Originally Posted by richlong8020
Ok so I should have some sort of controlled temp fermentation before I do this. Maybe a small fridge or mini fridge with a controller.
Advice from a new brewer who has only brewed extract beers (so take it for what its worth), most of our beers turned out pretty good, without a temperature controlled chamber. That said i live in northern california and we rarely see temps over 90 and any given day wont swing much nore than about 30 degrees, so that is definitely on my side. Brewing in montana or Arizona would be another challenge for sure.
To cool the carboys off on really hot days we've put an old wet t-shirt on them and pointed a fan at it. Its not going to lager anything, but it will pull things down a bit. We also got a heating pad for the cooler winter nights when i gets below 50, again you won't be brewing belgians in michigan, but in a reasonably insulated home it goes the distance. I've also heard people talk about sitting the carboy in a cooler and puttting water in it. Then freezing some water in old gatorade bottles and such, then when things heat up, drop in a frozen bottle or two to bring ypur temps back down. (im sure a creative way of heating it exists, but the heating pad seems to work pretty well). Not my idea, I take no credit, but seems reasonable.
After all that though, I'd be a liar if i said i didn't really wish i had the space and money to get an old chest freezer to put a temperature cotroller in and make my own fermentation chamber.