slightly Heating a chest freezer

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Ford, Nov 16, 2014.

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  1. Ford

    Ford Defender (693) Sep 8, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I have a 7.2 GE Chest Freezer.... here in south Texas I don't get a ton of crazy cold weather... but still it will get near or just under freezing every once in a while... right now my freezer is sitting at 58 degrees.. I have it set for 63.... my electronic temp control has a plug for cooling and heating.. of course the freezer is hooked up to the cooling....

    What should I use just to heat it up a few degrees..? Water proof heating pad? One of those Brewer's Edge Space heater majigiesthings.....

    Other suggestions?
  2. Fireslayer

    Fireslayer Disciple (360) Apr 13, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I use flex a 2' section of flex watt heat tape attached to my sct1000
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  3. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (477) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    You may be surprised how much heat a primary initially gives off. If that's still not enough a plain old light bulb is also effective.
    billandsuz likes this.
  4. Ford

    Ford Defender (693) Sep 8, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, the current beer fermenting away is one week in.... so I'm sure its staying a couple or three or four degrees over the current temp... which is good... tried the Mangrove Jack West Coast dry yeast on a smash pale ale... two row and citra.
  5. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (477) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    I'm sure you know, as the active fermentation is completed the wort/beer will lose that extra heat. You can drive a light bulb with your temp controller and just use your freezer as a heat chamber. Also, if you put a bucket of water (or 750) in the freezer, its temperature will approximate the beer temp as you let it condition. I've found this type setup easy to monitor.
    Ford likes this.
  6. Ford

    Ford Defender (693) Sep 8, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    When using a light bulb.. do you cover it in anything if using glass/clear fermenters?
  7. DrewBrew87

    DrewBrew87 Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2013 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

  8. michaeltrego

    michaeltrego Initiate (165) May 21, 2004 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    I have a chest freezer in the garage. When the ambient temp is below freezing, I put a portable caged work light with a 25 watt bulb in the freezer. I cover the cage with some aluminum foil. Works like a charm.
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  9. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (305) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    A table lamp with a 100 watt light bulb will put out as much heat as a 100 watt heater. Cheap, reliable, and you probably have an unused one somewhere in the attic or basement. An inverted No 10 can drilled to fit the lampshade post makes an effective light block.
    Ford likes this.
  10. cskollmann

    cskollmann Initiate (168) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    I used to have a brewers edge heat mat attached to the wall and controlled by the hot side of my stc1000. But it died, so now I'm using a simple heating pad. Seems to work just fine.
  11. cfrobrew

    cfrobrew Initiate (0) Oct 9, 2012 Texas

    I have a heating pad from CVS around for when I know it will be cool for a while. I just moved the jumper on my Johnson digital temp controller to switch it to heating mode. If its just a little heating I need I will sometime just toss the heating pad in there on low and let the fridge kick on if it goes too far. I need to put together my stc-1000, I have the parts but haven't made time to put it together. That will be able to control heating AND cooling so I can lead the heating pad on high.
  12. jmich24

    jmich24 Devotee (454) Jan 28, 2010 Michigan

    Christmas Lights- Add more or less, one at a time to find the perfect amount/temp.
  13. Soneast

    Soneast Crusader (746) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I had a spare electric heating pad taking up space, so I hooked that up to my Ranco Controller and set it inside the freezer. Works great. Think you can pick one up at Walmart for like $10. Never thought about using Xmas lights, that's a good idea!
  14. Ford

    Ford Defender (693) Sep 8, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Lots of good stuff here people... I have an STC1000.. I found an old small ceramic heater... its plugged in there tonight... and only takes about a minute to get the temp up to where it needs to be when it kicks on.... probably more like thirty seconds..
    cfrobrew likes this.
  15. kennyg

    kennyg Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2007 Illinois

    I use the brewer's edge stuck to the inside wall of my chest freezer with my Johnson controller set to heating mode.
    Currently fermenting 5 gallons Apfelwein at 62°F using this setup in a garage that's maybe 25°F (it's freaking cold here in Chicago already!)
    gjoker321 likes this.
  16. BumpyAZ

    BumpyAZ Initiate (187) Jan 14, 2014 New Jersey

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