Heat belt or heater in fermentation chamber?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by PZ, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. PZ

    PZ Member

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    My brewing seems to be lagging the seasons this year and I still want to make a couple more saisons. I typically pitch in the 60s and raise the temperature until it reaches ambient, which in the summer is between 86 and 92 in my NYC top floor apartment. Do any of you use heat belts or reptile heaters to keep the yeasties warm? The heat belt seems simpler but heating the air in the fermenter would appear to be the better solution. I do have a temperature controller. Any thoughts?

    Thanks, PZ
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Fermwrap works well for me. I never thought about a small space heater. I have a 4" (or so) small one in my work truck.
     
  3. PZ

    PZ Member

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    The fermwrap is nice and big, uNike the heat belt. Looks like a good solution. Thanks!
     
  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you choose, I think you'll get more accurate wort temperature with a thermowell.
     
  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Heat belt here PZ jeffpn has a pick of his fermwrap in another thread on here I can't remember the name of it too many brews in between Jeffpn will know. Oh got it "wrong temp probe".
     
  6. Rothrock Brewing Company

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    I've had issues with heat belts getting to the high temps required for a saisson, up to 115°F.

    I experimented with a $30 heating blanket - the kind you'd use if you had the flu - controlled it with a temp controller and its temp probe, and it worked great!
     
  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Watch out for fires me old mate don't want to burn the shed down. Don't know about over in America but here in Aus every year you hear of house fires caused from electric blankets come winter time
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Over here we kill ourselves by running generators right inside our houses! I'm with you on electric blankets.
     
  9. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    i say remove all warning labels and let Darwinism take its course !

    i saw a label on some ham the other day that said " contains pork " my thoughts were that it [email protected]#$^&G BETTER !
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I use a 40 watt incandescent light bulb. Although I may be getting some slight skunking from it (likely not - I can't taste or smell it). I have a two-stage temperature controller so when it goes too low, the light kicks on.
     
  11. PZ

    PZ Member

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    Thanks, all, for your replies. Lots to think about, though I think the smell of an electric blanket stuffed into a fermentation chamber is enough to avoid that solution, as ingenious as it is. Happy Oktoberfest!
     
  12. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    One of my sidelines is in electrical test and tag , some of the scary stuff I've seen just blows me away !
    I'm a licenced builder and would be facing jail time if I did work like some I have seen .
    Not sure about in the states but there's a big move towards DIY renovation here with almost no control / inspections required .

    Be very careful with wiring and home made heating solutions , if in ANY doubt talk to a qualified electrition
     
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  13. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Too true Mark if I had littlies I'd rather take more care with my STC wiring being in a Tupperware box and all. I've had my fair share of shocks to know when I'm outta my league.
     
  14. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    i bought a jiffy box from jay car for like $4 AUD , cheaper than tupperware !
    you have one up at smoochydore from memory .
    Even without kids around my place ( except me ) i don't mess about with mains voltage power , most of the decent toys in my workshop run on 415 V and 15-20 Amp ...no way i'll tempt the gods and mess with that stuff
     
  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Ha ha yep. Yea JAYCAR in Caloundra I sought a few things off .em sometimes eBay just can't be beaten but.
     
  16. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    did you solder and heat shrink ? the box itself isnt the important thing , the isolation within the box is what matters .
    i see my LHBS sells pre wired STC for $165 AUD ...mine cost me 1/3 of that even if i bought a new soldering iron and metre of heat shrink every time .

    having a hard time finding a solution for temp control on a keggle though , need to be able to handle a 15A load when running the heating element at much higher temps than a STC will moniter ....will talk to an electrical engineer i know
     
  17. Rothrock Brewing Company

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    I guess thats one thing I didn't consider when mentioning the heat blanket via a temp controller for maintaining a fermentation temp - here in the US, 110v is our common source.

    I can understand the hesitation if you were limited to 220, 440, etc. About 10 years ago, heat blankets were a disaster but it seems as they have a lot more protection characteristics than they used to. The one I've been using has a built in fuse protection, gfci surge protection and a shutdown feature if it goes higher than 120°F

    As a home builder, I really can't imagine what its like to have a home wired in higher voltage than 110. The only thing we have that is 220 would be stove/oven, clothes dryer, well pump & heat/ac units. Getting a zap from 110 is nothing and rarely provides cause for fires - but idiots always find a way to torch their house though.
     
  18. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    its Amps that kill you , i've taken over 10,000 volts from car ignition systems , it hurts like hell but won't leave you a smoking mess on the ground .
    i dare say you also have safety switches ? RCD ,ELCD or GFI depending where you are , they make a " tickle " survivable
     
  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yea all safe here Mark heat shrinked the c$&p outta her;) I've bumped it countless times off the top of the fridge and no lights out. My STC was 24 bucks wired up from bits and pieces I collected pretty much for free I bought a short electrical cord and chopped that in half for fridge and heat belt and I got another cord out a skip bin on a building site.

    I was going down your path Mark the keggle electric path GASH SLUG has some good vids of you tube he's AUssie. You know about PIDs google it. that's what ya need a lot more complex than STC and ya need 25amp relay with heat sink eBay got good deals. Yep I was gunna get a couple of kettles from Kmart and wire them into the keg but I erred on the side of caution and decided to keep my life over making beer ha ha:p.
     
  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Ha ha your kidding me that's bloody crazy :p carbon monoxide poisoning I presume Watson?
     

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