Question on Brew Belt

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by kodiac, Jan 16, 2013.

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  1. Jan 16, 2013 #1

    kodiac

    kodiac

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    I'm making a batch of Blackberry wine and my basement stays cold here in PA. Some users have recommended a Brew Belt. In looking, it appears it can heat the primary fermentation up to 80F. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems a bit too warm for this process. Are there ways to regulate this temperature by using a timer on/off or putting corks/something between the belt and the plastic? Before I buy, want to see what others have done here.

    Thanks...
     
  2. Jan 16, 2013 #2

    robie

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    You could hook up some sort of regulator in series with the brew belt, but that would be a big job.

    Use the brew belt to get fermentation going. Once it is going, it will generate its own heat, so you can turn the belt off.

    Once fermentation slows down, reapply the brew belt. I don't think 80F is too hot, unless you are using some very low temperature strain of yeast. Actually, you need a little heat to sometimes get a fermentation to finish.


    Some use aquarium heaters, which are temperature regulated. Put fermenter bucket in a tub of water. The tub should be just slightly bigger than the fermenter. Float one or two aquarium heaters in the tub.
     
  3. Jan 16, 2013 #3

    RegionRat

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    you dont have to go nutz like I did. You could just use a tote large enough for you to have 3-4" or water between carboy and tote. Those blue rope handled tubs you see at keg parties would work.

    http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/f3/temp-control-my-latest-build-35450/

    RR
     
  4. Jan 16, 2013 #4

    Boatboy24

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    The brew belt will make the fermenter hotter the lower it is placed. So keep that in mind. As was mentioned, you can put it on for a couple days to get things kicking - by then, the action in the fermenter will keep the temp up. As your SG gets lower and things slow down, just put the belt back on.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2013 #5

    harleydmn

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    I tried this but I am getting some algae, is there a way to keep algae from growing?
     
  6. Jan 16, 2013 #6

    Wade E

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    Just put screwdriver or a few in between to reduce contact with the bucket or carboy so only a few spots touch your vessel.
     
  7. Jan 16, 2013 #7

    ibglowin

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    As others have said find the sweet spot up or down the carboy and you won't need to adjust much after you find it. The higher you place it the less the wine will be heated so the lower the temp overall.
     
  8. Jan 16, 2013 #8

    RegionRat

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    I was getting a little funky smell. I am sure it was from a little must getting in the water bath. I drained and cleaned everything very well with Oxy-Clean and Dawn. Then when I refilled I put a Tbs of K-met in the water. I have had no problems.

    RR
     
  9. Jan 16, 2013 #9

    Dugger

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    I have used clothes pin halves in the past to keep parts of the brew belt off the bucket/carboy but now I use wedges made from corks sliced in half on a diagonal. They also work great for lawn bowling wedges if you're into that!!
     
    tonyt likes this.
  10. Jan 22, 2013 #10

    ShepherdQ

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    I have a question about the belt in a similar vein. Apparently the manufacturer's instructions say not to use these on glass carboys, but I'm worried that my basement is so cold secondary fermentation will stall and degassing will be a painfully long process.

    Has anyone safely used the Brew Belt on glass carboys?
     
  11. Jan 22, 2013 #11

    REDBOATNY

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    Yes, everyone does. There is always a chance a cracked or old carboy could give way though. I've even heard of new ones dropping the bottom out without a brewbelt.
     
  12. Jan 22, 2013 #12

    ibglowin

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    Absolutely. Many of us would not be able to ferment in the Winter without one. Just use common sense like don't put a brew belt on an ice cold carboy. Warm it up first.
     
  13. Jan 23, 2013 #13

    ShepherdQ

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    Cool beans, tks.
     
  14. Jan 25, 2013 #14

    jdmyers

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    Sorry to get to this thread late

    I am also from pa and my basement is nice and chilly . I put the aquarium heater right into the primary monitor temp with your thermometer and adjust depending on what heater you have never a problem heater is water proof and easy to clean it has a rubber suction bracket i keep that up out of must no matter what my basement temp is my wine is toasty
     
  15. Jan 25, 2013 #15

    RickC

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    I use wedges to move the belt away from the container and use a simple timer that can be set for 30 minute intervals. I am in the Dallas area and even in the garage the brew belt on continuously is a bit warm. I do use it on glass as well. Just finished a kit with the belt on 30 min and off 30.
     
  16. Jan 25, 2013 #16

    Pumpkinman

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    Just another way to warm the must, if you are a gardener and have heat mats used to germinate, you can wrap one around the fermenting bucket or carboy, hold it in place with your choice of string, bungee cord or whatever.
    This has worked great for me.
     
  17. Jan 25, 2013 #17

    JerryF

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    My 2 Cents for Question on Brewbelt

    I'm almost certain I've seen a similar comment elsewhere but I read someone trying one of those heating pads like you would get at a drugstore (or Walmart for that matter) for use on a sore muscle, etc. Well, I already had one at home; one of the really good ones with the thick cloth padding, and I went ahead and tried that on my secondary glass carboy. Doesn't get too hot and only needs to use the low setting on the thermostat, heated me up to about 78f within a few hours. Just used black electrical tape to hold it in place. Jerry :dg
     
  18. Jan 25, 2013 #18

    tykyle39

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    I also use heating pads. I just tie them on the side of the bucket or carboy with a scarf. I use low heat and my pads turn off at about 10 hours so there is no chance of overheating.
     

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