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Old 02-21-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
kylerwilliams19
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Default fermenting too cold?

so i see a lot of threads on here about fermenting too hot but i definitely have the opposite problem. my basement is typically around 60* and i would say that it gets down to about 58* at night and maybe up to 62* during the day... is there any way to help and make it a little warmer down there so that i can brew there?

thanks

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Old 02-21-2009, 01:16 PM   #2
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My house is cold, too. I have an IPA now sitting at 61 degrees.

There are a couple of things that help. One is, you can buy a yeast (like nottingham) that works down to 57-59 degrees. Keep the fermenter off the basement floor (where it's coldest) by putting it up on a shelf, or put boards underneath. If you have an ale that you must ferment a little warmer, then you can do what I've done in the past- I put the fermenter in a cooler with a water bath, and add a $10 aquarium heater to the water. I ferment at 70 degrees or so that way. You have to keep an eye on it (I use a floating thermometer in the water bath, as well as a stick on thermometer just above the water level on the fermener) to make sure it doesn't get too warm, but it works great.

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Old 02-21-2009, 02:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylerwilliams19 View Post
so i see a lot of threads on here about fermenting too hot but i definitely have the opposite problem. my basement is typically around 60* and i would say that it gets down to about 58* at night and maybe up to 62* during the day... is there any way to help and make it a little warmer down there so that i can brew there?

thanks
I am a complete noob but I have seen posts of people using space heaters, blankets (since the ferm. temp is higher than the ambient temp.), crafting a box with a light bulb for heating to place the fermenter in, any combination of the aforementioned things, etc...

I have a similar problem to you and am currently using a medical heat wrap on low that I attached to the side of the glass carboy. Just gotta keep an eye on it due to fire risk, albeit low risk. Anyway, I am hoping this gets me good results...we'll find out next Saturday when I take a hydrometer reading.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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I just use a 25.00 space heater from Lowes. Works like a charm.

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Old 02-21-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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If you don't want to spend $ on heaters and electricity you could brew styles like Cal Common, Kolsch or Alt beers...

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Old 02-21-2009, 11:08 PM   #6
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Or you could buy one of those Brew Belts at your LHBS. They're not too expensive, just slip it around the bucket, plug it in, and it heats the brew up

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:46 AM   #7
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Or you could buy one of those Brew Belts at your LHBS. They're not too expensive, just slip it around the bucket, plug it in, and it heats the brew up

do they work? and does anyone have any experience with them? i was looking at those thinking it might work out nicely. also how much temp difference can i expect?
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:51 AM   #8
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+1 on the brew belt. My basement is about 55 to 58 in the winter and I use the brew belt. My beer has been happily fermenting at 68 degrees with this attached. The temperature seems to good for ale fermentation.

I recently built a fermentation cabinet to be able to keep as many as 6 buckets or carboys at a steady temperature. I'll be posting some pictures soon.

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Old 02-22-2009, 05:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylerwilliams19 View Post
do they work? and does anyone have any experience with them? i was looking at those thinking it might work out nicely. also how much temp difference can i expect?
You know, I live in a second story apartment where I get free heat from the floor below (it radiates up, what can I do?! :-)) so I've never had to use one (actually I have problems keeping the brew cool) but from what I hear, they're great. Also, I saw a guy on YouTube who said he likes to take the cheaper route and wrap a string of Christmas lights around his bucket. I wouldn't try it on a carboy, but it might not be so bad on a bucket.
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylerwilliams19 View Post
do they work? and does anyone have any experience with them? i was looking at those thinking it might work out nicely. also how much temp difference can i expect?
You know, I live in a second story apartment where I get free heat from the floor below (it radiates up, what can I do?! :-)) so I've never had to use one (actually I have problems keeping the brew cool) but from what I hear, they're great. Also, I saw a guy on YouTube who said he likes to take the cheaper route and wrap a string of Christmas lights around his bucket. I wouldn't try it on a carboy, but it might not be so bad on a bucket.
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