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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Fluctuating temperature while fermenting cause problems?
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default Fluctuating temperature while fermenting cause problems?

At this point, I have to keep my fermenters upstairs in my home because the basement is pretty chilly. The only problem is, I use a wood stove to heat and I keep the thermostat set to 62 during the day.

I keep my fermenters in my kitchen, which I dont use the oven a ton and the kitchen doesnt get over 80 degrees in the winter.

When I get home at night, its chilly in the house, normally around 60 - 64. Then I start the wood stove, and it warms up pretty good. The kitchen normally gets in the upper 70s for a couple hours but thats it.

Are there any negative effects that could happen from this type of temperature swing? I know if its to hot, it will will cause banana type flavors, but I am more interested if it can screw up fermentation or cause any other issues.

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:24 PM   #2
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It really depends on the temp of the wort while fermenting. If it gets too high for style, the yeast will be too active and can produce off flavors.

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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Temps are very important during the first few days. Once high Krausen is done then the effects are minimal.

You could rig up a Swamp Cooler to help stabilize your temps. The mass of the water in the swamp cooler will give you time to react when the air temp around it changes too much.

A simple fermentation chamber would be another idea too.

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:29 PM   #4
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I would think the temp of your wort would not change to drastically if it was warm for part of the day

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:29 PM   #5
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+i on the swamp cooler, pretty easy to keep it in the mid 60's in a mass of water and adding frozen "things" as need be. You are not at the mercy of varying ambient temps that way. Once the mass of water stabilizes it takes more and more heat or cold from the outside to raise or lower it's temp.

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:59 PM   #6
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Define "negative effects".

Will you be able to brew award winning beer? Probably not - can you make very good beer? yes - the first couple days is the important part but we're not talking about wils swings from 60 to 80 INSIDE the carboy!

Easy thing to do is just get a cardboard box to shield the brew maybe even wrap a towel around it. But to be honest at this point you will not see much of a difference.

When you get more batches under your belt (literally LOL) and your expertise in brewing gets greater and greater you will start to build more temp control and thus your beer will bet better and better.

But at this point your beer will be fine!

Every batch you brew will be better then the last as you start to do all the tiny tweaks in the process. 90% of brewing a good beer is easy. That last 10% is the hard part for VERY VERY good beer.

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Old 12-09-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info guys.

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Old 12-09-2010, 05:45 PM   #8
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just remember this before you decide to insulate your fermenter: fermentation gives off heat, and if you wrap a blanket around your fermenter, then you will be trapping heat inside, and raising the temperature.

i have a strong beer in the garage, and the temperature is very unstable here (record highs and lows in a 2 week span) so i decided to insulate my beer on a hot day to try to keep the cool beer inside (like a picnic cooler). i checked the temperature a few hours later, and it had risen almost 10 degrees. i realized that the vigorous fermentation was generating heat, and after i removed the blanket, the temperature hasn't gone above 65.

also remember that since fermentation generates heat, the inside of your fermenter is usually a few degrees hotter that the thermometer glued on the outside.

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