Fermenting Fridge Controls

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IainMcLean

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I'm currently running a fridgemate on the fermenting fridge but am thinking about upgrading to have a heat source in there also so I can raise the temps a touch as required.

I'm planning on using a spare arduino I have to control the beast but am stuck with what the best heat source to use would be.

This lunchtime I looked at an aquarium heater but its instructions said it needs to be immersed so I figure that's out - I don't feel like putting in in beer and I figure the heat it would give off in a jar of water would make for a temp ramp so slow I'd get it hotter by rubbing it....

I have seen those ceramic heat lamps but before I plunge into it I figure asking the AHB knowledge tank would be a good step....
 

Yob

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light bulb with a ceramic pot over?

Heat Pad from HBS?

reptile heater?

All used with success by various people

for me Heat Pads..
 

J.T

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Shrouded light bulb works a treat for me.
 

Cocko

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Actual heater for me... blasts for about 30 seconds and sorted.... probably about 6 times a day in the heart of winter..

RE: Middle shelf!

DSC00296.JPG

Fixed.
 

IainMcLean

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I'm liking the electric heater.

I had thought of the heat pad but not under the fermentor - as I believe the concentrated heat on trub might had adverse effects - I thought about just putting it in the fridge... but then I'm not sure how effective it would be as a radiator...

The heat belts - I've read too many bad reports about them to I didn't go down that route.

Hadn't thought of shrouding the light bulb in a ceramic pot..... that one has legs.

The ceramic lamp is a bit on the expensive side but I'm sure I could lay my hands on a freebie heater someplace....

But a shrouded lamp would be easy and probably cheaper on the electrictrickery bill than a heater.

Thanks guys.
 

pk.sax

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I use a heat belt. Fyvm. Works just fine for gently heatin the fv gently.
 

Muscovy_333

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Heat Pad hanging in back of fridge, thermostat on Fermenter.
works a treat
 

benno1973

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Ceramic heat emitters are about $18-25 on ebay, but you'll also need to spring for a special ceramic edison screw fitting, so ultimately it's somewhere around the $30 mark.

If you're using it in winter, fish heaters do work effectively if immersed in a pot of water. Yes, it's a slow temp ramp, but once you're at temp, it does a good joib at keeping stable temps. There's not much overshoot with these.
 

stux

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Two fermenters, two tempmates, two heat belts. One 400L fridge

Fermenter temps measured via thermowell

I find the gentle direct heat application essential
 

mfeighan

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with it being 37deg in my shed where the fermentation fridge is, doesn't take long with just leaving the fridge off to heat my brew up.
 

Amber Fluid

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I use a Reptile Heat Cord bought from EvilBay for around $23. I think it is safer than having a light bulb in the fridge which I used to until it fried.

The cords are so versitile and can be wraped in almost any position needed and no need to stress about blown globes or the cost of replacing them.
 

mckenry

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I use a heat pad + fridge plugged into a tempmate. Tempmate set @ +/-0.5C

The heat pad IS under the fermenter. I just dont buy that the heat is in direct contact with the yeast and its worse for the beer.
I used to have a globe hanging in the fridge, and have tried the pad to the side, but the beer was never any different.
Just that the hanging globe was a right pain in the arse, and the heat pad to the side was slower to heat the beer for no (noticed) benefit.
Is there any evidence the heat pad under the FV is bad?
 

A3k

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I use a heat pad + fridge plugged into a tempmate. Tempmate set @ +/-0.5C

The heat pad IS under the fermenter. I just dont buy that the heat is in direct contact with the yeast and its worse for the beer.
I used to have a globe hanging in the fridge, and have tried the pad to the side, but the beer was never any different.
Just that the hanging globe was a right pain in the arse, and the heat pad to the side was slower to heat the beer for no (noticed) benefit.
Is there any evidence the heat pad under the FV is bad?
My thoughts are though, if you heat the air in the fridge, youll maintain a more consistent temperature in the beer.

If you heat the beer directly on the bottom, but are taking the temperature of the air/outside of the fermenter, then youll heat the yeast up significantly more than the setpoint before the thermostat stops it, and youll get overshoot of the of the entire beer. It should settle out over time, but may not depending on the power of the heater.


it's no harder to have it on the side, so i do it that way.
 

stux

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My thoughts are though, if you heat the air in the fridge, you’ll maintain a more consistent temperature in the beer.

If you heat the beer directly on the bottom, but are taking the temperature of the air/outside of the fermenter, then you’ll heat the yeast up significantly more than the setpoint before the thermostat stops it, and you’ll get overshoot of the of the entire beer. It should settle out over time, but may not depending on the power of the heater.


it's no harder to have it on the side, so i do it that way.
My actual results are different

http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...st&p=839100

"I use heat belts. I put the belt a few inches above the trub line. I find that ambient heating causes wild swings, and applying the heat directly to the fermenter works best, but I thought it wouldn't be a good idea to heat up the trub"

But I do measure the wort temp directly

PS: I've probably done about 12 batches through this setup now, and I did upgrade it to a double batch capability
 

fergi

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i use an old water bed heater with a control box that comes with the heater pad,
goes from 1 to 10 ,i usually have it on 1 or 2 depending how cold the winter is.
fergi
 

TidalPete

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TidalPete, what is that under your fermenter. looks like a filter. why's it in your fridge?
Those are waterproof protectors to keep moisture away from the power lead points. One is for the heating pad & one is for the stir plate. Better safe than sorry. ;)
Got them from Bunnings electrical section for around $10 each.

TP
 
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