Brew Belt safe while not home?

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Mschooley53

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I just bought a Brew Belt because I'm starting to get into winemaking and with my first bath nearing fermentation, I wanted to make sure I didn't have any issues with fermentation.

Right now, my primary is a constant 64 degrees (it's been cold in Ohio) but before I pitch the yeast I want to make sure the temp stays in the 70s. Since I work during the days, has anyone had experience with leaving the brew belt on all day unattended? If this seems to be and issue, I can turn it on all night while I am home and then before I leave for work just insulate with a blanket. Thoughts?
 

Elizajean

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I am wondering the same thing. I have been moving a temperature recorder all around the house and basement, and all temps are low. I was wondering about draping a heating lap blanket over the fermenter, since technically you can have it on your lap for hours. I do have one heating belt and I thought they were ok to leave unattended.
 

bkisel

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I've done it many times but must admit that I've never felt really comfortable leaving it unattended for long periods of time. I think my instructions said not to leave plugged in for more than nine days and to not cover it with anything.
 

jburtner

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I left mine on for a complete ferment. A week or two? I went to use it again and it no longer works so I'm using a heating pad for now - which I have also had on for weeks straight.

Might do the controller and lightbulb / box thing to get a little better setup going for winter wine work.

Cheers!
-jb
 

Mschooley53

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I've done it many times but must admit that I've never felt really comfortable leaving it unattended for long periods of time. I think my instructions said not to leave plugged in for more than nine days and to not cover it with anything.
I've had mine plugged in for an hour or so and I will say, it doesn't get very hot to the touch so I'll leave it on for the night and see what it's like in the morning. I can't imagine it is much more unsafe that any other electrical appliance since it draws such low power. I'll give it a whirl tomorrow while I'm at work
 

bstnh1

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I leave mine plugged in whether I'm home or not. It's only 15 watts and barely warm to the touch. I have it plugged into a GFI protected outlet, so I don't see much to worry about.
 

Reign

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Mine was too hot, so I wrapped a towel a couple of times around the pail and then used the heat belt. Kept it at 72 F.
 

bstnh1

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I have the Brewers Best Brew Belt, the wide one, and it gets just slightly warm. It raises the temp of the must about 10° in a cellar that's in the mid 50s.
 

pete1325

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I think even at 64 degrees you should be fine. Check the temp range on the yeast you pitched, it should have a range on it. My basement was around 64-65 when I pitched last Friday and all is going well with the ferment.
 

kanOspam

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I've got a belt from Amazon and I think it only gets up to 10 degrees hotter than the current temp of the room. I've left it plugged up for 5 days without being attended. It's barely warm to the touch but I could tell a difference with the carboys that was on it versus the carboys sitting next to them.

Prairie Essentials 3x20 Inch Strip Wrap Around Heating Pad Warming Heat Mat & Thermometer for Kombucha Tea & Beer Brewing, Fermentation, Seedlings & Plant Germination (1, 3" x 20") https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5VNCVS/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 

Wayne Freeman

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I've been using a brew belt for years, and, starting years before that, a brewpad. I leave them plugged in as needed to keep the temperature of the fermentation in the mid 70's in my basement "winery" that generally stays between 60-65 degrees. I try to plan my brewing around any long absences of more than a long weekend, so I don't know what I would do if I had to leave a fermenting batch for an extended time. I think I had to postpone a necessary trip for a few days so I could get the wine past the stabilization stage before I left so I could unplug the heaters. As an aside, I also put a brewpad underneath the condensate collection tank of my house heat pump during very cold winter nights to keep the condensate warm enough that it doesn't ice up at the tip of the tube when it gets pumped outside.
 
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