Kombucha Heating Mat And Pads: A Buyer’s Guide

A heating mat is an electric pad that’s used to provide a constant warming effect on a surface.
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Why Do You Need a Kombucha Heating Mat?

kombucha_brewing 

A heating mat is necessary if you are going to brew kombucha within cold temperatures as it will keep the fermenting jars and bottles heated continuously to keep the fermentation process going. Kombucha’s optimum fermentation temperature is 80 degrees F (26 degrees C).

Considerations Before Buying A Heating Mat

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Type Of Heating Mat Required
Your needs will determine the type of heating pad to get. There are two main types of mats; wrap around mats and under the brew mats. 
While wrap around mats are great at providing constant and equally distributed heat, they are quite expensive to acquire, especially if you have multiple ongoing projects. The size of your brewing jars and bottles will also determine the size of wraparound heat mats to get, which only serves to complicate the entire process.
On the other hand, under the brew heat mats are great if you have multiple ongoing fermentation projects as you only have to set each jar on the mat, allowing it to accommodate multiple containers at once.
However, these heating mats only produce heat on the point of contact. This might result in warm temperatures at the base of fermentation jars but with the upper parts left in cold temperatures. The warm temperatures at the base usually encourage the growth and accumulation of yeast at the bottom leading to the buildup of gunk, which can be messy to clean up and having to filter it out after every brew.
Heating Capabilities
The design and hardware specifications of a mat will determine its heating capability. The heating capacity of most mats is measured in watts per square meter. Whereby the higher the number, the higher the heating capability of the mat as it will draw a similar amount of electricity. Consider getting a mat with adjustable heating capabilities; this would allow you to control the amount of heat produced.
Energy Efficiency
Homebrewing kombucha is more than just a hobby; it’s a way of cutting down on costs that could have otherwise been incurred buying bottled kombucha. For this reason, it’s essential to go for energy-efficient heating pads to avoid incurring ridiculous electricity bills. It is recommended to go for heating mats with an energy star rating.
Safety Features
Kombucha brewing can get messy, especially during the second ferment, where the extra pressure in the bottles from the carbon dioxide accumulation can lead to exploding bottles. For this reason, the heating mat should be equipped with safety features such as water resistance, which would prevent accidental electrocution. Other features such as auto power on/off will ensure that your fermentation projects do not get exposed to extreme heat.
Brand
A brand’s popularity or lack thereof speaks a lot in terms of the quality of its products and actual customer feedback. To avoid buying low-quality heating pads, always go through customer reviews, especially those with confirmed purchases. Popular brands are also more likely to avoid using low-quality parts.

Different Types Of Heating Pads and Mats

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Thermostat Equipped Heating Mats
These are heating mats that have been fitted with a thermostat to regulate the heat produced automatically. As a result, the heating pad can activate automatically if the temperature drops below the optimal range and automatically switch off when the temperature reaches a certain point.
Velcro Heating Mats
Velcro heating mats are specially designed in terms of size and equipped with a hook and loop Velcro strap, which is used to secure the heating pad around a fermentation jar. Most of these have a short height to fit most jars ranging from ½ gallon to 2-gallon brewing jars. This is achieved by having a longer length, which can be wrapped around the jar and secured using the Velcro strap.
Under The Brew Heating Mats
Under the brew heating mats rely on localized heat application on the entire surface. As a result, you can place multiple jars on the mat, and they will all be heated accordingly. When shopping for an under the brew heating mat it's recommended to consider the heating capabilities as the jars will not have much surface area contact with the mat, and it, therefore, needs to produce consistent and substantial heat.

How To Use A Kombucha Heating Mat

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1. Prepare The Fermenting Area
Heating mats should not be used on wet surfaces, so ensure that the brewing area is well prepared and any spilled brews have been wiped away. This prevents electrocution and rusting, which can occur if the electronics get exposed to the wet surface. Ensure that the fermenting area is also well ventilated as the heating process can result in more humidity production from the fermentation jars.
2. Install The Heating Mat
The heating pad will require a nearby electricity socket to plug in to. If there’s none, you can use an extension cable from the power cord to deliver electricity to the fermentation area. Plug in the mat and lay it as per the instructions, ensure that you set the temperature to within the optimal kombucha brewing temperatures 80 degrees F (26 degrees C).
If you are using a wraparound or a Velcro heating pad, gently wrap it around the fermentation jar and use the Velcro strip to secure it into place. After ensuring that the mat is firmly wrapped around the jar, you can then plug it in and adjust the temperature.
3. Place The Fermentation Jars On The Heating Mat
Once you have confirmed that the under the brew heating mat is working correctly, and the temperature has been adjusted to the optimal level, you can proceed to place the fermentation jars on the mat. It’s essential to label the jars to avoid over and under fermentation while on the mat.

Kombucha Temperature and Brewing Time

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Ferment
Ideal Temperature
Temperature Range
Ferment Time
Kombucha
80 degrees F (26.6 degrees C)
75 to 85 degrees F (23.8 to 29.4 degrees C)
7-14 days
Sauerkraut
72 degrees F (22.2 degrees C)
65 to 80 degrees F (18.3 to 26.6 degrees C)
20 days
Fermented Veggies
70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C)
60 to 85 degrees F (15.5 to 29.4 degrees C)
2-6 weeks
Milk Kefir
72 degrees F (22.2 degrees C)
65 to 74 degrees F (18.3 to 23.3 degrees C)
12-24 hours
Water Kefir
75 degrees F (23.8 degrees C)
68 to 78 degrees F (20 to 25.5 degrees C)
24-48 hours
Jun Tea
75 degrees F (23.8 degrees C)
70 to 80 degrees F (21.1 to 26.6 degrees C)
5-7 days

