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Heat Belt Vs Heat Pad?

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cpsmusic

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Hi,

I'm thinking of getting a heater for my fermenter (I'd like to have a go at brewing a high-temp Saison).

G&G have heat pads and heat belts - just wondering which is better?

Cheers,

Chris
 

QldKev

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How do you currently maintain temps?
Are you fermenting in a fridge?
Do you have a temp controller on it?


QldKev
 

Phoney

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I prefer heat belts as they don't warm the yeast trub. Some folks prefer heat pads for their long term durability - I know of a guy who's been using one for 20+ years.

Swings and roundabouts really.
 

cpsmusic

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How do you currently maintain temps?
Are you fermenting in a fridge?
Do you have a temp controller on it?


QldKev
I don't have any temp control at the moment but I'm planning on getting a fridge soon.
 

Adam Howard

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I used to use a pad but recently changed to a belt. It's much nicer to bring the beer up to temp by heating the liquid rather than the yeast. Depending on the ambient temps a pad might heat the yeast to 30 degrees plus just to get the beer above it up to 20.
 

QldKev

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I don't have any temp control at the moment but I'm planning on getting a fridge soon.

I would go with a belt, and once you get a fermenting fridge you can just hand it in there next to the fermenter.


QldKev
 

JaseH

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I grabbed a single bed electric blanket off eBay for $15 - my heat pad struggles to get over 24-25C in winter.
 

losp

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i use a heat pad and an old computer Fan in a brew fridge.
I get even temperatures throughout the fridge (usually have 2 fermenters in there on the go) and its very easy to set up.
 

wbosher

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I read somewhere that you can control (to some degree) how warm you get your beer by positioning the belt higher or lower on the fermenter. The lower the belt, the warmer the beer.

I guess that makes sense as the cooler liquid will be at the bottom. Heating the cooler (and rising) liquid would increase the overall temp more than warming already warm liquid near the top.

Might be completely wrong, just remember seeing it somewhere.
 

CONNOR BREWARE

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I use a pad at the moment but not under the fermenter. Mainly because i'm used to it now and don't have a belt.

As others have pointed out a pad will heat from the bottom up if used as they were designed. Personally I think that's not a good idea for my circumstances as I like to repitch on yeast cakes or harvest some on occasion. The 25c-30 c my pad can produce is well over my favoured 19 c used on most ale yeasts that I pitch.

So I have the heat pad standing up on its side at the back of the fridge and control it through a stc. This would be improved with a fan but my temp probe is on the wort itself and it seems to stay very consistent at the moment. Maybe some convection in the fermenter negates any localised heat at one side of the fermenter? There is a few inch gap between the pad and the wall of the fermenter.

As you don't have a way to control a pad or a fermenting fridge/box then i agree the belt may offer you a lot more control. Thinking about placement of the belt I'd keep in mind that the krausen could be affected as much as the cake from localised heat. If I was switching to a belt now I'd be definitely picking a belt users brain about whether that's a problem or not.
 

cpsmusic

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Does anyone know whether the heater belts have a thermostat?
 

Wolfman

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Not sure? I run mine in line with STC. Works a treat. KK have the belts as well.
 

QldKev

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Does anyone know whether the heater belts have a thermostat?
I've got 2 older ones, neither have a thermostat. Chuck them on and forget them is a great way to cook the brew.


QldKev
 

verysupple

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I've never seen a cord with a thermostat. I got a low power one (15 W I think, feels slightly warm in the hand but not hot) because I only need to raise temps by 3 or 4 degrees. Along with the reasons stated above, I think a cord is better than a pad because if you think it's going to get too warm you just use a shorter length wrapped around the FV. Once you know your cord you can kinda guess what length you need in what conditions.
 

pk.sax

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First, settle that heat through the yeas cake is bad.

Second, if you get a heat pad then only way is to sit it in a box on the wall. Can't put it directly under the fermenter.

Second.5, if you get a heat belt, you can still do the above and also put it directly on the fermenter for a proper saison :)

Easy choice?
 

Verbyla

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I'd go the heater pad if your going to get a fridge as it's really durable. It can be sat directly next to it so that it wont heat the yeast cake. If you want to do 2 brews at a time in the one fridge you wont be using either to directly heat up the brews but rather to control the ambient temperature.

I had this same decision a few years back and haven't regretted getting the heat pad since
 

glaab

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i started out with a 30L fermentater then got another one and 2 pads. now I have a 120L and 2 60L fv's and only use the pads occasionally for bottle conditioning in winter. Having the pad under the yeast never looked right to me either, but I can't say I think it ever caused any problems like off flavors that I could tell. I only do apa's/ aipa's though which might mask anything minor. Ideally, IMHO you want a belt, an stc controller and a camping mat for each fv. With a bit of rooting around you could regulate the temp with a timer. that should do ya for winter anyway....
 

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