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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Temperature control for ales
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:01 AM   #1
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Default Temperature control for ales

Controlling the temperature of ale is usually pretty easy for most in the winter--you just put it where you live. But for economic reasons I'll be forced to go back to heating with wood. This means an 80 to 85 degree living room during the day and a 55 to 65 degree living room at 6 am when I get up. Thats a sure way to kill any fermentation.

What tips, tricks or tools are there for protecting my brews from this.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:04 AM   #2
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Try this.

Home Brew Product Reviews - Son of Fermentation Chiller - Powered by ReviewPost

I had one and it worked great till I upgraded to a chest freezer with temp controller.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:05 AM   #3
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One trick is a water/ice bath in a cooler. The water helps to maintain steady temperatures. It takes a LONG time for the beer in the fermenter and the water in the cooler to rise and fall in temperature, since the thermal mass is so great. While your room temperatures aren't great, you may be able to moderate the extremes with this method. The other thought is to put the fermenter somewhere where temperatures don't have such an extreme change- the bedroom? Bathroom? Closet?

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:08 AM   #4
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Yesterday I bought a $20 submersible aquarium heater for use with my swamp chiller. To make my Winter Saisons. And while doing so I wondered where are the $20 submersible chillers for my pilsners. That would be awesome.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:16 AM   #5
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Find a corner where the temp remains fairly constant. Maybe someplace in the kitchen or an unused bedroom that stays between 55° and 65°.

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Old 01-05-2009, 05:47 AM   #6
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I agree with dontman. I have a large tub with an aquarium heater and a power head to help avoid hot and cold spots. It fits two six-gallon carboys and holds the temp really consistent. I tried building a fermentation closet but tore it apart... air is hard to keep at a constant temp. Water works as a better insulator.

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Old 01-05-2009, 06:10 AM   #7
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You can do all kinds of stuff. I would look on craigslist for an old fridge. You can pick them up on the CHEEP. If you cant do the $50 bucks or so. a cardboard box a few towels and a closet and you’ll be set. Take your digital thermometer (you do have a digital thermometer don't you? ) and just place it around your house in places that you would be willing to put your brew, and just do some checks.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybird View Post
You can do all kinds of stuff. I would look on craigslist for an old fridge. You can pick them up on the CHEEP. If you cant do the $50 bucks or so. a cardboard box a few towels and a closet and you’ll be set. Take your digital thermometer (you do have a digital thermometer don't you? ) and just place it around your house in places that you would be willing to put your brew, and just do some checks.
Cheers
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You assume that people have a bunch of places where a carboy is not going to freak out the wife. Are you not married? My wife is totally supportive of my obsession but will only allow the beer stuff in the kitchen when I am using it and the basement.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:31 PM   #9
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I have only used wood heat for 10 years now and have been happily propane free. Its not a problem when it comes to brewing ales. Actually the summer is a little more tricky. I do what most have suggested. I found a spot in the closet where its stays about 63°F +/- 2°. My house does get up to about 75° at reload times and down to about 64° at night. The floor in the closet stays about the same because the floor is obviously the coolest part of the house as radiant heat naturally rises. Being 5+ gallons of liquid the 64° overnight low does not come close to changing that much liquids temp. By the time the fire is stoked and the ambient air is altered the beer stays about the same. No problem, just stick to the 1st floor...and place it on the floor. Oh, and if using dry yeast....stick to Nottingham. That's the best advise I have. And the 1st floor is really important as the upstairs is always warmer.

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Old 01-05-2009, 11:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontman View Post
You assume that people have a bunch of places where a carboy is not going to freak out the wife. Are you not married? My wife is totally supportive of my obsession but will only allow the beer stuff in the kitchen when I am using it and the basement.
I think that's the place to keep your beer. I assume, of course, that the basement remains unheated. It's probably the most thermally-stable room in the house. If it's too cold, a rubbermaid full of water and an aquarium heater can easily keep your yeasties at the proper temperature.
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