15 litre FV - Brew belt?

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Equipment Discussion' started by Hullblazer, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Feb 10, 2018 #1

    Hullblazer

    Hullblazer

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    Hi all

    Getting my eye back in with small batches; cider mainly. The wife and I are warm bodies and the house is only ever heated to 18 degrees C and falls to (typically) 12-14 overnight.

    In the old house, my brews lived in the airing cupboard. Nonesuch in our new one and so my fermentation runs, slows, runs, slows and this batch is still running after a week.

    My FV is a 15ltr and I literally don't have space (two young-ish kids, two cats) for a brew-bath set-up. Can I pick up a brew-belt that'll fit the small FV? Anyone know of any good, cheapish ones?
     
  2. Feb 10, 2018 #2

    BeerCat

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    You will need a temperature controller as well. Buy an inkbird for about £30(you can get a discount as a forum member) or build an STC1000 for about £20. I bought one of these brewbelts but its very low quality and it gets very hot. (80w). https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UK-80W-D...355732?hash=item25d56b1914:g:UYYAAOSwrhBZAvk9
    These are what most people seem to use https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Home-Bre...hash=item2cce0def18:m:mXZME26XeMsZ7Sgq90cbYwg

    Or these trays are more expensive, just borrowed one to test. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Heating-...hash=item4aa5756eb6:m:m4bUFH8t9hySgIv1B01ux3g
     
  3. Feb 10, 2018 #3

    Chippy_Tea

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  4. Feb 10, 2018 #4

    Hullblazer

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    Thank you both. As it is for cider mainly (currently), I need a steady temp of approx 18 degC so I think I'll investigate the STC1000 option as it looks like I'll be able to achieve this temp as well as keeping my options open for higher fermentations. Looks like some time to be spent researching the build!
     
  5. Feb 10, 2018 #5

    Hullblazer

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    So, from what a brief skim suggests, power to STC1000, STC1000 to brew-belt. Set STC to 18 degC and fit the FV on top of the STC Thermometer, both on an insulated (packing foam?) base?
     
  6. Feb 13, 2018 at 3:45 PM #6

    Hullblazer

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    Chippy_Tea likes this.
  7. Feb 14, 2018 at 10:20 AM #7

    WierdFish

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    That's about it. You can build the STC-1000 into a plastic box with plugs built in, or you can wire the belt directly into the heating side. I used a small ice cream tub for mine with 2 single sockets in the lid (I use cooling and heating, so 1 sockets for each).
     
  8. Feb 14, 2018 at 12:52 PM #8

    Chippy_Tea

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    Are STC's a lot cheaper than inkbird controllers which are ready made?
     
  9. Feb 14, 2018 at 1:45 PM #9

    Drunkula

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    Yeah. You can get the stc for about £6.50 from China or about a tenner from UK sellers, then it's up to you how to do it. You could just use couple of Poundland gang sockets and anything to box it in. Mine has 2 heating and 1 cooling switched sockets, 10 amp fuses on the relays and it cost me less than a tenner.

    Of course you have to put the time in and know that the relay is just an inline on/off switch for the live wire. I think that's what a lot of people struggle with - they think it's supplying the juice.
     
  10. Feb 14, 2018 at 3:41 PM #10

    Hullblazer

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    Thank you, you've confirmed what I had in my head. Brew-belt, not pad has been ordered (just because of reviews) and STC 1000 eagerly awaited (WHERE IS IT!!!!!!??????). I only need head and I have a firm plastic box already to hand!
     
  11. Feb 15, 2018 at 10:35 AM #11

    Mikeyd

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  12. Feb 15, 2018 at 2:08 PM #12

    WierdFish

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    Might be alright for a Saison. I wouldn't want to run any kind of heating without some sort of thermostatic control.
     
  13. Feb 15, 2018 at 4:47 PM #13

    Chippy_Tea

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    I make wine which needs to be between 25 and 30c so for me its fine for beer a controller would be needed.

    New members may not have seen the inkbird controller many members use so here is a heads up - https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8...argid=kwd-148238378435&ref=pd_sl_64f99dhqev_e
     
  14. Feb 15, 2018 at 4:51 PM #14

    Welsh123

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    Get a small fish tank heater they are cheap and reliable .[​IMG]
     
  15. Feb 15, 2018 at 5:00 PM #15

    Chippy_Tea

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