter?

I appreciate any help anyone can provide with these questions or any personal experiences using similar products.

Thanks!
 

stratslinger

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There are other options too - something like this will run you $20 on Amazon, and it includes a built-in fan for circulation - ensuring that the air is constantly moving in your chamber and helping to keep the temperature homogeneous.
 
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Pratzie

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Some take one of those paint cans (new) that u buy at the store and put in a lightbulb and hook that to the fermentation controller.

Theres also those little portable heaters u can use too like is listed above. That's what I use.
 

Rockn_M

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Depending on how cold it gets where you are might be different than what I use. I'm in North Texas and it doesn't get too cold for too long. I use a large 25 watt reptile heating pad from a pet store. If it's really cold it can take a while to heat things up but it gets the job done.
 
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mwm5461

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From what I've read the light bulbs and heating fans can get extremely hot which many people have concerns about so I think I would prefer a heating mat or FermWrap. I just wasn't sure how people implement them based on my original post.
 

stratslinger

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I use one of the ceramic reptile heaters, never had a problem with overheating. I'd guess that guys like Rockn_M up above will tell you they haven't had issues with the small ceramic heaters either - unless you're really cranking up the temp in your chamber, the things just don't cycle long enough to be any kind of an issue.
 

petrolSpice

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I use Fermwrap and it works very well. It will heat 5 gallons by 1C/hr roughly. If your carboy/bucket has smooth walls, then it works much better since it can transfer the heat better.
 

CA_Mouse

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I use one of the ceramic reptile heaters, never had a problem with overheating. I'd guess that guys like Rockn_M up above will tell you they haven't had issues with the small ceramic heaters either - unless you're really cranking up the temp in your chamber, the things just don't cycle long enough to be any kind of an issue.
Same here. I use a 60W ceramic for my 84 cu.ft. chamber in my garage. when the garage is in the upper teens/low twenties, this helps maintain my temperature at about 59-60*F.
 

zachattack

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From what I've read the light bulbs and heating fans can get extremely hot which many people have concerns about so I think I would prefer a heating mat or FermWrap. I just wasn't sure how people implement them based on my original post.
I have a reptile heating mat in my ferm chamber. It hangs on the wall. I essentially built a clone of this:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=290663
 

Pratzie

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From what I've read the light bulbs and heating fans can get extremely hot which many people have concerns about so I think I would prefer a heating mat or FermWrap. I just wasn't sure how people implement them based on my original post.
Anyone that has this issue doesn't have their probe/controller set correctly. Think about it, you're supposed to chill the wort down to as close to the targeted yeast temp as possible before pitching. As long as that's the case, there is no need for the heater to have to be on long enough to really get extremely hot. If their fermentation chamber isn't holding temperatures as it should due to leaks or lack of insulation, a heating mat can only heat so fast, its likely the temp of the wort would drop excessively before the mat could catch up.
 

helibrewer

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Hello all! I recently built a fermentation controller featured at this site: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pimp-my-system/build-temperature-controller/

I am currently in the process of trying to find a solid chest freezer on craigslist as the cooling source and plan to have a 7+ cubic feet size so I can fit more than one fermenter in the chamber. My question is regarding the heating source. I understand that seedling/reptile heating mats and products like the FermWrap are good choices. Since I am planning to have multiple fermenters I would need multiple FermWraps and have to use an adapter to allow for multiple plugs into the heat source outlet for the controller. Has anyone done this?

If I use the mats do people wrap these around individual fermenters or just sit the fermenters on top of the mats so you only need one among multiple fermenters? If this is the case are there ever issues since the mat is only heating the bottom of the fermenter?

I appreciate any help anyone can provide with these questions or any personal experiences using similar products.

Thanks!
If you are going to ferment all carboys at the same temp just use the Fermwrap option along the side of the freezer with a small circulating fan. I would use a thermowell in one of the carboys instead of free standing it in the chamber.

If you desire different temps for the carboys, you will need a controller for each. I can ferment lagers and ales side-by-side this way in my chamber. I also use a bit of reflectix around the ale carboy, right over the Fermwrap.
 
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mwm5461

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Awesome thank you all for the helpful responses.
 

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