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Heaters - belts or pads?

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Stigmond13

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Looking for a bit of advice on heating equipment. It's bloody cold in the north of England making temperature control difficult (freezing at night and boiling in the day with the wife insisting on having the heating on all day).

Very concerned about temperature control for my fermenting wines and beers and would like to buy some heating equipment.

Would appreciate any thoughts/comments/recommendations on whether you prefer heat belts, heat pads or anything else for that matter?

A pal of mine uses a heater for an aquarium but I am worried about letting air into the fermenters.

Thanks in advance!!
 

Sadu

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I use a tub of water as a swamp cooler. With the fermentor and aquarium heater in the tub. The extra water mass gives you better resistance to temp swings and you can add ice bottles to the tub if things get too warm. Highly recommend this method if ambient temps are above your fermentation temps at any point during the day.
 

sportpak

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I set my carboy in a cooler that has a lizard mat in the bottom of it. It's not the best setup, but keeps the yeast working. I set my temp controller a little low to compensate for the slow gradual heating from the bottom.
 
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Stigmond13

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Thanks Sadu, I've gone with the aquarium heater idea standing the fermenters in the water. Hoping for some small improvements now I can control temperature throughout!!
 

bernardsmith

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How much control over temperature does the heater give you?
You might consider buying an Inkbird temperature control unit and attaching the unit to a lamp and fixing the lamp inside a box and so using the lamp as your heat source. You can set the temperature anywhere between ambient and the most hot the box will get with the heat generated by the lamp... The Inkbird will switch the lamp off when the temp is reached and on again when the temp falls below the minimum you have set...
 

justincdst

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Im having the same issues here in PNW. Rain all day and cold at night is wreaking havoc on my fermentation. I use a small closet space under the stairs so one option is physically install a baseboard heater and thermostat control in the space or go with something like a fermwrap and controller like the inkbird. My question though is where do you put the probe for the controller? Can't go into the air lock on the carboy so its not necessarily getting the actual fluid temperature?
 

MaplePaddle

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Inkbird controller, electric carboy wrap, and a few towels for insulation. Works perfectly.
 

bernardsmith

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My two cents... I would put the lid on the other side and drape the wire over the top of the lid. There is then less likelihood that the water will travel up the wire and then drip or drop down onto the socket...
 

Kharnynb

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I have a similar system as you, but using a stc-1000 for more acurate heating.
My setup is in a cold basement, so no need for cooling.

 

TANSTAAFB

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Stigmond13

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Thanks barnardsmith, I agree with you 100% but at the moment I'm trying to reduce the interest in my springer spaniel!!
 

justincdst

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Since I usually have multiple batches going wine and beer I decided to pull a cable and install a small heater. Nice and toasty in there now.
 

Mismost

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I went with a small chest type freezer, an Inkbird controller, and a small cube type space heater....all in less than 200 bucks. Hold temps within 2 degrees. Mine is in my shop/barn. 20 degree cold snap, no problem....85 degree winter heat wave, no problem.....really, no problem....we weren't even home! Very much plug in and play operation.
 

chonas

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Heat tape! Like a better fermwrap but cheaper!
 

raguido

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During the winter months, I keep my house at 65F, which is a little cool for some yeasts to ferment effectively. I took care of the issue by wrapping a blanket heater (heating pad) around the 1-gallon fermenter followed by a thick towel and bungie cord to hold everything in place. The heater has three positions and I use a small digital thermometer in the must to keep tabs of the temperatures. (There are cheap and readily available on ebay.) I start with the highest heater setting and adjust it as the fermentation picks up and the temperature gets warm.

I'm planning on making a wooden box with Styrofoam panels on the inside for insulation. I'm then going to put three light bulbs inside as a heat source and use a variable voltage controller to control the inside temperature. I plan on making the box big enough for three 1-gall plastic fermenter buckets. Then I won't have to worry about changes in the ambient temperature while fermentation takes place.
 

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