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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: kcrumpton on March 29, 2021, 02:14:45 PM

Title: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: kcrumpton on March 29, 2021, 02:14:45 PM
Hello All,
I am new to the forum, and I have my electric brewery almost ready to go.  I will be fermenting with 2 - 5 gallon Spike conical fermenters in 2 merchandise glass front refrigerators controlled by external InkBird temp controllers.  The cold is no problem - these go easily down to 34 degrees.

the challenge is the heating element for conditioning closer to 68-72 and higher for saisons and final diacetyl rests.  I have tried small electric ceramic heaters Laslo and iSiler but these all seem to have auto turn offs after a block of time or internal device temp and then blow non stop cold air. No dice.

I have also tried external carboy wraps and seed germination mats - not enough power

I have also seen office chair and car seat warmers...

The British have "Tube Heaters" used for garages and greenhouses which look cool but I am wary of the different voltages requiring adapters.

Any advice?

Thanks so much!!!
Kevin Crumpton
Colorado Springs, CO
Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: narcout on March 29, 2021, 02:55:46 PM
I use an older version of this product, and it works very well.  Rather than wrap it around the fermentor, I used some hook and loop fasteners to attach it to the inside of my chest freezer.

https://www.morebeer.com/products/fermwrap-heater.html
Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: KellerBrauer on March 30, 2021, 11:31:35 AM
I use a reptile heater similar to the attached link.  It remains on as long as it has a power source.  Works really well.  So,  my inkbird supplies power to the light socket this heater screws into.

https://www.amazon.com/Wuhostam-Infrared-Ceramic-Reptile-Aquarium/dp/B07MXD4SMW/ref=sr_1_10?crid=36CNKF6HQFT97&dchild=1&keywords=reptile+heater&qid=1617103697&sprefix=Reptile+heater%2Caps%2C178&sr=8-10

Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: ttash on March 30, 2021, 12:48:02 PM
I've had really good results with the Brewer's Edge Space Heater from Williams Brewing. Winters are very cold where I live and my fermentation chamber (standard refrigerator) is in the garage. During the coldest part of winter it can get down to 38F in the garage and that little heater has no problem keeping the ferm chamber at 68F.
Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: MNWayne on March 30, 2021, 01:20:16 PM
I found a small 250watt ceramic heater at my local Ace Hardware and control it with an Inkbird that measures interior ambient air temp.  I also run a small fan in addition to the fan on the heater to help mix the heat in the chamber.  The fan and small size heater prevent drastically overshooting the setpoint temp.  I have a thermowell inside the fermenter measuring actual ferment temp.  Practice has taught me how to account for the temp differential between fermenter and ambient air temp.
Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: EnkAMania on March 30, 2021, 02:31:58 PM
I use this little heater.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XDTWN2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: David on March 30, 2021, 02:51:23 PM
I use this one :

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058V9SB8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

have had it in my fermenting chamber for 3 years with no problems.
Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: scottyc on April 23, 2021, 05:11:31 PM
I do the simple light bulb in the paint can trick.   Simple and nice slow heat with out over shooting.
Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: tommymorris on April 23, 2021, 06:59:34 PM
I do the simple light bulb in the paint can trick.   Simple and nice slow heat with out over shooting.
I do this too. I have had the same lightbulb in the can for at least 5 years maybe more.
Title: Re: Heating Source for Fermentation Chamber
Post by: waterbull66 on April 24, 2021, 05:20:44 PM
   I'll start by assuming that you remove the vessel from the cooler when you want to raise the temp. If so I'd think our carboy heater should would suffice provided you wrap it and the FV with insulation. I generally use Fast Ferment FV's and use a carboy heater, wrapped with 5/8" closed cell foam cut from a camp sleep mat controlled by an Inkbird. I've built stands for the FF's and if I need to heat more than one vessel I stick a small milkhouse heater on the stand, under the FV and cover the lot with an appropriately sized cardboard box, also controlled by an Inkbird, it works very well. I also have a grow mat I've used in a pinch when I was fermenting in buckets, but it's ~3' long and 18" wide so most of the heat it generates is wasted, and it get a bit hot so the FV has to be raised a couple inches off the mat. As with most things related to brewing, there's a million ways to skin the cat, pick whatever works best for you and don't be afraid to try something that may seem crazy at first blush.