fermentation fridge heat source?

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maida7

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I've set up a fridge for fermenting. It's controlled by a dual ranco unit. The cooling is a no brainer but I'm looking for some advice on the heating.

Right now I have a light bulb in there and it's working fine. But I wonder about the effect the bright light will have on the fermenter. I protected the fermenter with a dark tee shirt but is this enough? Would I be better off with something like a heating pad? What do you use? What do you recommend?

Thanks!
 

david_42

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Incandescent bulbs put out very little ultra-violet. I use an old hard disk & enclosure. It produces about 25 watts of heat and has a built-in fan.
 
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maida7

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Incandescent bulbs put out very little ultra-violet. I use an old hard disk & enclosure. It produces about 25 watts of heat and has a built-in fan.
What is an old hard disk? Like a computer hard drive? I did not know those made much heat. How do you power it?

Also, with the temp high and the fridge door closed, I could see things getting kinda funky in there. Any tips on keeping things fresh? Do you have any problems with mold?
 

Brewing Clamper

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I used to buy these when I had chameleons, I don't remember them being expensive, but they sure did heat up nicely!

 

DavidP

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I use a little space heater with built-in thermostat to warm my chest freezer during the winter.
 

AstroBrew

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I use a heating pad. When I have just one thing fermenting, I'll wrap the heating pad around the carboy. If I'm doing two at a time, I'll just leave it in the fridge. Seems to work great.
 

david_42

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What is an old hard disk? Like a computer hard drive? I did not know those made much heat. How do you power it?
Right, old SCSI disk. They pull 20-25 watts. The enclosure has a power supply.
 

Mista_Sparkle

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I'm planning on using some incandescents unless there's another easy solution. I was thinking about ripping the defrost heating element out of the freezer and using that but not sure if it would be worth the trouble
 
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maida7

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I'm planning on using some incandescents unless there's another easy solution. I was thinking about ripping the defrost heating element out of the freezer and using that but not sure if it would be worth the trouble
Sounds like a heating pad or a terrarium heater would work very well without the risk of exposing the beer to harmful light. Although there is debate over how harmful the light actual is. The rock heater I posted a link to is very affordable at under ten bucks. You could probably pick up something like that at any decent pet shop. I think a temp controller would be needed for most any of these. The controller is the expensive part.
 

Mista_Sparkle

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I built a temp controller out of a thermostat, it will switch a 20A load so that's not an issue. I usually wrap my fermenters in black shirts but would it be reasonable to put an incandescent in a shoebox or something with a fan on it?
 
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