Leanne that heater is identical to a heater that is used in a fish aquarium. I don't believe they are available in the U.S. but found mostly in the UK. So, you better be packing some up to give out as party favors at the wedding. I have seen some threads where people are using aquarium heaters to get there must started in cold basements but I don't know how they compare to using a brew belt. Maybe Luc could give some Guidance here.
This really does sound interesting. I would be interested in trying one.
Electrim 75 Immersion Heater
Electrim 75 Immersion Heater The Electrim 75 is a fully waterproof immersion heater designed for use by homebrewers and winemakers to assist in maintaining a constant temperature during fermentation. The heater is suitable for use with all 1 and 5 gallon fermenters. It is factory set to maintain a temperature of between 22 - 24°C, but can be varied using the adjustment knob. The heater comes fitted with a large rubber bung incorporating an airlock hole.
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£20.95 / unit(s)
They look pretty cool as I just researched it after you posted this. Its a fully submersible heater element that is factory set for around a 25 ltr vessel to hold a temp between 71*-75* F which is optimal for most fermentations, actually just a bit high for whites but surely nothing to be concerned about and even this some people would argue about that. I would say it is most likely a better idea then the brew belt with maybe the exception of someone not sanitizing this tool first or possibly the product not being produced or the product getting damaged somehow and exposing electricity to the liquid! I would give it a good look over and unplug at the wall before pulling it out and not plug it in until its in the carboy so you never touch this unit while its in the wine or water to avoid this risk.
Some good points Wade. I was extremely careful when I used it but then electricity is something I have a great deal of respect for. I've had fish tanks with similar heaters in them and it is fully adjustable. So, I'm looking forward to seeing how effective it is. Feels a bit odd having a red light on in my wine though. Lol.
Well, I think I like this thing. It keeps the temp. right on the mark and doesn't interfere with the wine. I think I'd get some more if I weren't moving to a country where plugs and current are different.