Author Topic: Suggestions needed for heating fermentation chamber  (Read 272 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Suggestions needed for heating fermentation chamber
« on: April 24, 2018, 05:47:11 PM »
I'm using a 21-cu ft. fridge located in an unheated garage  as my fermentation chamber.  I'm currently struggling to keep a 5- gal batch of saison in a plastic bucket fermenting at 72 F. 

I've tried using both a fermenter wrap with the inlaid wiring inside plastic around the bucket and an old heating pad underneath the bucket.  Neither will get the job done when the temp outside the garage is in the 30-degree F range.  The temp will stall out at about 68 F.

I've thought about brooder lights like are used in hen houses for young chicks, but I'm afraid the light would penetrate the white plastic bucket and skunk the developing brew.

On the other hand, I've just ordered a S/S fermenter so that could be a solution for future.

I'd like any suggestions (easy and  cheap preferred)  to fix the problem.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Offline denny

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Re: Suggestions needed for heating fermentation chamber
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 05:52:45 PM »
I use a reptile heater lamp.  Inexpensive and very effective.
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Offline Nathan

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Re: Suggestions needed for heating fermentation chamber
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 05:54:18 PM »
I'm using a 21-cu ft. fridge located in an unheated garage  as my fermentation chamber.  I'm currently struggling to keep a 5- gal batch of saison in a plastic bucket fermenting at 72 F. 

I've tried using both a fermenter wrap with the inlaid wiring inside plastic around the bucket and an old heating pad underneath the bucket.  Neither will get the job done when the temp outside the garage is in the 30-degree F range.  The temp will stall out at about 68 F.

I've thought about brooder lights like are used in hen houses for young chicks, but I'm afraid the light would penetrate the white plastic bucket and skunk the developing brew.

On the other hand, I've just ordered a S/S fermenter so that could be a solution for future.

I'd like any suggestions (easy and  cheap preferred)  to fix the problem.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Suggestions needed for heating fermentation chamber
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 06:17:28 PM »
I've been using heat tape similar to these for years. They work great!

http://www.reptilebasics.com/heat-tape

Offline Bob357

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Re: Suggestions needed for heating fermentation chamber
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 06:25:46 PM »
A 40 watt incandescent light bulb is about the least expensive and gives off plenty of heat.
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Offline jjw5015

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Re: Suggestions needed for heating fermentation chamber
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 06:26:26 PM »
Does it need to be in the ferm chamber? Keep it in your house and add some heat to it.

Offline 802Chris

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Re: Suggestions needed for heating fermentation chamber
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2018, 08:18:40 PM »
Does it need to be in the ferm chamber? Keep it in your house and add some heat to it.

This is a good suggestion.


For reference, I use a 7cu ft fridge in an unheated garage, in Vermont, that routinely sees temps well below zero all winter. This is my fermentation chamber.  I use a 40W light bulb with  a SS brewtech brewbucket.  I never have issues keeping temp up towards 75 when I D rest.

Also I use a 100W ceramic heater like the reptile ones denny suggested. They are usually around $10 on amazon. I use one in my 12 cu ft chest freezer for all my kegs during winter and it works great.