Brew Belt Temperature Issues...

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Fingerlickin_B

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I purchased a Brew Belt brand heater strap today out of desperationthe outside temps took a nasty plunge last night/today and my fermenter is outside (dont ask why, its a long story).

The fermenter has a stick-on thermometer on it reading around 23 degrees and the belt has been placed only about 3-4mm away from it.

Only thing is that the belt itself is very hot to touch and feels like it could burn you if you touch it for more than half a second with the back of your finger.

My question is this: Do they normally feel this hot? :huh:

Its also odd that it reads 23 on the very closely positioned thermometer, as the fermenter is stainless steel and Id expect it to heat up more around that area due to the seemingly super-hot heater strap touching it. <_<

PZ.

Oh, I should have added that the thermometer I spoke of is mounted horizontally... :)
 

vlbaby

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I have a cheap one i bought from bigw and it doesnt really get that hot. just enough to keep the brew at around 24-25 deg in winter. Its certainly doesnt get that hot that you cant touch it. If think its only rated at about 10W. Maybe you got a more powerful one.

VL
 

Fingerlickin_B

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The box mine came in says 25 Watt...hmmm :unsure:

PZ.
 

barls

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not sure how powerful mine is but it does have scorch marks on it
 

Fingerlickin_B

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Oh well, at least one (perhaps both) of the two yeasts I pitched...one last night and the other this afternoon...has/have taken off now :D

PZ.
 

Mr Bond

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Mine came from Big w and is orange, Not sure of the wattage but it can get warm. Maintains 18/20 during an adelaide winter. Heat rises so drop it down low to minimise temp and raise to increase. Perhaps take a sample and test with a digital probe therm to compare with strip thermo!
 

Fingerlickin_B

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Not a bad idea testing a sample Brauluver, but that'll have to wait...there is an occupied bedroom between me and the fermenter right now :(

PZ.
 

nonicman

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Move to QLD ;)
Edit: then get a chest freezer and temp control :lol:
 

Aaron

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I have a brew pad rather than a belt. All I have done is build myself a Tobin's based thermostat to control it. If left to it's own devices it gets too hot. Now I can set it where I want and forget it.

[Edit]

If you do go for a thermostat, the $40 kits from Jaycar sound like a good deal.
 

peas_and_corn

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I use a heating pad as well, and I had the problem of it heating up... I didn't realise it just got hotter and hotter when turned on (I thought that it would stop at a certain temperature) initially, and when I woke up to bottle a brew it was about 28C, a bit hot! turned out pretty good, which I was happy about.

I don't use a thermostat, but since the temperature of the room the fermenter doesn't change very fast, I know what rate of heating it achieves. So, I threw a timer onto it, and I would leave it on for six hours, off for so many, on for four, etc etc. It works pretty good. It means watching the bloody thing like a hawk because my calculations are only just rough.

But, that is all coming to an end with the buying of my fermentation fridge. I'm a happy man, and I recommend them to everyone.
 

Jazzafish

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I have one too, and after a few bad experiences with it, I really do not rate them at all. There was just no control over the range of temperature changes... it was all over the place one day 20*C the next 32*C!!! I need a set and forget type of control that lets the beer do its thing while I do mine.

Instead I just put the fermenter in a bath of water (usually in one of those plastic storage containers) and attach a fish tank heater to the side. The fish tank heater has a built in thermostat, so It will keep the beer and water at a constant 20*C throught winter. Works perfectly for me.

Sure you could attach a thermostat to your heater belt, but for all the hassle I'd just cop it on the chin. Go to the local aquarium/pet shop and spend the $10 to $20 for a fish tank heater. You won't regret it.
 

Jazzafish

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I should probally add...

Heater belts would do the job when it is sub 10*C weather throughout the fermentation in a set and forget style. Will keep it in the mid to low 20's well but will vary with the ambient temperature.

I also have a fermentation fridge for lagers and ales in the warmer Sydney weather.

I only use the fish tank heater for ales in winter. It hasn't been faulted yet.

Edit: typo
 

Duff

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Just go to Mitre 10 and buy a cheap timer for your power point and plug into that. I set mine to come on for 2 hours, off for 2 hours, kept the temperature very steady.
 

Fingerlickin_B

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I've been away since yesterday morning...thanks for all the replies fellas :)

My only real "issue" was with how hot the belt was getting.

I have a temperature-controlled box inside the house that my plastic fermenters usually go in (its in my post signature) and hopefully Ill get around to building a new one broad enough to house the new wider SS fermenter some time soon.

No need for fridges, bathtubs, etc. This was a "stop-gap" solution only ;)

PZ.
 

Darren

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FB,
Chuck out the belt. So long as the beer is in your house ( and you don't live in Tasmania) you shouldn't need it. Try and pick your yeast for ambient temps and brew without the belt.
A belt on a stainless fermenter is just wasting power.
cheers
Darren
 

Darren

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Thanks for reading for me. I will re-iteratate. Heat transfer across stainless is poor. Chuck the heat belt out! Waste of energy.
Have you tried to insulatate the beer? Given that you should have pitched the appropriate amounts of yeast for batch size, and (no I didn't read the entire thread) you are making an average OG beer (less than 1.055) and it is an ale, it should be finished in about 48 hours!
If you have to ferment outside, pitch big and insulate.
peace
darren
 

Fingerlickin_B

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Darren said:
Thanks for reading for me.
No worries man, any time...although rather than using two of the word "for" in one sentence, I personally would have gone for a phrase something like "thanks for doing the reading on my behalf" :)
Darren said:
Chuck the heat belt out!
I'll keep it for future screw-ups like this one I have just made.

Everything has gone reasonably since using the belt, so it should be ok now......I hope :chug:

PZ.
 

shmick

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peas_and_korn said:
I use a heating pad as well, and I had the problem of it heating up... I didn't realise it just got hotter and hotter when turned on (I thought that it would stop at a certain temperature) initially, and when I woke up to bottle a brew it was about 28C, a bit hot! turned out pretty good, which I was happy about.


[post="90114"][/post]​
Beware the heater pad :eek:

I was culturing a starter last winter on my pad (30W)
Carefully wrapped the 2ltr bottle in a towel, stuck it on the pad and went to bed
Woke up to a burning smell an hr later.
Towel had slipped - covering the pad and causing it to have a meltdown.
Measured starter at 55degC.

Of course I stayed up and made a new starter.

Pad is now so warped nothing will stand up on it anymore and I can only use it dangling in the ferment freezer on cold nights to keep the temps up.
 

Ross

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Fingerlickin_B said:
Darren said:
Thanks for reading for me.
No worries man, any time...although rather than using two of the word "for" in one sentence, I personally would have gone for a phrase something like "thanks for doing the reading on my behalf" :)
Darren said:
Chuck the heat belt out!
I'll keep it for future screw-ups like this one I have just made.

Everything has gone reasonably since using the belt, so it should be ok now......I hope :chug:

PZ.
[post="90238"][/post]​
Fortunately, here in Brizzy, heat belts are rarely needed - but on the occaisions I've used mine, it worked fine. Also note that S/S is a BETTER thermal conducter than plastic, so should work more efficiently than on a plastic fermenter...
 

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