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Fermentation Can Heater

Stumbled across this tonight. And have seen many people on this boarding asking about how to keep this fermentation chamber warm during winter months.

I am thinking of making one. The cost is pretty damn low. And looks like it would work pretty decently. ... Can-Heater

As a father of a five year old daughter, I get to immerse myself in playtime with several toys that I would have never touched as a kid myself. It’s nice to finally be able to take some of that playtime and turn it in to a usefully homebrew application.

The Easy Bake Oven for instance… If a light bulb can bake a cake, why can’t it warm up my fermenters in the winter months?

The Hardware

For this build, you will need a digital temp control unit that allows for heating, otherwise, this build is pretty inexpensive, and works quite well.

From the big Orange hardware store on 11/27 you will need the following:

Plastic Lamp Assembly # 078477103180 - $1.19
6' power cord # 756847000023 - $1.14
Pancake Box # 050169002933 - $2.19
Spade Terminals (optional) # 032076075163 - $1.99
Aluminum Paint Bucket # 082474966013 - $4.68
Light Bulb... check your closet

Total build Apprx $12.00

Putting it Together

The build itself is quite easy. Using a couple self tapping screws or bolts, attach the pancake box to the inside of the lid of the paint can.

Once you attached the lamp assembly the cord might pinch, so I used a grinder to notch out a small section of the pancake box.

Drill a hole towards the top of the can to allow the power cord to pass through. I also drilled a hole in the bottom to allow a little light to escape so that I could verify the light was on without having to open the final project.

Cut off the receptacle end of the power cord. run your cord through the top hole and separate a couple inches of the cable. strip the end of the wire and attach your spade terminals (if desired).

Connect the terminals to the lamp assembly. Not sure that it matters but at HD, the gentleman on duty told me to attach the wire with the ribbed sides to the gold circuit, and the smooth wire to the silver.

Screw in your light bulb. and attach the assembly to the pancake box on the lid.

Attach the assembly to the pancake box on the lid, screw in your light bulb, and put the lid on the paint can.

You now have what looks like a retarded toaster. But I assure you, the Cylons will be proud.

Does it Work?

Well that’s it. As you can see the bottom light hole allows just enough light to escape so that I can verify that it is working without flooding my fermentation chamber with the stuff.

The light bulb heats the paint can enough to raise the temp in my chest freezer.

I am currently using a 60 watt bulb in this one, and it only took a couple hours to bring the temp up from 58 to 68. Once there, the temp holds quite nicely coupled with my digital temp controller.


FYI, the ribbed wire is the neutral wire which should be hooked up to the silver screw.

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