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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Belgian Quad SG 1.094 to 1.010 in 1 week....how I did it...if you want to know.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:25 PM   #11
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510, when we refer to temps we are referring to wort temps not ambient air temps. In fact, unless otherwise noted we are always referring to wort temps when quoting fermetation temps.

This is easy to determine with stick-on carboy thermometers- "Fermometers" they are called.

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Old 12-15-2008, 10:12 PM   #12
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510, when we refer to temps we are referring to wort temps not ambient air temps. In fact, unless otherwise noted we are always referring to wort temps when quoting fermetation temps.

This is easy to determine with stick-on carboy thermometers- "Fermometers" they are called.
Right on, thanks for clarifying. So when you ramp the temperatures up, you just go a little at a time and check the fermometer frequently? I have a Ranco digital thermostat and I was considering getting a thermowell probe for it. I don't want to get too complicated but I do want to brew good Belgians.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:24 AM   #13
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I really like water-based setups, and most of my friends who brew do as well. In northern states, where basements temps are cooler than fermentation temps, a Rubbermaid tub wrapped in insulation filled with water and an aquarium heater is an extremely simple, robust, relatively cheap setup. Rate of temperature ramp is dependent upon how often you're willing to turn the temp up on the heater. If you're feeling adventurous, I suppose a PLC controller and a $100 bill @ Radioshack would get you some pretty snazzy stuff, too.

Plus, with regards to ambient temp vs. wort temp vs. fermometer temp: since water has a really high heat coefficient, there is a strong chance that the temperature of the wort is pretty close (higher during fermentation) to the water temp. Unlike in air setups, where air heat convection is much more limiting.

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Old 12-16-2008, 03:29 AM   #14
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I really like water-based setups, and most of my friends who brew do as well. In northern states, where basements temps are cooler than fermentation temps, a Rubbermaid tub wrapped in insulation filled with water and an aquarium heater is an extremely simple, robust, relatively cheap setup.
That sounds like a great, simple solution. Do you use anything to get the water to flow around, or does the temp stay consistent without flow?
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:53 AM   #15
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+1 on the temperature ramp (as discussed in Brew Like a Monk).

I've started most of my Belgians in the 64-68 range, then ramp from there. A typical ramp might be:
64 for 1 day
66 for 1 day
70 for 1 day
74 until done.
Make that +2. This method works for me with every Belgian strain I have tried, though I prefer to pitch the Wit strain warmer. Pitching at a high rate in the mid 60's and holding for a few days avoids any fusels.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:59 AM   #16
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Check out my pictures on profile, it shows the setup I use.

I was recently curious about the temperature range, so I did check the temp in various spots (near heater, away from heater), and the delta was only like 1-2 degrees. The heater seems to turn on/off in cycles and the temp probably equalizes in the off cycles.

But I do want to preface this with one caveat: active yeasties make wort warmer. So be careful if the ambient basement temp is too close to the water temp.

Example: Basement was about 66. Fermentation target temp was 70. Active yeasties brought temperature of water bath up to 74. So there's a bit of finesse to understand your system and know what temperatures you're capable of.

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Old 12-16-2008, 04:06 AM   #17
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though I prefer to pitch the Wit strain warmer
I've been slightly disappointed in my use of the 2 wit strains from Wyeast (3464 and 3944). I think it's not them, it's me. They were good, but not great. Both were slightly under-attenuated and under-carb'd from bottle conditioning. Perhaps I need to consider a higher temp...I noticed sluggish fermentations. I'll also go with more priming sugar (in my notes from last brew).
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:23 PM   #18
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Just a note about fermentation control.

My buddy has fermwrap NORTHERN BREWER: Fermentation Temperature Control on one controller and heating and cooling on the fridge they are in.

I think the fermwap controller has the probe in a thermowell in the carboy.

So that might sound confusing, but he controls the air and the carboy to make sure his Belgian's ferment out all the way. He has been to Belgium on business many times on brewery related work and gets behind the scene tours.

BTW - His beers are really good!!

So I think a person needs to do what works for them to have an end result that suits their taste.

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Old 12-29-2008, 08:12 PM   #19
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Check out my pictures on profile, it shows the setup I use.
Thanks for the idea Sixbillionethans.
I picked up a couple of cheap coolers that can hold a fermenter each, and a $20 200W aquarium heater for each. I love the aquarium heater, totally submersible, low temp is 65, and never actually gets hot, just warm, so I don't have to worry about melting my plastic cooler & better bottle.

I had been using an old fridge with a heater element, and it was difficult to control temps during the exothermic phase, plus I couldn't run two different temperature ramps.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:41 AM   #20
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B-Dub

I just brewed a Golden Triple this weekend. I did something new with this one. I am doing a double ferment. I kept 1/2 gallon of the finished wort aside and put it in a clean jar. After about 60 hour of fermenting at 70, last night I heated 1 1/2 lbs of candy into the reserved wort and added it to the fermenter.

Today I have been slowly raising the temp for the warm stage. 48 hours of warm followed by 7 weeks at 66.

I have high hopes for this beer. My goal FG is 1.008 (from a total OG including last night's infusion of 1.081)

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