Author Topic: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater  (Read 3369 times)

Offline estrauss

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« on: March 06, 2015, 02:10:00 AM »
I keep my smaller fermentation chambers (aka converted dorm fridges) in the basement and with the winter we've been having, it's a cool 60 degF. Needing warmer temps for my ale fermentations, I had to whip up a heater.

I used a green bean can, a tomato paste can, a candelabra bulb base, a lamp cord and some extra's.

Dorm fridge = not much space available, so here is what I came up with:





Here is the full DIY:
http://fermware.com/compact-fermentation-chamber-heater/

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 01:38:57 PM »
looks good. not figure out how to keep the light inside the can and you're golden.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3144
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 04:35:52 PM »
I agree that the light is an undesirable byproduct of heating a fermentor this way. Seems like you could cover the can with an opaque lid but I'm not sure if that prevents the heat from adequately escaping the can or would make it too hot in the can to be safe to use.

Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 04:43:55 PM »
If you could rig up a baffled multilayer cover it would allow air flow without light flow. two layers with alternating vents that didn't overlap at all would do it.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4352
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 05:15:41 PM »
A larger can, reversed over the top.  Screw or pop-rivet together with some spacers.  Or wire it up with a coat hanger.

Some light will escape, but you can only do your best.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline HobsonDrake

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • Beaverton, OR
    • View Profile
    • Brew Batch List
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 06:20:05 PM »
A sculpted piece of aluminium foil over the bulb or over the outer can should do the trick. Just not tight on the bulb or it may overheat and bust.
Check out my brew history and recipes at http://www.hobsondrake.com/BrewList.html

John D.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19455
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 06:22:07 PM »
Is that UL approved?  ;)
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

rabeb25

  • Guest
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 06:27:48 PM »
Cheap hairdryer on low  ;)

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 07:39:10 PM »
I've seen folks wrap a bulb in foil. Honestly, the whole incandescent lamp in a can has made me nervous. I opted for the reptile heater as it is designed for that use, at least sort of designed for that use.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19455
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2015, 07:41:56 PM »
I've seen folks wrap a bulb in foil. Honestly, the whole incandescent lamp in a can has made me nervous. I opted for the reptile heater as it is designed for that use, at least sort of designed for that use.

Same here....bulb in a can scares the hell out of me.  Reptile heater is a far better option IMO.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline estrauss

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2015, 01:07:09 AM »
Denny, I'm working on the UL approval...

I think the baffle on the top is a good idea, so I might try something later.  I've only used it for a while, but with the low 25W bulb I've got in there doesn't get "hot".  I've still been able to touch the metal can.  It's really just a warmer.  The coldest my basement gets is 60 degF, so I'm only needing to raise it 10 degF.  If I needed more, I'd honestly spring for one of the heating pads.

Also, comments on a larger can.  My constraints were that I needed a small can due to using it in a dorm fridge.

In the full post, I mentioned finding on a UK site some "greenhouse heaters" that looked perfect, but I couldn't find them here in the US.
http://www.berrybrew.co.uk/fermentation-fridge-build-brew-fridge/

On the reptile heaters, what is everyone using?

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2015, 01:19:20 AM »
I use the ceramic infrared style bulb. I can't remember if I went with 60 or 100 watt.

Offline gwunsch

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2015, 04:54:06 AM »
I use a fermwrap hanging on the back wall of the fridge. Has worked better than expected.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8472
    • View Profile
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2015, 09:37:04 AM »
I use one of these. Works great. About $15 on ebay to my door. They last a long time. With my shop hitting 20º at night I can hold 68º no problem. When I do sours (lacto start) I add a second one that stays on all the time, and can hold 98º no problem

Offline Phil_M

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1693
  • Southern Maryland
    • View Profile
Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2015, 11:02:20 AM »
I use that same heat pad as well, works great. I typically take the pad out of the cloth cover, then cover the entire carboy with a coat.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.