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Old 04-20-2009, 11:21 PM   #1
Rankinstein
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Default Fermentation in crawl space?

Okay so I have one batch under my belt and some apfelwein in a secondary so I'm about ready to start up a new batch. It's starting to get hot here in Northern California and a lot of the houses here (mine included) don't have AC. Today it's 80F inside the house and while I have a cool corner in a guest bathroom that is staying in the low 70s today, I don't know how well it will do once we hit summer time.

I noticed that my crawl space under my house (no basement unfortunately) was nice and cool though (almost perfect right by the door, actually) and there's plenty of headroom for a large carboy. Anyway I was wondering if anyone else had used their crawlspace for primary/secondary fermentation and if so if you had any recommendations for me. Seems like the main concern is a larger exposure to insects and other critters.

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Old 04-20-2009, 11:59 PM   #2
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Well, I live in Maine but am going to try a similar process.

Making a Kolsch and need it in the 40-50 range for secondary. Going to try my basement and see how it goes.

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Old 04-21-2009, 01:13 AM   #3
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My first thought is what kind of craw space are we talking here? Is this something finished to an extent or just a opening where stuff is sitting in the dirt? An easier solution might be putting it in a tub of water with something for a wick and a fan, get some evaporation cooling going.

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Old 04-21-2009, 02:32 AM   #4
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My first thought is what kind of craw space are we talking here? Is this something finished to an extent or just a opening where stuff is sitting in the dirt? An easier solution might be putting it in a tub of water with something for a wick and a fan, get some evaporation cooling going.
This is an unfinished crawl space under the house. Not directly on dirt but not far from it--there's a plastic sheet over the dirt. That, I suppose, is my concern. There's shelter from the elements but I'm sure there are spiders, etc. under there.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:39 AM   #5
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There's shelter from the elements but I'm sure there are spiders, etc. under there.
Don't worry, they don't drink much.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:40 AM   #6
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I have been thinking about doing this with some bottles I want to age out, but they will be in a cooler. if you can build a cubby hole with some blocks to keep critters from it. but it could work.

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Old 04-21-2009, 03:12 AM   #7
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Personally, I would avoid the crawl space. There are a lot of critters that can get into a crawl space and will probably be attracted to the smell of the fermentation process.

What I would suggest instead is converting a cube cooler. There are several discussions threads that talk about this but basically you can byy a cheap cube cooler that is big enough to hold your carboy or bucket. You then fill the cooler with ice (I use used frozen water bottles.) You fill the cooler with enough ice to get to the temp that you need.

here is a good example
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ferm...chamber-13810/

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Old 04-21-2009, 03:19 AM   #8
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Personally, I would avoid the crawl space. There are a lot of critters that can get into a crawl space and will probably be attracted to the smell of the fermentation process.

What I would suggest instead is converting a cube cooler. There are several discussions threads that talk about this but basically you can byy a cheap cube cooler that is big enough to hold your carboy or bucket. You then fill the cooler with ice (I use used frozen water bottles.) You fill the cooler with enough ice to get to the temp that you need.

here is a good example
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ferm...chamber-13810/
I would agree. The cube coolers work pretty well especially if you modilfy the top or make another one with insulation.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:19 AM   #9
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Yeah, better to dig up a cooler, or an old fridge even (craigslist?) rather than to come back a couple weeks later and find a mouse swimming in your brew singing bawdy pub tunes.

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Old 04-21-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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If memory serves, I think Jeffery Dahmer was "fermenting" in his crawl space! Seriously, I would go with the swamp cooler idea if it were me. Set your carboy or bucket in a tub with a few inches of water and drape a t-shirt over it. It will do wonders for your temps.

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