This article will examine the five best heating pads for home brewing.
If you live in a place that gets cold in the winter, you may find that it becomes just a tad bit more challenging to brew when the weather gets cold. We often find that our basement just doesn’t stay as warm as other parts of our house during the winter.
This cooler temperature slows down yeast activity in our beer, which means it takes longer to get a finished product. Unfortunately, it also means that the potential for incomplete fermentation is a strong possibility.
To solve the problem of not having enough heat for fermentation, many homebrewers utilize some sort of fermentation warmer. If you’re researching fermentation warmers, you’ll find that they come in belt style or pad style. Each is effective; the one you choose is a matter of preference.
Heating pads for homebrewing are nice because you simply plug the mat into a standard wall outlet and set your fermenter on top. There’s no worrying about a strap, clips, or tape to hold the mat on your fermenter.
The other great benefit to heating pads for your fermenter is that your beer warms gradually from the bottom, resulting in a very consistent temperature throughout the beer.
We found the idea of trying out some of the heating pads for homebrewing to be an exciting challenge. Having previously used belts or wraps, the mat was unknown.
To help us select the mats we wanted to try, we considered where we could buy them from, their price, how easy they were to use, and of course, we read tons of reviews from other homebrewers about the heating mats they liked the best.
From all of our testing and gathering of information, we’ve come up with our five favorite heating pads for homebrewing.
Best Value Heating Pad for Homebrewing
Propagate Pro Brewing and Fermentation Heat Pad
Where to Buy: Amazon
This was one of our favorite heating pads. Propagate Pro is well known for making great products for seed propagation, so it was a surprise to see that they make an excellent heating pad for fermenters.
The 12-inch option is the perfect size for standard glass or plastic bucket carboys. Because this heating pad is round, you won’t lose a lot of heat around the edges. It worked well and is one of the least expensive heating mats for homebrewing that we found.
- Easy to use
- Small size is easy to store
- Comes with a stick-on thermometer for monitoring temperature
- Automatic shut off at 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- No temperature controller
- Not great for fermenter buckets with raised bottoms
Best Large Heating Pad for Homebrewing
iPower 48”x20” Hydroponic Seedling Heat Mat
This extra long heating pad was perfect for setting up two or three fermenters at once. This heating pad does have an included thermostat for easy temperature control.
We recommend that you invest in sticker thermometers for your fermenters if you select this option, just to ensure that the beer temperature isn’t getting too high.
- Large enough for multiple fermenters
- Includes digital thermostat
- Takes some practice to set the right temperature
- A bit more expensive than other options
- Slick mat slides around on floors.
Best Heat Pad for Glass Carboys
Old Ale Supply Cozy Fermentations Heat Pad
Where to Buy: Adventures in Homebrewing
This homebrew heating pad was a bit of a surprise for us. When we pulled it out of the shipping container and realized it was made from rigid plastic, there were some concerns that it wouldn’t work well.
However, when we used it with our glass carboy fermenters, it worked great. We did note that this heating pad got a bit warmer than others. You will need a temperature controller for the best results with this homebrew heating pad.
- Sturdy, rigid plastic construction
- Easy to clean
- A temperature controller is a must
- No auto shut-off
Best Compact Heating Pad for Homebrewing
BN-LINK Durable Heating Pad 20”x 20.75”
This heating pad is another that is marketed for seed propagation but works great for home brewing. The 20” square is the perfect size for a single carboy or bucket fermenter.
We liked the flexible mat that allowed us to have good heat distribution even when using a bucket fermenter with a raised bottom. When shopping for heat mats, we found two options for this mat. One came with just a cord, while the other came with a thermostat included.
If you’re OK spending a bit more money, we recommend the option with the thermostat for better temperature control.
- Flexible mat rolls up for compact storage
- Cleans up easy
- Works well with both glass and bucket fermenters
- The square design leaves some areas uncovered causing heat loss
- A thermostat isn’t a standard feature
- Price is higher than others when the thermostat is included.
Best Over-All Heating Pad for Homebrewing
Northern Brewer HomeBrew Heat Mat
Where to Buy: Northern Brewer
When it comes to good-quality home brewing products, you really can’t go wrong with buying from Northern Brewer. Their HomeBrew heat mat was by far our favorite heating mat for our fermenters.
This flexible mat was perfect for both glass and bucket fermenters (even buckets with raised bottoms). It seemed to hold a consistent temperature well, without getting too hot.
- Most consistent temperature
- Waterproof construction
- Works well with a variety of fermenter types
- More expensive
- It needs a temperature controller for optimal functionality