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Old 01-15-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
Rolly
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Default Bottle conditioning in the winter

I know everyone says 3 weeks at 70F. But I live in an old drafty house, and definitely don't run the heater to keep ambient temps at 70F. I would say ambient temps range between 58F during the day when nobody's home, and 66F at night when we've got the heater running.

Will bottles carb okay in this temperature range? Or should I just throw in the towel and get a hall pass from my wife to buy a kegging setup?

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Old 01-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #2
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I know everyone says 3 weeks at 70F. But I live in an old drafty house, and definitely don't run the heater to keep ambient temps at 70F. I would say ambient temps range between 58F during the day when nobody's home, and 66F at night when we've got the heater running.

Will bottles carb okay in this temperature range? Or should I just throw in the towel and get a hall pass from my wife to buy a kegging setup?
I would think it would carb fine but take longer. You could put it in some sort of cooler or other insulated place to help prevent drastic temp swings. Or maybe put them in a closet in a large rubbermaid bin with water and an aquarium heater to maintain temps w/o heating the whole house. Just some ideas, maybe someone with more experience can chime in with better options
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:33 PM   #3
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It will juset take longer, I have that issue in my loft every winter where the ambient is in the low 60's. It can take a couple weeks to a couple months. Just try to find the warmest place. I live in a loft, but my GF has a house, and her furnace is in a little alcove in the basement. I prop the cases up off the basement slab and put them as close to the furnace as I can get, and cover them with an insulated blanket. And it seems to work just fine. You can try to rig simething up, maybe and insulated box of something. Maybe even covering it with a sleeping bag will help.

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Old 01-15-2011, 04:36 PM   #4
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I live in an old drafty house too. I have individually controlled baseboard heaters in each room, no central heating. That allows me to turn on the heater for my one beer room.

I only started doing this recently. Before that i would just let the temps move up and down while i was conditioning bottles and fermenting beer. To be honest i did not notice any real issue with bottles carbing up at a lower temperature. I always waited 3 weeks and carbonation seemed fine to me. I only started turning on that heater to avoid big drops in temperature because it stalled out my fermentation on a couple of recent brews.

Carbonation is fine at this temp. Most people say it takes longer but i never opened a flat(ter) beer.

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:26 AM   #5
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I have had some carb problems in the winter with particular batches and yeasts. My house is not particularly cold, but I heat 80% with wood and I'm not going to bump the thermostat or burn more wood just to condition my last batch.

The solution I came up years ago was a simple twin bed electric blanket. Bottle it up, wrap it up, and plug in for a week. I actually put it on low setting, and also on a timer where it only is on for about 10 hrs/day. You can keep a whole "pile" of beer bottle conditioning this way in an odd corner of a cold basement. Mid to upper 70's is what I get in a 63 degree basement with an elec blanket loosely covering the pile. Good place to put a fermenter of ale the first week also.

Not pretty but it works well for me.

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Old 01-31-2011, 10:26 PM   #6
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I live in a drafty house as well, and my temps only get to 70 in the summer. I had a HELL of a time getting bottles to carb until I bought a temp controller and stuck a lightbulb in it. Now they carb up PERFECT in 2-3 weeks.

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Old 02-01-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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I just made a batch with a friend and we are conditioning it in his basement. Ours is definitely taking a bit extra time for it to carbonate. It's also on his concrete floor which probably doesn't help. I just assumed it would take a bit longer than normal and we don't really need to buy a heater for it.

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Old 02-01-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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What about in the winter. I dont have A/C in my place and it gets well into the 80's.

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Old 02-01-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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I just made a batch with a friend and we are conditioning it in his basement. Ours is definitely taking a bit extra time for it to carbonate. It's also on his concrete floor which probably doesn't help. I just assumed it would take a bit longer than normal and we don't really need to buy a heater for it.
Lift it up off the slab. I store in milk crates, and 4 paint cans works great to hold up the cases stacked on top of itself. You'd be surprised how much simply getting it off the floor helps.
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