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Old 01-11-2013, 06:01 AM   #1
brett1341
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Default Fermentation Temperature

I don't even really know what I'm asking, maybe input/critique.

So, I don't have a fermentation chamber to control temperatures and I am left with two options for fermentation. I can either ferment in my garage with an ambient temperature of 55-58* or in the house with an ambient temperature of 72*. For my last four brews, I have put the primary bucket in the garage with a towel wrapped around it for two weeks. After two weeks I bring it inside to the house for one week then back out to the garage for two more weeks for a total of a five week primary (I don’t secondary). I haven’t had any attenuation issues so far.

I don’t want to ferment inside for the initial fermentation phases as I don’t want to be producing any fusel alcohols. I figure that with the temperature boost from the fermentation, the actual temperature inside the bucket is somewhere in the 60-68* range. After the krausen falls and initial stages of fermentation are complete, the temperature in the bucket must come to equilibrium with the ambient temperature. I’m guessing that the yeast then start to fall out of suspension and go dormant. When I move it inside the house I’m guessing that I kick up the yeast enough that when the temperature rises a little bit, they will finish off their job.

Any more experienced brewers have any input or comments on my technique?

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:09 AM   #2
pdxbg
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My house is typically 70 - 72. To get the fermentation temp down to the 67-68 range I use my spare bathroom's tub. I fill it with a few inches of water and set the carboy's in there. I don't have to add ice packs or anything. Just change the water out every couple days. I also monitor the temperature in the morning and at night to try to ensure that the temperature stays pretty constant.

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Primary #1 - Pale Ale
Primary #2 - Nut Brown
Secondary #1 - Air
Secondary #2 - Air

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#2 - Red Rye
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:12 AM   #3
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You are doing the right thing. Get a brew belt and you'll be good.

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:14 AM   #4
brett1341
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Yeah, the spare bathroom is reserved for our 18 month old. I'm sure he'd love to get his hands on my beer but I'm pretty sure my wife wouldn't be thrilled to have a tipsy toddler.

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:34 AM   #5
pdxbg
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You've reached a difficult point in your brewing career. You must choose one!

All kidding aside, find a way to monitor the temperature during fermentation. The garage is fine as long as you keep a close eye on temp swings and warm/cool accordingly.

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Primary #1 - Pale Ale
Primary #2 - Nut Brown
Secondary #1 - Air
Secondary #2 - Air

Bottled:
Pumpkin Ale

Kegged:
#1 - Bourbon Vanilla Porter
#2 - Red Rye
#3 - Cider
#4 - Empty.

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:37 AM   #6
dinnerstick
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get a cheap brew belt, reptile heating pad, or even old lady heating pad from a flea market, get a cheap $20 stc-1000 temp controller, run the heat pad off the stc in your cool garage. insulate your brew bucket and for $25 or so you've precise got temp control for ales, and you can ramp up the temp towards the end and everything. but, if your technique works and you're happy with the results, then why change?

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