5 Best Heating Belts for Home brewing

Best Heating Belts for Home brewing

In this article, we will provide you with options for the best heating belts for home brewing.

One of the most critical factors to successful homebrew is fermentation temperature. Yeast likes to sit between a particular temperature range to work effectively. 

However, if you aren’t ready to invest in a fancy, temperature-controlled fermenter or have an extra chest freezer lying around, you’re probably relying on the coolest place in your house for fermentation.

We set our fermentation buckets in our basement. It stays pretty cool there over the summer, but in the winter, it gets a little colder than ale yeasts would prefer for ideal fermentation. 

We have found that in the winter, it just takes longer for us to get full fermentation. So, we started researching options for warming our fermenter. 

It turns out there are two broad options, a heating belt or a heating pad. 

As we did our research, we found that most homebrewers like the heating belt option for larger (5-gallons or more) fermentation buckets and carboys. Heating belts provide a simple way to create a little more heat in your fermenter without spending a ton of money. In addition, they are simple to use and easy to store. 

There are a few downfalls to most heating belts on the market. First, we were hard-pressed to find a heating belt with its own temperature controller, so if you want the most control possible, you’ll need to invest in a temperature controller. 

Second, if you do multiple brews at a time, you will need multiple heat belts. They are only large enough to go around one fermenter. Finally, not all belts work on all fermenters. Some are not recommended for glass carboys, so make a careful decision if you use a glass carboy for a fermenter.

Methodology

To come up with our list of the best heat belts for homebrewing, we did some product testing with our most recent brews. We also took some time to read product descriptions and product reviews from other users. 

Our product picks are the ones that we found worked best and were preferred by other homebrewers.

Best All-Around Heating Belt

FermWrap Fermentation Heater

Best heating belts for home brewing
A combination of heating pad and heating belt, in a larger size

Where to Buy: MoreBeer!

Of all the heating belts we tried, this one was by far our favorite and was well-reviewed by other homebrewers. It’s a combination of heating pad and heating belt, but this larger size allows for better distribution of heat throughout the fermenter. We also liked this option because it was safe to use on our plastic fermentation bucket and glass carboys.

Pros:

  • Even heat distribution.
  • Rolls up for storage
  • Use on glass or plastic fermenters
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Needs tape to attach to a fermenter
  • No temperature controller

Best Heating Belt for Experienced Brewers

Northern Brewing FermoTemp Electric Fermentation Heater

Where to Buy: Northern Brewer, Amazon

A little bit more expensive, but from a reliable brewing equipment supplier is the FermoTemp Electric Fermentation Heater from Northern Brewer. We liked that this belt was a little more robust than the FermoWrap, making it feel a little more durable. 

The wider width of this heating belt again provided more consistent heating throughout the fermenter. Our favorite part of this heating belt is that it was powerful enough to use stainless steel fermenters.

Pros:

  • Thicker material for added durability
  • Use on plastic, stainless steel, and glass
  • Great customer service from Northern Brewer

Cons:

  • Not quite big enough for a plastic bucket fermenter
  • It really needs a temperature controller for best results
  • More expensive than other options.

Best Basic Heating Belt

Brewers Best Brew Belt

Where to Buy: Adventures in Homebrewing, Amazon

If you are looking for a basic heating belt but also want to buy from a trusted name in homebrewing, our pick is the Brewer’s Best/Vintner’s Best Brew Belt. There are no fancy bells or whistles with this heating belt. 

It wraps around your standard 6-gallon fermentation bucket and does an excellent job of maintaining a consistent temperature. 

Pros:

  • Simple design.
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • It didn’t always stay secured to the fermenter
  • Not recommended for glass carboys

Best Small Size Heating Belt

WAM Direct Fermentation Heating Belt

Where to Buy: Amazon

If you like to brew in small batches or if you’re also making wine or kombucha at home, this is perfect for smaller fermenters. It fits nicely around a 3.5-gallon fermenter, with a bit of room to spare. 

While we feel a little nervous about using this belt style around a glass carboy, this one did well on a standard 5-gallon glass carboy. It also is the only belt we found that had its own temperature controller, but sadly it didn’t work as well as we hoped.

Pros:

  • Perfect for fermenting more than just beer
  • Easy to use.
  • Has a temperature controller

Cons:

  • It doesn’t fit on a 6-gallon plastic fermenter
  • A popular product can be hard to find
  • Temperature controller isn’t that useful

Best Heating Belt on a Budget

Varadyle Homebrew Belt

Where to Buy:  Amazon

If you aren’t convinced that you need a heating belt and don’t want to spend much on trying one out, we think you’ll like the Varadyle Homebrew Belt. This is a very basic heating belt but does a good job. 

One of the things we liked the most about this heating belt is that it fits around larger-size fermenters, so if you’re increasing your brew capacity, this is a nice option. 

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Simple design
  • It can fit around a 9-gallon fermenter
  • It comes with a tape thermometer

Cons:

  • Only available on Amazon
  • Not great for smaller fermenters
  • Not recommended for glass carboys