Heating my brew

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maclarkson

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Hi guys, I have a fridge where I do fermenting but because it’s winter it’s too cold what thdo best way to heat it?
 

MHB

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Put a fan in it, apart from the advantages of a fan it is also a small heater.
Mark
 

S.E

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Put a fan in it, apart from the advantages of a fan it is also a small heater.
Mark
Surprising how much a small computer fan will heat a fermenting fridge. I have one in a fridge in the garage under the house at the moment. Brew finished fermenting yesterday but the fridge is still kicking in to keep it at 20oC. Ambient in the garage is 16oC.

I have always used an ETC controlled ceramic heat lamp from ebay in a Bunnings lamp holder during winter, but wont bother while the fan keeps the temp up.
 

breadenhound

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Surprising how much a small computer fan will heat a fermenting fridge. I have one in a fridge in the garage under the house at the moment. Brew finished fermenting yesterday but the fridge is still kicking in to keep it at 20oC. Ambient in the garage is 16oC.

I have always used an ETC controlled ceramic heat lamp from ebay in a Bunnings lamp holder during winter, but wont bother while the fan keeps the temp up.
Would the lamp in the fridge reach temps around 50 degrees? I want to do some mash sour beers and hold them for 72 hours.
 

garage_life

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Would the lamp in the fridge reach temps around 50 degrees? I want to do some mash sour beers and hold them for 72 hours.
You'd have no worries hitting 50deg.
Temperature overshoot maybe an issue so ramp it up in steps.
I've never set a fridge on fire but the plastic and foam insulation is highly flammable so make sure your bulb is safely positioned and consider using some alluminium sheet to create a heat shield, WITH AN AIR GAP to prevent any of the fridge interior from getting too hot!
Fan highly advisable if you want to go that high.
 

garage_life

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mashmaniac

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Put a fan in it, apart from the advantages of a fan it is also a small heater.
Mark
It may be a chilly 16c during winter where you are, some of us do actually see cold weather, perhaps your post could be a little more reflective of conditions around the country rather than just where your at. You've been about a bit. Your all sciencey and shit. When room temp is -2c a fan motor ain't doing shit you and I both know it! Not saying a fan in any temp controlled situation isn't a great idea. but for providing the actual heat MHB is kidding himself.
 

MHB

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It may be a chilly 16c during winter where you are, some of us do actually see cold weather, perhaps your post could be a little more reflective of conditions around the country rather than just where your at. You've been about a bit. Your all sciencey and shit. When room temp is -2c a fan motor ain't doing shit you and I both know it! Not saying a fan in any temp controlled situation isn't a great idea. but for providing the actual heat MHB is kidding himself.
Actually a 25w fan is a 25w heater (pretty much first law of thermodynamics), put that inside a well insulated box (fridge) and it will be more than enough heat, in fact the fridge will be coming on occasionally to stop it getting too hot.
Add to that the heat of fermentation, you wont need a heater (~0.163kWh/kg of fermented sugar). Believe it or not we get the odd cold day here to.
Mark
 

gezzanet

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I use an old 25w incandescent bulb to heat my fridge. Even in winter it doesn’t need to come on often in the sealed fridge.
 

Coodgee

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so I am looking at a heating solution up here in QLD because I want to ferment at 19 degrees and from experience the fridge will drop to 15-16 in the current ambient climate. Will a PC fan be sufficient for this? I'm looking at a 12V 100mA pc fan from Jaycar which would be 12 * 0.1 = 1.2 Watts. Is that going to be enough power?
 

MHB

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A bit more powerful fan might not be a bad idea, to get the benefits of a fan it needs to be moving all the air in the fridge around. I'm not sure that 1.2W will have the grunt to do the job. You can get small 240V desk top fans pretty cheap, I think one of them might be a better option.
Mark
 

Coodgee

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A bit more powerful fan might not be a bad idea, to get the benefits of a fan it needs to be moving all the air in the fridge around. I'm not sure that 1.2W will have the grunt to do the job. You can get small 240V desk top fans pretty cheap, I think one of them might be a better option.
Mark
I have a 240V desk fan at my office in the city but alas I am working from home this week. So I stole the bedside lamp from the spare room with a 10 watt bulb. When I came out this morning the air temp in the fridge was reading 15 degrees so I have upgraded the bulb to a 30W halogen and will monitor that today. No air flow obviously but it's sitting in the bottom of the fridge so hopefully convection will disperse the heat.
 

mongey

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Would heat belts be an option?
I have a heat belt and it works for me


that said I don't use it to get it up super high,I go to 24 max for a saison ,if your going for 50 it may be a problem
 

Coodgee

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The 30 watt bulb has done the trick for me. It heated a glass of water from 17 to 19 pretty quickly. I never bothered to wire the heat side of my stc1000 so I have dusted off my old Mashmaster Tempmate to control the light bulb while the STC controls the fridge.
 

john44

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I have been using 2 x 40 watt incandescent globes under my fermenters and using an old waterbed thermostat to control it for about 25 years with good results. However now i read that light harms yeast?, so don't know if using a light source is such a great idea. I also used a 25watt heat pad, but i think it struggles to keep up the temperature
 

preikschat

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I use a 25W reptile cord and PC fan in my freezer. Heat dissipates evenly along the 4.5 meter long cord. Bonus is the cord is waterproof, thus no chance of accidents in case of a spillage. The other consideration was that unlike halogen or (lesser extend) CFL lights there is no UV being emitted.
You will need a seperate temperature controller.
 

Tricky Dicky

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Hi guys, I have a fridge where I do fermenting but because it’s winter it’s too cold what thdo best way to heat it?
I use and small lamp with an old school 40w lamp with temp controller in my fridge and has kept my brew at 19.5c ( mid range for the yeast I'm using) it works really well in my garage amongst the Melbournes winter temps.
 

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