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Old 09-15-2005, 02:40 PM   #1
Shmohel
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Default Temperature Control

Just looking to hear some of your thoughts on temperature control. I am not looking really at lagering techniques, per se. More, about your thoughts on fermenting. I am on my 6th batch and just keep it hidden in a dark closet. Probably not exactly the ideal temp for fermenting some beers (I would imagine it is right around 70 deg).

As I learn more about different controls, I was wondering wht you all do. I have seen/heard on these boards that guys put their fermentors in tubs to regulate temp. Anyone care to elaborate?

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Old 09-15-2005, 02:45 PM   #2
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Ales are very forgiving, and I just try to keep mine under 80 degrees, and worry about nothing else. I know it's better to keep the temp in at about 70, but my house stays at 76-77 degrees, and I just let the fermenters sit in the (unused) fireplace cove.

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Old 09-15-2005, 02:49 PM   #3
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Oh.. forgot to mention... I'm getting a free brew-gear upgrade soon. We're buying a new fridge for the house, and I get to take the old one to the garage.

Woohoo!

I bought an external thermostat for it so I can keep the temp at whatever I want. I'm pretty excited to be able to use 'proper' temps, because I have NEVER (literally) in the last 8 years fermented at the proper range for my yeast.

But.. this fridge is a luxury thing, and TOTALLY not necessary (as my 8 years of success at or above 75 degrees shows.)

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Old 09-15-2005, 03:02 PM   #4
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Not much to elaborate on...just sit the fermenter in a tub of water with a block of ice that you change out once or twice a day. I use 1 gallon "milk" jugs filled with water and stuck in the freezer. You can drop the temp ten degrees like this easily, and maintain it to within a degree as long as you just pay attention and don't forget to change the ice.

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Old 09-15-2005, 03:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
Not much to elaborate on...just sit the fermenter in a tub of water with a block of ice that you change out once or twice a day. I use 1 gallon "milk" jugs filled with water and stuck in the freezer. You can drop the temp ten degrees like this easily, and maintain it to within a degree as long as you just pay attention and don't forget to change the ice.
By doing this, wouldn't the ice get the temp too cold? Do you regulate the temp of the water, or stick a thermometer into the beer?
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:14 PM   #6
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I just tossed a cheap aquarium thermometer in the tub water...the water in the tub and the beer are going to stay at the same temperature. I'm using a big tub (big enough for three carboys) and it's filled to the five gallon level...that's a lot of water. One block of ice can't move it more than a degree or so. I used four blocks to get it down to the 68 I wanted, then after that 1 block has kept it right at that same temp for over a week now.

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Old 09-15-2005, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
I just tossed a cheap aquarium thermometer in the tub water...the water in the tub and the beer are going to stay at the same temperature. I'm using a big tub (big enough for three carboys) and it's filled to the five gallon level...that's a lot of water. One block of ice can't move it more than a degree or so. I used four blocks to get it down to the 68 I wanted, then after that 1 block has kept it right at that same temp for over a week now.

Sounds good thanks. I am brewing an altbier right now, and I knoe my temp is higher than it ought to be. Not that I am trying to stay to any style guidelines, but I want to start experimenting with tweaking different parts of my process to determine their effects.

Your method sounds like it will do me well. Thanks...
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Old 09-15-2005, 05:43 PM   #8
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I don't worry TOO much about it...I primarily brew ales. However I do take into account the weather/season and I move my fermenters either upstairs or downstairs to get different temps. In the Summer upstairs in my house gets pretty warm during the day, even with the AC running.....it can average 74-76 degrees over the course of the day. But downstairs it will average 6-8 degrees less. The opposite it true for the winter. I do take into consideration what type of yeast I use based on the time of year....but again, I don't go nuts worrying about it.

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Old 09-16-2005, 05:55 AM   #9
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I actually have an in-brew heater for brewing ales in winter (when the average temp. in the unheated parts of my house is ~12-14 deg C).

To keep my fermenter temp. down for a lager, I have filled a tub with water and sat the fermenter in it. If you fill the tub at night, when the water in the pipes is cold, you will get about the temp. you want (if the weather's cold enough), and it only rises a couple of degrees through the day, thanks to the big heat bath.


BTW, when are you seppos going to get with the program and start using kilograms and degrees Celcius??

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Old 09-16-2005, 10:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shambolic
BTW, when are you seppos going to get with the program and start using kilograms and degrees Celcius??
Believe me.. I wish we would. It bothers the hell out of me that we are using a bizarre system on all accounts. I can do the math in my head to covert back and forth, but it shure would be a hell of a lot easier if we just switched.

We're as stubborn as the French I guess. (I'll probably get flamed for that, but...)

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