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Old 02-16-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
jmp138
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Default Easiest way to regulate fermentation temps

So I live in an apartment and I've gotten to the point where I pretty well always have two batches going. I think I am having an issue with my fermentation temperature being a little too high. I'm consistently fermenting around 70 degree room temperature. That best that I have been able to do is place them in a closed dark closet.

I'm getting some off flavors and I'm wondering if theres a way to better control my fermentation temps that won't break the bank. Some batches I'm hoping to do soon call for fermentation around 60 degrees. Anyone got an idea.

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Old 02-16-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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Use a swamp cooler:

(1) Place carboy in Rubbermaid bin
(2) Fill bin with water so that level hits half-way up carboy.
(3) Cover carboy with a wet T-shirt and, if possible, aim a small fan at the carboy
(4) Float frozen water bottles in water, changing as necessary.

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Old 02-16-2009, 12:29 AM   #3
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I keep my beers in the low 60s in an apartment without a freezer or fridge. I use a container that the carboy can fit in that's plastic. You can find them on sale everywhere. I fill it up with water, put the carboy in with a shirt on it, and put a fan over the top. It's really effective.

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Old 02-16-2009, 12:35 AM   #4
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I'm not sure what your budget is, but before I bought my freezer and Ranco controller, I did everything in a dorm-sized fridge (around 4.3 cubic feet, I think). You can pick them up on Craig's List for pretty cheap--I think I found mine for around $30. I pulled out all the shelves and unscrewed the coils for the freezer. I then bent the coils into an L-shape and situated them wrapping around the back and side wall. Squeezing in the bucket is a little tight, but if I push my air lock ALL the way in, and slowly push the bucket into the fridge (the airlock will be tight against the top of the fridge) it fits.

It's more expensive than the water/shirt/fan trick, but it's a lot less mess and a whole lot less maintenance. I can send photos if you're interested.

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Old 02-16-2009, 02:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtbritt View Post
I'm not sure what your budget is, but before I bought my freezer and Ranco controller, I did everything in a dorm-sized fridge (around 4.3 cubic feet, I think). You can pick them up on Craig's List for pretty cheap--I think I found mine for around $30. I pulled out all the shelves and unscrewed the coils for the freezer. I then bent the coils into an L-shape and situated them wrapping around the back and side wall. Squeezing in the bucket is a little tight, but if I push my air lock ALL the way in, and slowly push the bucket into the fridge (the airlock will be tight against the top of the fridge) it fits.

It's more expensive than the water/shirt/fan trick, but it's a lot less mess and a whole lot less maintenance. I can send photos if you're interested.
I'm thinking about trying something like in the next few months. Lately our house has been anywhere from 65 - 70 degrees. But I know the wife would never go for keeping the house at 68 all day during a Texas summer.

Well, she'd go for it. She just wouldn't want to pay the electric bill. I can't imagine how much it would be.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:31 PM   #6
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Go to walmart, buy a plastic bin for 5 bucks, fill it with water and put your carboy in there. Mine always seems to stay a few degress colder than whatever the room temperature is. Example, I keep my thermostat on 68 degrees but water and fermenter stay at 64 degrees. I don't even use a shirt on it or anything.

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