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Old 05-07-2008, 12:43 AM   #1
47LoyalRonin
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Default Avoiding High Temp Problem During Fermentation

I've just started brewing and have run into a big problem. So far I've brewed three batches, two porters and one IPA. The IPA, brewed in between the porters, came out fine and the porters tasted horrible, like some kind of chemical.

I've done a little reading and got a crystal thermometer. The temperature readings I've gotten off the thermometer are all in the upper 70's, it only goes up to 78 so I don't know how much higher it gets.

The apartment I live in is in Texas, on the third floor and has very high ceilings. It also gets a lot of direct light. Cooling it to a reasonable temperature for fermentation would be near impossible and would send my electric bill through the roof. So I need to find a viable way to drop the temperature of my wort while it become beer. I ferment in a 6.5 gallon food bucket and 5 gallon glass carboy.

Based on what I've read it seems a large cooler (and a little ice) would be the easiest/cheapest/least time consuming solution. I'm having a hard time finding a cooler that can handle a vertical food bucket/carboy. If anyone has some input on that or another possible solution it would be greatly appreciated.

Also will a high ambient temperature (75 - 84)after bottling cause any problems?

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47LoyalRonin View Post
Also will a high ambient temperature (75 - 84)after bottling cause any problems?
High temps after bottling cause quicker chemical reactions. With regards to carbonation, that is an advantage. Some off-flavors like oxidation will show up sooner though, if the bottles are kept warm. Overall, it is best to keep your bottles below 75F, unless you plan on drinking them quickly...
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:54 AM   #3
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you can get big plastic tubs at wal mart for $4-10 dollars. Put your bucket or carboy in, add water and ice to get to the proper temps.

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Old 05-07-2008, 01:05 AM   #4
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Here's my solution:


I just took off the regular lid (it's hollow) and made the foam lid so that the airlock pokes out. You could do the same with a bucket, with a different size hole. I put water in the cooler, and a couple of frozen water bottles that I change out as needed. I have a floating thermometer (a cheap one) in the water in there to monitor the temperature. It works great! It's heavy, but it has wheels, so I roll it where I want.

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Old 05-07-2008, 01:06 AM   #5
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Hi,
I would suggest wrapping wet towels around the fermenter and then putting a fan on it. If you keep the towels wet, you can cut about 10 degrees off your fermentation temperature.

Cheers,
Brad

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Old 05-07-2008, 01:55 AM   #6
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+1 Yooper my last batch came out a little on the cidery side so I knew I had to get the temp down a little and I just used a rubermaid bin that i have with water in it, and I use the frozen water bottles also...

I think you are who I gained this little nugget of info from yooperbrew.

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Old 05-07-2008, 02:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Hi,
I would suggest wrapping wet towels around the fermenter and then putting a fan on it. If you keep the towels wet, you can cut about 10 degrees off your fermentation temperature.

Cheers,
Brad
+1

This is like the method I used when I was in an apartment. I put the carboy in a tub with water, put a couple t-shirts over the carboy, with the airlock poking out the neck, so they dipped into the water and kept wet by wicking the water up, then pointed a fan on it. Works decently.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:35 AM   #8
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Yooper, how many quarts is the cooler you're using there. Also how cold do you get it? I'm brewing ales and don't want to swing too far back the other way. Do lower temps adversely affect them other than slowing down the process?

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Old 05-07-2008, 02:50 AM   #9
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Try a big trash can, toss some bags of ice in it with your fermenting bucket.

Alternatively, make ales in the summer, and lagers when the weather gets cooler. Ale yeasts operate at higher temps. you could also try to use more neutral yeasts for lagers, like Nottingham. That's what I used in my cream ale since I couldn't get my fermenting temps low enough for the usual cream ale yeast.

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