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Heater for chest freezer fermentation chamber

I have ordered a 10.2 cu ft chest freezer so I will be able to ferment at least 2 bubblers at a time. I have both sons now interested in brewing so I have about 15 gallons in the pipeline now. I looked on Craigslist and most local chest freezers listed were either very old, and or too large.
I also have the ink bird temp controller coming that will switch between heating and cooling.
Right now the weather is on the border so it’s almost 80 outside but my cellar is in the high 50’s. Tomorrow outside temp will be in the 60’s. Soon of course the cellar will be in range for fermentation until we get too many hot days and cooling will be required. So I should be all set for cooling but I am wondering if there are any low output space heaters that would be good for when the chamber will need to heat up a few deg. I doubt my cellar would ever get below 50 deg f. The chest freezer inside area is not huge. I want to just keep a steady ambient temp inside the chamber and then adjust a bit if necessary to compensate for active fermentation etc. mainly just want to keep in the range to avoid fermentation disasters. Since 2 fermentors may be in there at different stages I don’t want to attach the sensor to the beer.
Anyone have suggestions for a small and safe little heater? Controller is 120vac and can switch about 10 amps.

Thank you


They sell those fermentor heat wraps… they’re basically like a heating pad that you wrap around a carboy. I’ve heard of people using seed tray heating mats, as well. Then there’s the old light bulb in a paint can style heater (literally a light bulb in a can- heats up, but the can blocks any light that would skunk the beer). I’d almost worry about a space heater being too aggressive. Keep in mind, fermentation generates its own heat.

Thanks, yes I saw some tiny 100 watt " personal space" heaters. I may try one of those as an experiment before I really need it. When I looked at it on amazon, right below it the picture of " frequently purchased with" the fermentation temp controller. So maybe it’s a good start.

Maybe with 10 gallons of beer fermenting I may very well need to switch to cooling in the winter for a few days in the cycle.

I’d go with the seed heating matt too… you may need to keep an eye on it until you get a feel for how it responds… Heck, even a three way plug so a fan will circulate the air also? Small computer fan… Maybe? Sneezles61

Ya I could probably just plug in one of the many obsolete game consoles my kids have that would throw off enough heat to raise the temp a few degrees. I will have to experiment and track to come up with some k factor to calculate the controller setting. Luckily the yeast has a fairly wide range so it should not be too difficult to get in the middle somewhere.

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I am lucky as our downstairs MAY get close to 70 in the summer, so using the 7.0 CU. FT. freez-mentor with a controller is optimal… I did put the probe in water and so far so good. Another guy said I should get glycerin to put the probe in… Thats how the lab at the hospital deals with it… Not a bad idea… Sneezles61

That’s a great idea putting it in a jar of water or something like that. Never thought about that but it would smooth out the bumps I guess and keep the temp swings to a minimum.

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I was just looking up glycerin gel… seems very simple… I may try something like that to put the probe in… Sneezles61

I use a heating pad from CVS. You gotta find one with a physical switch that you can leave on; they’re actually cheaper. Doing it again I’d probably get the seedling mat instead, but I’m not sure if the heat level is the same.

I just hang it from the basket that came with the freezer using binder clips. It’s worked fine.

If it was hooked up to the controller, then it could shut down when reached desired temp, maybe? Sneezles61

Oh yea, the heater needs to be connected to the controller.

What I was pointing out in the drug store heating pads was that they usually have some sort of switch on the line to turn them on and off. You want one where there is a physical switch to turn on so that when the controller applies power the thing gets warm. If it has one of those electronic switches, that needs to be pressed to turn on, then it won’t actually turn on when the controller calls for heat. Heating pads made for people also turn off after 2 hours of continuous use, but in practice that hasn’t been a real issue for me in my basement. It could pose a problem for someone trying to maintain mid-60’s in an unheatd, detached garage in winter.

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