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Old 07-16-2014, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation Chamber question

So I am looking into getting a chest freezer to use as a fermentation chamber. My question is how long should I leave it in the chamber. Living in the south with the heat my house usually fluctuates from 75-77 during the heat of the day to below 70 at night when the AC can actually keep up with cooling the house. I know the beer needs to be in the chamber during primary fermentation but will the temperature swings be bad for it while it rests afterwards. I usually just leave it in the primary for 4 weeks to let the yeast work their magic.

Just trying to figure out what size freezer I would actually need. We are experimenting a lot right now so we were doing a 2.5 gal batch every week until it got too hot for our yeast strains.

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Old 07-16-2014, 05:04 PM   #2
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Unless its a big beer I leave my ales at 61 degrees for 2 weeks. Then I lager them in the keg for another week at 38 degrees. It works fine for me.

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Old 07-16-2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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Ideally, you only need to leave the beer on temp control until you hit FG. Realistically, you really only need to leave a beer on temp control until the most active part of fermentation is complete. Slower, cooler fermentation towards the lower end of the yeast's optimum range is always going to be cleaner and better.

When I am really jacking up the pipeline, I typically keep a beer on temp control for about a week, then let it rest at room temp for about two more weeks before kegging. Once the most active part of fermentation is complete (i.e., no more airlock activity), you are not FULLY at FG most of the time, but the yeast are not going to put off any off flavors as they wax off those last few gravity points, so it's fine to finish up fermentation at room temp. Once you hit FG, bulk conditioning processes then start, where the yeast will start to eat alot of the leftover nutrients that sometime lead to off flavors. Obviously, this method would be a little different for higher gravity beers or styles that need to be consumed young, like wheat-based beers.

The one other thing is I always put a t-shirt over my carboy to make sure no light penetrates beer to introduce skunking while it's sitting in my back room.

As far as the slight temp swings, that's not really going to affect your beer either. There is enough thermal mass in five gallons of beer that the actual temp is not going to change hardly at all over the course of a few hours of temp change in your house.

Hope that helps!


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