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Old 10-31-2008, 02:09 PM   #1
tonymaud
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Default Fermenting in cooler temperatures

Now that it's heating season here in New England the house is usually cooler( especially with the price of fuel these days) So, I was wondering what you all do to ferment ales in these cooler temperatures. How do you keep your fermenters and bottles warm enough? My house is usually around 64 or 65.

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Old 10-31-2008, 02:25 PM   #2
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This is what I do.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/nort...ewing+aquarium

I have also been trying a heating pad inside my fermentation chamber that is normally used for cooling. So far so good as long as the basement does not drop too far.

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Old 10-31-2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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you shoulf be fine at that temp... Once fermentation starts, it is exothermic, the fermentation will create heat and be a couple degrees warmer then your room. Another thing you can do is place your fermenter closer to a heating vent where the tem will be higher or look for devices that you use that produce heat. Last winter I turned of the heat in my bedroom the temp was 55-65 depending on the time of the day. I have a tower pc case that I positioned so that I can have my carboy behind it. the heat coming off of the power supply was enough to maintain fermentation temps. This year I am thinking about building an insulation box like the son of fermentation chiller but will be placing a pid controller in it that will power a lightbulb which will maintain temps where I want. I hope this helps, Happy Brewing!

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Old 10-31-2008, 02:35 PM   #4
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My basement is 64-65 all winter and it works out well for fermentation. As long as you're not doing a Saison or using a yeast strain that would require temperature ramping you'll be fine with common ale yeasts at 64F.

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Old 11-01-2008, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonymaud View Post
How do you keep your fermenters and bottles warm enough? My house is usually around 64 or 65.

64-65 sounds great for ales, IMO.
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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Agreed. I've had no trouble at this temperature. Often you can pitch a little higher say in the low 70s and I wrap my carboy up in a sleeping bag. Helps to hold some of the temps up a bit, but I don't think there's any worry at 65

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Old 11-01-2008, 09:12 PM   #7
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What if, that leaves a big opening of questions;
you built a cabinet for your carboys out of plywood cheap and quick then insulated the inside with foam board, added a electrical switch gear moisture strip heater controlled by a thermostat? They are app 1 1/4" wide x 3/8" thick x 6-9" long solid tin wrapped with tin stand off legs app 1/2" off the electrical gear cabnet frames down low or to the side. They come in different wattages I have rarely seen 50 watt they go 75, 100, 150 watt and even higher. Yes they will burn your hand but not a red hot glowing item more like app 240* F max. In these electrical cabinets and switch gear most are on full time without thermostat control. It would take days to dig out where my collection of them are just to get the exact wattage and size of these strip heaters.

Another option look into the quartz heating elements they use for exotic snakes and lizards people have in their pet cages, they are thermostatically controlled. Just a few ideas hope this helps for those that live in the colder parts of the country.

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Old 11-02-2008, 01:29 AM   #8
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I get a large rubbermade container from target put about four inches of water in it, then put aquarium heater in and throw in an aquarium power head to keep the water moving around. Works great cost about 50 bucks.

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Old 11-02-2008, 02:06 AM   #9
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Although 65F is perfect for most if not all Ales you could use different strains like East Coast Ale, Irish Ale, European Ale, Sf Lager, German Ale, Kolsch, that do well down below 60F. Make some Cali Commons, Kolsch, German Ales, Stouts, etc; This is my favorite time of year to brew just for the reason my ambient temps are 66F....As long as you use a good sized starter you shouldn't have any problems fermenting any Ale strains down to 60F or so, just give them more time.

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Old 11-02-2008, 04:05 AM   #10
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+1 for the aquarium heater water bath. An air stone keeps the water moving.

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