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Old 06-22-2005, 08:34 PM   #1
toddster
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Default cooling ideas...

Good afternoon. I have just gotten back into brewing after about 10 years. I need to find out how to ferment at lower temps for lagers and pilsners. I can brew Ales with no problem. I have a garage refridgerator that I can keep at about 51 or 52 at the highest. I can't seem to get anything down to around the 68 mark or below. I am in Texas so the heat is really cranking outside right now. I can't afford to run the A/C in the entire house to get it too much lower. What are some of you using to ferment at the lower temps?


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Old 06-22-2005, 08:42 PM   #2
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I bought a Ranco temperature controller. Basically, it has a probe that goes in the fridge. The fridge plugs into the controller and the controller plugs into the wall. Set the temp you want on the controller and it will turn the fridge on when it gets too hot. You can set the differential, the temp and the units.

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Old 06-22-2005, 08:58 PM   #3
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Check the temp in your closet.

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Old 06-22-2005, 09:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster
Good afternoon. I have just gotten back into brewing after about 10 years. I need to find out how to ferment at lower temps for lagers and pilsners. I can brew Ales with no problem. I have a garage refridgerator that I can keep at about 51 or 52 at the highest. I can't seem to get anything down to around the 68 mark or below. I am in Texas so the heat is really cranking outside right now. I can't afford to run the A/C in the entire house to get it too much lower. What are some of you using to ferment at the lower temps?
i use the same controler vtfan99 mentioned, but on a 7 cu ft chest freezer. it would work on a fridge too. chest freezers just don't lose all the cold air when you open them. i'm in SE Texas and feel your pain brother! i have an APA fermenting right now at a cool 68 degrees in the freezer. there is a thread called "Fermentation Chiller" on the forum too that some guy's have built out of foam board, and seems to be working well for them. i think it's under the equipment thread? those thermostat controls are about $45 bucks from a HBS or web-site. they have higher end ones about $85-90. nice little gadgets! you can check www.morebeer.com, www.northernbrewer.com, or www.austinhomebrew.com for more info.
and welcome back to the brewing world!

cheers!
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Check the temp in your closet.
hhhmmmm......that would only be about 999 degrees!
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:15 PM   #6
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That high, huh? Even double-wides can't withstand that temp!

I was just down in Ft Polk and Nawlins' last week and it was only 97F (w/107 heat index).

I better stay away from your neighborhood!

Who's your neighbor? SATAN!!!

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Old 06-22-2005, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
That high, huh? Even double-wides can't withstand that temp!

I was just down in Ft Polk and Nawlins' last week and it was only 97F (w/107 heat index).

I better stay away from your neighborhood!

Who's your neighbor? SATAN!!!
naw, Lucy's a little farther south from us! but he's in a real nice double-wide!!!!!!

the humidity is what's so bad here. you walk outside and the sidewalks and driveways are sweating! it just looks like it rained. the only way i think it could get more humid sometimes, is if i was under the Gulf of Mexico!
the freezer is really saving my brews. this is the first summer i've had it, and well worth the $60 i spent on it. i'll save that in one months electricty bill.....

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Old 06-22-2005, 09:52 PM   #8
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Deroux's comment on the fermentation chiller is here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthre...tation+Chiller

This is what I use. Good for ales in the hot weather but your original question was lagers. This won't do it for lagering... Best part on this is low power consumption since it is powered by ice and a 12v DC fan.

It was 110 yesterday and still was fermenting in the garage at 66.

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Old 06-23-2005, 01:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Check the temp in your closet.
Your remarks about laws on brewing relating to watered beer prompts me to tell about "Holliday Beer" here in the UK. Close to me we have a large holiday centre on the east coast of Lincolnshire, and I noticed some years ago that the beer in the bars on the complex were very watery ( I am talking about a poplular beer sold in local pubs ) As a seasoned beer drinker you can tell when the stuff is watered, and one day I asked one of the managers from the complex and he told me that they have a special brew made for them. Unlike the normal beer of the same name sold in pubs, which is 3.8 abv, this version actually watered down to 2.8. The reason, the guy told me, is that they don't want the people getting drunk and causing problems!. At the time the proper strength beer in local pubs was around £1.65 per pint............on the holiday centre it was £2.25 !.............So , it just goes to show that it is all about making big profits.
I was a local bus driver at the time and needless to say, I had many people boarding my bus at the holiday centre and asking where they could buy a good pint of beer ! This actually worked very well for me because I often delivered a bus full of people to my local favorite pub.........and when I went in there myself the owner would give my drinks on the house !
Nice to meet you and all on the forum.....regards. Mike..........Lincoln U.K.
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