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Old 08-10-2009, 09:27 PM   #1
MrGaryFish
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Default Help with getting Fermentation Temps lower

Ok here goes....
Up to this point, I've "brewed" two batches, the first one was the quick and dirty no boil prepackaged wort by "The Brew House," and the style was IPA. It fermented vigorously, apparently at too high of a temp, even for Coopers dry yeast, and after a couple weeks in the bottle, it has a banana-estery flavor. The next one I tried was Brewer's Best California Style Imperial Pale Ale. With this one, I put it in a water bath and kept it around 73* during fermentation, using the supplied Nottingham dry yeast. After a couple weeks in the bottle, same result, though less pronounced banana-y taste. After a long brew day yesterday, I searched around until I found the reason my beer tasted like bananas, too high fermentation temps. Today I went out and bought a fan and wrapped my Brewers Best Russian Imperial Stout and Holiday Ale in a thick blanket soaked in water in a mostly full tote and aimed the fan on them. The ambient temp in the house is about 75*, being the hottest month of the year here in GA. Will this be enough to get the temps down to avoid esters? I'll also be adding three 6"x6"x2" icepacks to each tote for good measure.


Oh and I bought a non-cooling wine cooler for really cheap, and I was trying to see what the creative minds at HBF could come up with that I could use it for? Maybe add ice and get the temp to around 70* for bottle conditioning? Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-10-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
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the water and fan is about all most of us do... though you can look up "son of a fermentation chiller" if you want to get really fancy

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Old 08-10-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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If you use the search function on the forum, you will find countless threads on keeping your temps. lower through fermentation/conditioning. However it sounds as if you are doing the right thing with the wet towel and fan. You need to get a stick on thermometer for you caraboy. That way you can tell us if it is working. They are only a few bucks (if that). GL

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Old 08-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGaryFish View Post
I searched around until I found the reason my beer tasted like bananas, too high fermentation temps.
Yeah I'm new to brewing, but not forums. Only NOOBs fail at the search function. I've seen a bunch of different things with the towel and fan, I really just wanted to see if anybody is brewing in mid August like me, and knows that this trick should work. I dont want any more banana beers. Go Dawgs.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Oh and I have a "fermometer" or whatever. Its on one of the primary's. From what I've read, they aren't too accurate, and I'm sure they'd just tell me how cold the wet towel is. But I might be wrong.

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Old 08-10-2009, 09:58 PM   #6
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mine are pretty accurate. I have a Mountain Dew Brew I did yesterday in the 66 degree fridge and it reads 74. The Honey Wheat next to it that I just pulled out to bottle read 66.

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:03 PM   #7
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I am in Louisiana and feel your pain. First get the wort low in the first place using ice bath or chiller. all the way to preferred fermentation temp BEFORE pitching. My tricks which have been fairly successful so far (not that "so far" is real far).

I got a cooler that my carboy fits in (one of the rolling one's with extensible handle) I added enough water to come up 1/3 of the carboy. I added a few water bottles with 2/3 full water that I froze. I tested the temp (prior to boiling) until I get to whatever temp I want then add the carboy full of cooled wort. I place a towel around the cooler (not in the water, just laying over it and around the neck) for insulation. I have found I can maintain a fairly steady temp this way. I sometimes add a frozen water bottle mid-day, but mostly it's not even needed as the cooler maintains the temp great.

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:52 PM   #8
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I've been using a 20 gallon rubbermaid tub with bottles of ice to keep my fermenter cool.

Kept the temperature between 62-68 with little effort.

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:57 PM   #9
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Here is FL I have found the swamp cooler to be insufficient by itself but that may be the humidity. I found that I needed to add ice bottles to the water and once I got to the point of that I went ahead and built the Mother of Fermentation Chiller. For the record I keep the house at about 78 ambient during the day and 75 at night.

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Old 08-10-2009, 11:24 PM   #10
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Thats exactly the information I was looking for. I'll pick up a cooler soon and maybe I'll be building a fermentation cooler once I get the hang of All-Grain.

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