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Old 01-11-2013, 01:47 AM   #1
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Default Conditioning in cold weather

From what I've read most ales condition best around 70F. Well, doing brewing up here in Massachusetts during the winter my house never reaches 70F for any extended period of time. Mostly it fluctuates between 55 and 68, so as to save money on heating bills.

I'd like to condition my ales at appropriate and stable 70F, but my house is too cold. Has anyone else had this problem? I was considering constructing some kind of heated chest, but as I don't want to spend all of my money on heating costs, I also don't want to burn my house down!

Any ideas? Is it even that important?

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:11 AM   #2
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Not important.

I live in NY and my house is 58-65 all the time. No issues carbonating. 70 is just the suggested temp for best turn around time. I have very good results and carbonation at 3 weeks.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:35 AM   #3
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+1 - exactly the same here. My basement is in the high 50's, upstairs is in the low 60's. My beers carb just fine. If I am in a little bit of a hurry with something, I will bring it upstairs to speed up the process a bit.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:37 AM   #4
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I put a few 6 packs on top of the fridge. It stays pretty warm up there. Those carb up first and by the time they are consumed, the others have carbed up too.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:47 AM   #5
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I like that fridge idea! Will conditioning in colder temps affect flavor?

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:49 AM   #6
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No.

But you can drop them even lower (30-40) and drop out the chill haze for a crystal clear beer. But this should be done after the 3 weeks.

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Old 01-11-2013, 03:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewdub View Post
I like that fridge idea! Will conditioning in colder temps affect flavor?
Not at all. Just will make it take longer. No worries.
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Simple and easy wort aeration - Harvest yeast from your blowoff - Homebrew Spicy Mustard
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:38 AM   #8
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Do you have a utility area with your furnace? It's not really a big deal if they get warmer than 70 either.....

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Old 01-11-2013, 12:58 PM   #9
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I've had this problem in the past. In my last apartment, my bedroom was in the attic, barely had any heat, and the only space for my bottle conditioning was in a closet off that bedroom with 3 outside walls. We had the thermostat at 60 during the day and at night, 66 when we were home in the morning/evening. I doubt the closet ever got warmer than 50-55.

Like others have said, they should carbonate eventually, but I got really frustrated when a relatively low OG pumpkin ale took a couple months to carbonate so I built a little "warm box" in the corner of the closet. Taped some cardboard to the wall, and tossed in a 40W lamp (incandescent of course) and a small fan along with the cases of beer. Threw a couple old towels/hoodies on top of the box, and after a few hours the air inside was 80+ degrees. If you have a temperature controller (STC-1000?) you can use that to control it, or just let it ride.

So if you are frustrated, and you don't feel like waiting, the solution doesn't have to be complicated, expensive, or use a lot of energy. My beers carbonated much, much quicker after using the box.

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:15 PM   #10
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I was primarily concerned about changes in flavor. The bottles seem to carbonate fine after a few weeks. So I guess I'll just keep them where they are, crack a home brew and chill. Thanks for all the feedback!

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