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Fermentation Chamber heating

I just set up a 7.1 cu. ft. chest freezer to be used as a fermentation chamber. The freezer is in a basement that can get as low as 55 in winter and as high as the mid 70’s in summer. So this is probably as gentle as it gets. My external controller can do a heater as well as the freezer, so I think I’m basically all set, except for not actually having a heater to connect.

I can let it ride for a while, but I’m thinking I may very occasionally need a little bit of heat, say if I want to take some Wyeast 3724 into the 80s

I’ve heard of people using light bulbs, mats from lizard aquariums, hair dryers, electric blankets, and compact space heaters, but they all seem a bit risky…

So what are the pros and cons of the different heating methods?

I use a brew pad in an identically-sized chest freezer that is my ferm chamber, which is available from a number of retailers (though it doesn’t seem from the host). Works great.

I was also a little nervous about heating, but I think honestly, with a small space heater, or even a light bulb (assuming you aren’t fermenting in glass/clear plastic) you are good. Pretty rare that one of those things would start a fire, particularly when it only needs to kick on for a few minutes to get ambient temp up.

I run a small space heater in the bathroom in the morning during the winter. I’m sure the 15 minutes it runs there is longer than it does inside a freezer to maintain a fermentation temp.

I had a chest freezer with a temp controller. I had a drug store back heating pad that was a few inches away from the fermenter. Since the heating pad an hour shut off, I hooked into a timer that would turn it on for 55 minutes every two hours.

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