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Old 08-02-2010, 10:33 PM   #1
collegebrewer
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Default Fermentation Temps: poor college student

I'm bottle conditioning my first batch of beer and my second batch is in the primary right now. The first one is a Wheat Beer and the second an Irish Red.

For both of the beers the recipe says to ferment between 68-72 F. However, I come and go from the apartment all day so when I'm not there I generally turn the AC off, and when I come back i turn it back on- so the temp in my appt. fluctuates between 70 and 78.

1) How important is having a consistent tempurature during primary/secondary fermentation and bottle conditioning?

2) And is it OK to ferment/bottle condition at 75 instead of the 68-72 range? (especially since it saves $$)



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Old 08-02-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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Those are excellent bottle conditiong temps but not very good for fermenting clean beer. Try out a swamp cooler and some ice bottles. You can easy get it down another 10 degrees.



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Old 08-02-2010, 10:41 PM   #3
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the temperature is very important to your brew, every yeast prefers different temps...if fermented at different temps, they produce undesirable off-flavors and could be the difference in an excellent brew and an alright brew...as far as bottle conditioning, yes it is more acceptable to bottle condition at 75, that is actually the temp i was told originally by some people on this forum that knew what they were talking about...they said just do it at room temperature, which i took to mean 70-75.

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Old 08-02-2010, 10:42 PM   #4
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By the way, welcome to the forums!!!

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Old 08-02-2010, 11:01 PM   #5
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Unless you are making beer styles that prefer temps in the 70s, you're likely going to find off-flavors in your beers when they ferment too warm. There are various methods of keeping your fermenter cool -- or at least more consistent. Most of them involve variations of putting your fermenter in a tub of water and then adding bottles of frozen water or blowing a fan over the water. The temperature will equalize between the water in the tub and the fermenter, and the additional liquid volume will react more slowly to temperature changes, so even without the ice or fan it will get warm during the day slower than just the fermenter by itself. It doesn't need to be a fancy set up; just a trash can or rubbermaid tub or bathtub will work.

For bottle conditioning, those temps are ok.

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Old 08-02-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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I could try to get a cooler and use some ice packs. Should I put the primary and secondary fermenters both in the cooler?

Glad to hear that I can still bottle condition in the appt, one less thing to worry about.

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Old 08-02-2010, 11:05 PM   #7
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this is what I've done to combat temperature control and it seems to work pretty well. I can consistantly keep a brew in the 60* range with this set up.



plus it keeps it totally shielded from light.

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Old 08-02-2010, 11:07 PM   #8
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Default Swamp coolers

Here's Revvy's with tee shirts,

And my old one with only frozen 2L bottles.

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Old 08-02-2010, 11:08 PM   #9
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+1 on the swamp cooler method. I use one of those big party tubs with the rope handles you can get a Wally World or elsewhere for under 10 bucks this time of year. Fermenter goes in the tub, water goes in the tub around the fermenter. Then I just swap out frozen pop bottles 2 or 3 times a day to keep it cool through the heat of the day. Works great!

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Old 08-02-2010, 11:19 PM   #10
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Mine is just a 30 gallon plastic tote and maybe 6 inches of water and a tshirt pulled over the fermenter. I rotate out frozen 1/2 gallon jugs. Keeping 2 in the freezer and 1 in the tub. I also toss in some regular ice and some big cubes I freeze in those pint sized plastic food containers. It works remarkably well and I'm maintaining 64 degrees on my basement floor.

It's about 90 outside. 82.7 on the first floor. In the basement where my bottles condition it's 73, and a few feet away from that in the swamp cooler it's 64.



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