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Old 08-31-2009, 01:42 PM   #1
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Default 60 degree water for carboy cooler and ale?

I am fermenting my first batch where the BB carboy in a cooler of water and I have a thermometer in the cooler (but not in the carboy). I'm starting to see the water in the cooler stay in the 60 degree range. I have been adding frozen water bottles every night and morning but I wonder if I should. After doing this the water dips to 58. From reading here I assume the carboy temps are bit higher than that but isn't that too low for an ale yeast?

What temp range do you go for when in the cooler water? Or does everyone focus on the temp of the beer inside? I don't have a thermometer that I can use to monitor the temps on the inside so I'm trying to make due.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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you should invest in a fermometor.Your beer is probably fine,and a lot warmer than the water.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:52 PM   #3
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That seems a little low to me unless you're doing a lager. For ales, I ferment at about 65 - 68F. The more experienced folks on here will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the temperature of your water bath (as long as it covers enough of your carboy - 1/2 to 2/3) should be pretty close to the temperature of your wort.

Personally, I'd look up the optimum temperature range of your yeast, and hold it at the cooler end of that. If you ferment too cool, you'll have a long ferment (or won't reach your target FG at all), or a diacetyl bomb.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:52 PM   #4
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The important thing is the temperature of the beer inside the fermenter. However, if you have quite a bit of water in the cooler, the temperature inside the fermenter is very close to the temperature of the water.

The desired temperature depends on the yeast strain, and the characteristics you want. For example, nottingham yeast at 60 degrees if very "clean" and it works just fine since that yeast strain can go down to 57 degrees.

If you want some of the fruity esters, Northwest ale yeast is great at 70-72 degrees.

Check the yeast strain's optimum temperature range on the yeast manufacturer's website- the info is all there. Then, ferment the beer within that range. Toward the lower side of the range will give you "clean" flavor, higher side would lean towards some esters.

I ferment the majority of my ales at 62-66 degrees.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joos View Post
you should invest in a fermometor.Your beer is probably fine,and a lot warmer than the water.
I'm glad you brought that up. Will a fermometer work if the carboy is surrounded by water? I have my cooler filled near the top and it covers almost the entire carboy. I was going to buy one but I though it would be useless if water covers the fermometer even partially (I assume the fermometer will be overwhelmed by the outside water as it's basically being covered by it).
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
The important thing is the temperature of the beer inside the fermenter. However, if you have quite a bit of water in the cooler, the temperature inside the fermenter is very close to the temperature of the water.
I'm using wlp001 as part of a recipe kit from AHS which says 68 to 73 is optimal. The debate for me is whether or not the inside temp is near the outside temp. I asked about this before and it seemed like some people say it's close while others say it can be off by as much as 10 degrees.

So while I might know I should hit 68-73, the problem is trying to figure out what that means for the outside water. I think I might take the frozen bottles out and see what happens to the temps.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:21 PM   #7
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It all depends on the yeast.
I have 2 ales fermenting right now.
Kolsh is at 60-62
American Wheat is at 72-74

When i use California Ale, I keep the swamp cooler water at about 68deg, knowing it is going to be 1-2 degrees warmer in the carboy during active fermentation.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:21 PM   #8
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I've got a BB in my fermentation fridge right now at 68F fermenting with washed WLP001. I learned my lesson from Yooper earlier this year, and now do anything she says!

The water temp and your inside BB temp should be really close. Water buffers temperature really well.

Water will ruin a fermometer, so don't bother if it's in water. Trust the thermometer in your water. Keep it at about 68 and you'll be fine.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:33 PM   #9
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+1
Water Jacket = good thermal conductor - Wort temp very close to same.

Air Jacket - less efficient (Refrigerator-based fermentation chambers) - require setting at 58-60 in order to get 65F wort temps.

Fermometers - ruined sitting in water. +1 on a basic thermometer. I use an indoor/outdoor el-cheapo from WallyWorld, and drop the "outdoor" probe in the tank.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:38 PM   #10
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Air Jacket - less efficient (Refrigerator-based fermentation chambers) - require setting at 58-60 in order to get 65F wort temps.
If fermenting in an Air Jacket (Fridge) it is a good practice to use a thermowell which will put the temprature probe in the center of your beer for acurate fermentation tempratures.
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