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Old 01-25-2013, 02:05 PM   #1
stewart194
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Default Take it Out or Leave it In??

I'm using the swamp cooler method to ferment my beers. Because of lack of space in my house / garage, I probably won't be able to build a real temperature controlled chamber for several years.

I've been able to keep my water temp at a steady 64 degrees without using ice bottles. From what I've read that should mean that the actual beer temp is around 66 degrees. I've read that several people raise the temperature to 70 degrees or higher after the first 4 or 5 days of fermentation...but I think they do this gradually in a temp controlled chamber. I also just listened to a podcast where Jamil said temperature swings of 4 degrees or more are bad.

The ambient temp of my house is around 70 degrees, but once it's out of the swamp cooler I don't have any control over the temp.

Should I leave my carboy in the swamp cooler at 66 degrees during the entire fermentation? Or should I take it out on the 4th or 5th day and let it warm up?

Thanks!

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #2
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You would take it out when the bulk of fermentation has completed as a way to help attenuate the last couple remaining points and clean up some residual off characters (e.g. diacetyl), and 70 to mid70s would be fine. This would basically be when you've reached within a point or two of your expected final gravity.

Big temperature swings are not a good thing during the bulk of fermentation, mostly, because that's when unwanted esters are more likely to be produced. If you pull your fermenter out of it's water bath (~65F) and put it in room temp (~70F), it will take a day or two to reach room temperature therefore the change would be considered fairly gradual.

Simple answer, take it out of your swamp cooler when the bulk of fermentation has stopped and you've nearly reached your final gravity (typically this would be around day 4 or 5, as you've said).

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Old 01-27-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
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stpug -
Thanks for the reply! I didn't know that it takes a few days to get up to room temp. I was afraid it would climb too fast. I also didn't know that mid 70s was OK after the bulk of fermentation. I will plan on pulling the carboy out on the 4th of 5th day. I wonder if most people using the swamp cooler method do this?

Thanks again!

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Old 01-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #4
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I don't think it's a required step to warm it up, but a helpful one. I'm sure some folks typically warm up while other typically don't warm them up. It's a matter of preference and what has worked for you in the past. I typically move my beers to room temp (~71/72F) after full fermentation (4-5 days) and leave it there for 3-7 days. Then I cold crash and transfer to keg.

I occasionally check the temperature of my carboys after moving them to ~71/72 and it takes mine a day or two to level out at room temp. I'm usually raising anywhere from 3-10 degrees to get to room temp and this is what I have noticed. If I put my carboys in front of a heater vent I'm sure it would move much quicker (not that I would want it to).

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Old 01-28-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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Thanks again! I really appreciate the reply!

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:43 AM   #6
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She said leave it in, now I'm in trouble...

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