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Old 01-12-2007, 03:15 PM   #1
mehron
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Default Fermentation Temperatures

I currently have a batch of beer in my fermenter that should be ready for bottling. However, I realized that the temperature in my house is a little lower than recommended for fermentation. While I'm not home, my house is usually about 64-65˚ F. I looked at the stick on thermometer on the bucket and it's about 64˚.

What would be the result of the temperature being slightly lower like this? I haven't done a gravity reading since about a week in, and it had some way to go then, but it seemed as though fermentation was happening.

What are some good methods for maintaining the proper temperature in the winter?

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Old 01-12-2007, 03:20 PM   #2
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I like to hook up a little ceramic heater in the closet I have my brew in. WIthout it, the temperature is about 55 degrees because it is an exterior wall without a heating vent, plus the insulation in my apartment sux!

A lower temperature would only make the fermentation take a little longer.

Maybe some more info would help us help you, like, how long has it been fermenting, has the airlock been bubbling, what was the gravity reading when you took it?

From what I have read before, 65 degrees is an exceptable temperature, but colder than that might cause some slow fermenting.

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Old 01-12-2007, 03:22 PM   #3
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1. As long as the fermentation is progressing, lower temperatures mean a cleaner brew.
2. Every yeast has a lower limit
3. Some styles rely on esters that only occur at higher temperatures.

I've used several methods, from a dedicated fermentation cabinet with heater and controller to placing the fermenter in a cardboard box and wrapping it in blankets. Keeping a constant temperature is just as important and insulation is an easy way to damp out the swings.

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Old 01-13-2007, 05:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOB
Maybe some more info would help us help you, like, how long has it been fermenting, has the airlock been bubbling, what was the gravity reading when you took it?

Well, I've had it in the fermenter for about 17 days now. I took a look at 7 days and the gravity reading was 1.019 with plenty of krauzen on top. The recipe called for a 1.014 reading. I'll take another reading today.

Insulating the bucket sounds like a good option. If I can find a cheap heater with a thermostat, I may pick one up.

Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehron
Well, I've had it in the fermenter for about 17 days now. I took a look at 7 days and the gravity reading was 1.019 with plenty of krauzen on top. The recipe called for a 1.014 reading. I'll take another reading today.

Insulating the bucket sounds like a good option. If I can find a cheap heater with a thermostat, I may pick one up.

Thanks.
This may make me sound dumb, but what good does insulating the fermenter do? If the temperature is 64-65 degrees, and your house is around the same temp, then insulating it will do absolutely nothing. Insulating keeps heat in, but since your fermenter is not a heat source, wrapping blankets around it won't do anything. You'll need to apply heat to the fermenter to change this at all.

I have the same problem. Ferment temperature should be 68-72, but I can't seem to get it up past 66 degrees. That's what happens when it's in the teens outside.
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Old 01-14-2007, 02:53 PM   #6
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Fermentation is a chemical reaction ( same as fire ) that will cause heat.
By insulating the fermenter you'll keep the heat in.

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Old 01-14-2007, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
Fermentation is a chemical reaction ( same as fire ) that will cause heat.
By insulating the fermenter you'll keep the heat in.
exactly
It's not uncommon for my temp in my fermentor to be as much as 10f higher then my house if I'm not careful. last winter I had a VERY active fermentation and the tiny little bathroom I keep it in was actually warmer then the kitchen it is off of just because of the fermentation. (I have base board heat and no radiators in that bathroom). I have to make sure the door is closed or it's not uncommon to catch my dog curled up around the fermentor when he naps.
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