Top 5 Heating Mats

1. Kombucha Mamma Essential Heating Strip [Check The Latest Price Here]

Price: $54.95
Type: wrap around
Brand: Kombucha Mamma
Heating Range: 5-20 degrees F above ambient room temperature
Dimensions: 4 by 24 inches
The kombucha momma essential heating strip is designed around optimality whereby the 4 by 24 inches worth of heating surface area is guaranteed to keep your brews well heated. The heating belt is designed to fit multiple vessels simultaneously or wrap it around a single fermentation vessel. A thermometer strip is also included to make it much easier to monitor and adjust the temperature output.
What We Liked:
  • The mat relies on multiple heating strips spaced out evenly across the entire mat to provide even heating effect
  • The electrical components are well insulated making the mat waterproof
What We Disliked:
  • The unit does not include a variable temperature regulator, so you have to physically move it away from the brew to reduce the temperature
 

2. Kombucha Shop Heating Wrap [Check The Latest Price Here]

Price: $27.99
Type: Hook and loop strap
Brand: The Kombucha Shop
Heating Range: 4 precise temperature ranges
Dimensions: 19 by 5 inches
The kombucha shop is offering its latest kombucha heating wrap that’s equipped with a hook and loop strap to secure it on any fermentation jar ranging from half a gallon to 2-gallon capacity. The heating mat is designed to expand and contract depending on the size of the fermentation jars allowing it to fit snugly for maximum heat transfer.
What We Liked:
  • The mat is equipped with a hook and loop strap to secure it around the fermentation jar
  • The heating mat has an adhesive temperature strip for easy monitoring of the output temperature
What We Disliked:
  • The product is not equipped with a thermostat; therefore, you will have to use either of the 4 temperature ranges accordingly
 

3. Seedfactor Waterproof Heating Pad [Check The Latest Price Here]

Price: $38.99
Type: Under the brew heating mat
Brand: Seedfactor
Heating Range: 70-85 degrees F
Dimensions: 10 by 20 inches
The Seedfactor hydroponic waterproof heating pad is a multipurpose heating mat that’s often marketed as a germination station, but it can also be used as a kombucha heating mat. Not only is it MET certified, but its 10 by 20 inches size makes it perfect for anyone with multiple fermentation projects. The mat is also equipped with a 6ft long power cord, so you don’t have to get an extension cable to reach the power outlets. The mat has intelligent thermostat controls with up to 40% temperature ranges from the ambient room temperature.
What We Liked:
  • The mat is equipped with power-saving features to avoid additional electricity bills
  • The mat is both waterproof and fireproof
What We Disliked:
  • The thermostat is sold separately leading to additional costs
 

4. Fermentaholics Kombucha Heater [Check The Latest Price Here]

Price: $15.95
Type: Wrap around
Brand: Fermentaholics
Heating Range: 5-20 degrees above ambient room temperature
Dimensions: 3 by 20 inches
Fermentaholics is offering their latest kombucha heating mat that features an easy to use elastic band strap to secure it around brewing jars and bottles. The mat is equipped with an adhesive thermometer on the side to keep track of the brew’s temperature. The three by twenty-inch dimensions makes it possible to use the heat mat with just about any other fermentation jars.
What We Liked:
  • The product is equipped with a rubber band to secure it around any fermentation jar or bottle
  • The heating mat has an adhesive thermometer to keep track of the brew’s temperature
What We Disliked:
  • The heating pad is not equipped with a thermostat, so you will have to keep track of the heat manually

FAQs

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How do I keep my kombucha warm in the winter?
You can use a kombucha heating mat to keep your kombucha within the optimal brewing temperature. In case you don’t have one, you can place the fermenting jars on a warm appliance, seedling propagation mat, or in a high cupboard. Ensure that the kombucha doesn’t get exposed to direct sunlight, as this can harm the culture.
What temperature is too cold for kombucha?
Temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit are harmful to the kombucha as they usually deactivate the culture’s enzymes preventing further fermentation
Can I use a heating pad for kombucha?
Yes, as long as the heating pad can continuously maintain the optimal fermentation temperature of kombucha, then sure you can use it.
Does kombucha go bad if it gets warm?
Yes, after the fermentation period, kombucha should only be stored in the fridge as warm temperatures beyond 85 degrees F are bound to spoil it by causing excessive acidity and mold growth due to the death of the culture. 
The raw kombucha should be transferred to the fridge after fermentation or after the second ferment where it can be stored for up to 3 months sealed or 2 weeks open.
What temperature will kill a SCOBY?
Temperatures beyond 90 degrees Fahrenheit will eventually kill the SCOBY. Low temperatures, on the other hand, usually deactivate the SCOBY, although it can be activated later on depending on how it was stored while under 50 degrees F.

 

Looking For A SCOBY? - Our Recommendation


grow_your_pantry_scoby
A high quality, strong, SCOBY is an essential ingredient to brewing Kombucha.
Here at Grow Your Pantry we've developed our own super strong live liquid SCOBY culture.
Guaranteed to brew 1 gallon every time.
[Check Our Latest Price]

 

Kombucha Jar Covers

Are you thinking about making your own kombucha or Jun? Looking for the best cover that will protect and block all the wrong things from getting into the jar?
All aerobic ferments require oxygen, especially at the beginning of the fermentation process, and that is why a breathable cloth cover is the best.

[Check Our Latest Price]

 

If you're looking to get started with brewing kombucha check out all of our reviewed and recommended products here: Kombucha Recommended Products

 

Interested in learning more about kombucha? 
Check out these articles:
Recommended Kombucha Products
Kombucha Jars and Vessels
Kombucha Bottles
SCOBY Hotel
How to Pronounce Kombucha
Kombucha Kit
Can I Make Kombucha Without SCOBY, Sugar, Tea, Alcohol Or Caffeine

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