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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Brew Temp and Banana Flavor - What's Next?
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default First Brew Temp and Banana Flavor - What's Next?

This is my first post.

I just opened my first homebrew this week. A hefeweizen extract. I am very happy with it. There doesn't seem to be any contamination which I was very afraid of.

Here's my question. I live in Illinois and right now it is very hot, around 90-95º everyday. We keep our house around 78º. I've heard that when beer is fermented at too high of temperatures it can have an off banana flavor. I was expecting and got a mild banana flavor from the hefeweizen. But in my next beer, an english mild, I am worried about the fermentation temperature. I really DON'T want any banana flavor in my mild, and I am worried that this may happen. I am planning on using White Labs English Ale yeast which has an optimum temp of 65-69. Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with this? Will it be okay if it ferments at 75-78º?

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Old 08-19-2007, 08:56 PM   #2
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There are several easy steps you can take to try and bring the fermentation temperature down. You can wrap the fermenter in a wet towel or wet t-shirt and place and place it in front of a fan; you can submerge the fermenter in a bucket or cooler of cold water and add ice or frozen water bottles; you can modify the top of a cooler to allow the air lock to poke through and use frozen water bottles to bring the temp down.

Last summer I used the wet towel method and it worked okay up to about 75deg ambient temp (I would recommend this method to a new brewer). This summer I am using the last method and have been able to maintain lagering temps below 42deg as long as I switch the ice out regularly.

Try one of these as a quick and simple way to keep the temp down as it really will affect the flavor of your beer.

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Old 08-20-2007, 12:22 AM   #3
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Why not wait a few months on the mild and brew another wheat now? It'll be a lot easier to hit the right temp.

Al

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Old 08-20-2007, 12:50 AM   #4
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Get a plastic bin...place your fermenter in it...fill it half way with water...refill water bottles and freeze them...switch them out every 12-24 hours.

Where are you in IL? I'm near the Quad Cities.

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Old 08-20-2007, 07:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Get a plastic bin...place your fermenter in it...fill it half way with water...refill water bottles and freeze them...switch them out every 12-24 hours.

Where are you in IL? I'm near the Quad Cities.

I think that is what I'll do, in combination with the wet towel. I might have to consider making a different beer too. Or find a yeast that can tolerate higher temps.

I'm near Peoria. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:40 PM   #6
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Can I see pics of your mod'ed cooler TheJadedDog?

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Old 08-20-2007, 09:31 PM   #7
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also, look at the link in my sig for a cheap $10 cooler box that uses your central a/c vents to keep the fermenter cool.

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Old 08-21-2007, 12:17 AM   #8
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I don't have any pics of my cooler but here are some links to the one Yooper Chick did. I modeled mine on this and hers is way nicer than mine...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...=1&userid=4189
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...=1&userid=4189
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...=1&userid=4189

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Old 08-21-2007, 12:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
also, look at the link in my sig for a cheap $10 cooler box that uses your central a/c vents to keep the fermenter cool.
Question: How did you make a $10 cooler out of $20 worth of material?
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:08 PM   #10
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On the advice you folks gave me and some other stuff I've read, I put together this cheap cooling system. It's a $5 plastic box. I filled it half-full of water, put the fermenter in and dropped in giant chunks of ice. It seems to be holding at around 70º, which is great. That's a whole lot better than 78º.

I'm really hoping that this works because a friend and I drank several beers of my first batch last night, and I woke up with an aweful headache. I think that it might have been caused by lots of fusel alcohols due to the high fermentation temp.

Pic 1

Pic 2

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