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Heat Source for Fermentation Chamber

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Breck09

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I have a freezer that I am going to be turning into a fermentation chamber using the STC-1000. My only question is really what is best to use as a hear source. The chamber will more than likely be in my basement which can get down into the 50s in the winter and then pretty much stays in low 60s during the rest of the time. I was thinking about using a reptile heating pad but not sure if that would be enough heat when the ambient temps dip into the 50s. Also not sure how to mount it in the freezer. Was also thinking about using a hair dryer but that has me thinking fire hazard. What is everyone's thoughts.


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jekeane

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A lot of people use a lightbulb in a paint can. I assume the paint can is to block the light and just get the heat. Your temperatures are not that bad in the winter I would imaging the insulation of the freezer would keep out most cold so you wont require a powerful heating source.
 

maddcow

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I use a ceramic heat bulb. Its a reptile heater that fits in a light socket. Keeps my chamber at temp even when the garage is around 20°F. It costs like $15 at petsmart
 
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Breck09

Breck09

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I use a ceramic heat bulb. Its a reptile heater that fits in a light socket. Keeps my chamber at temp even when the garage is around 20°F. It costs like $15 at petsmart

Does the bulb you refer to come in some sort of enclosure? I was thinking about a ceramic bulb like this but wasn't sure how to mount it.


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MindenMan

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I started with a Lasco 200 watt heater, ( with a fan )and had more heat than I needed. I didn't stop using the Lasko, because it had too much heat, I stopped because it was unreliable.
Fast forward a few months, and I am back using a cheapo heating pad. Only being able to heat 1 bucket at a time kinda sucks, but, it forces me to always have a batch ready to mash, as soon as my fermentation chamber becomes empty. I would also like to thank my wife for starting me on a new addiction. Damn I love her.
 

jbaysurfer

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One thing that most newer brewers don't fully realize is that your wort IS your heat source until primary fermentation is mostly done. If your ferm chamber is well insulated, in most conditions, you wouldn't need an outside heatsource until primary is nearly done and you're trying to spur the yeast to finish up a big beer or something. For that purpose I do use a regular 40W bulb in my chest freezer/chamber and just cover the carboys up...but the paint can prevents you from having to cover up the carboy.
 

j1n

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I'm setting one up too and i decided to go with the reptile heat mat and im going to tape it to one of the inside walls of the chest freezer as my heat source.
 

dlester

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The fridge can heat up pretty quickly with a light bulb. Therefore, I use a small 60 watt for a ceiling fan so that it heats up slowly. Using a can or something to cover the light is important. The light will react with the beer and cause it to create a chemical that smells like skunk. It takes a lot of light to cause the chemical reaction, but even a little is too much.


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dlester

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By the way, I agree with jbaysurfer. The fermentation can raise the temp by 3° to 5°F. If you start out about 65°F, the fermentation heat may keep it going, but keep an eye on it.


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ktblunden

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I use a standard 40 watt bulb. I ferment in buckets, so I don't worry about covering it. My garage gets below freezing in the winter and I have no trouble staying in the 60's.
 
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