Author Topic: Cheap heater  (Read 414 times)

Offline yso191

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Cheap heater
« on: February 17, 2014, 10:59:41 PM »
Yesterday was the inaugural run for my new conical and the upright freezer it sits in.  It was obvious that the Fermwrap I had been using with my other setup was just not up to the task.  It took hours to raise the temperature a couple of degrees.  So I went shopping for a better way to heat the inside of the freezer.

What I decided on was a $15 hair dryer.  It works great.  Plenty of heat, and it circulates the air very well.  I mounted it so it sits below the center of the conical pointing up.
Steve
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Online Steve in TX

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 11:07:48 PM »
Be very careful with hair dryers. Growing up with a sister in the 80's, I am well aware of the dangers. If they don't short out, they will burn out.

Online klickitat jim

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 11:24:31 PM »
Interesting fix. If that doesn't work out, I've been using a Sunbeam 732-500 heating pad. Three levels of adjustment and no automatic shut off like the new ones. Heats my 15cf freezer just fine without over shooting. I just inherited the old house chest freezer to use for lagering, so I bought a couple new sunbeam pads on eBay. One for a spare (or third freezer someday) I think they were under $20 each.

Let us know how the hair dryer works out.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 05:08:31 AM »
The heat wrap will work great but you have to insulate it. I used the reflective water heater insulation around my fermenters. Was able to keep 85 gallons of beer at 77 degrees (if need be) in a 35 degree walk in cooler.

Also, I used to buy mine at www.reptilebasics.com - you could order it by the foot. Maybe you still can. Way cheaper than homebrew shops.
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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 05:32:47 AM »
New hair driers have a thermal shutoff switch which will trip if air flow is impeded. It won't burn out, but it might shut off without warning.

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 06:28:18 AM »
+1 regarding the heating pad that Jim mentions. My fermentation chamber won't warm up above about 70F and I just through in the pad and it provides enough heat to keep the chamber temp up. The regular thermostat-controlled cooling circuit keeps the temp from getting too high. If the cooling circuit is activating too much, then the heating pad power is turned down as needed.

Getting a pad with no auto-shutoff is important!
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 07:52:15 AM »
I've had great results with a reptile warming ceramic bulb. I have one in a 14cf freezer and it easily does the job.
Thank you BEER!

Offline troybinso

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 08:15:35 AM »
Yesterday was the inaugural run for my new conical and the upright freezer it sits in.  It was obvious that the Fermwrap I had been using with my other setup was just not up to the task.  It took hours to raise the temperature a couple of degrees.  So I went shopping for a better way to heat the inside of the freezer.

What I decided on was a $15 hair dryer.  It works great.  Plenty of heat, and it circulates the air very well.  I mounted it so it sits below the center of the conical pointing up.

Did you just put the heat pad in the freezer, or did you actually attach it to your fermenter. I think you would have much better luck wrapping it around the fermenter and insulating it - even a blanket or sleeping bag would help.

Offline euge

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 08:16:43 AM »
Sigh I might have to do something like this. Even though I have two freezers for fermenting the bottleneck is always due to lagers. Would like to split a batch and ferment in the same freezer.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 11:23:03 AM »
I have thermowrap, and hang a trouble light with 60w incandescent of of the dump valve. The shipping box holds the heat close. The bulb is not near the cardboard, not a hazard.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline fmader

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Re: Cheap heater
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 01:57:32 PM »
Utility lamps throw off the heat as well.... and they have a built in hanger! I used to hang them on the water pipes in the old house to keep them from freezing.
Frank