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Old 03-31-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
scotched
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Default Hot weather! Is my brewing season over?

I checked on my Apple "Graff" today (@ 7 days using Nottingham) - and my carboy temperature strip was at 79F!

I have my carboys indoors, in a closet. I have central a/c which keeps the house around 77F, which is usually lower (~74F) in the closet.

I'm aware that the temps inside the fermenter are higher than the ambient, not to mention that I'm already on the *warm* side to begin with.

So ... I freaked out (like I do with all my home brew ) and frantically filled the bathtub with cold water, sat my carboy inside, and wrapped it in soaked T-shirts. Btw the soaked t-shirts don't look near as good on carboys as they do on a set of jugs

Do I have any low-tech options of temp control, short of ice-bathing and babying my carboy constantly?

Thanks.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by scotched View Post
I checked on my Apple "Graff" today (@ 7 days using Nottingham) - and my carboy temperature strip was at 79F!

I have my carboys indoors, in a closet. I have central a/c which keeps the house around 77F, which is usually lower (~74F) in the closet.

I'm aware that the temps inside the fermenter are higher than the ambient, not to mention that I'm already on the *warm* side to begin with.

So ... I freaked out (like I do with all my home brew ) and frantically filled the bathtub with cold water, sat my carboy inside, and wrapped it in soaked T-shirts. Btw the soaked t-shirts don't look near as good on carboys as they do on a set of jugs

Do I have any low-tech options of temp control, short of ice-bathing and babying my carboy constantly?

Thanks.
Close all of the AC vents except for the one in the room where the bucket is, and crank that AC up. The rest of your house will get warm, but the beer will be CHILLIN.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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Well, my low-tech option is a 60 qt Igloo "Ice-Cube" cooler, filled with water up to the level of the beer in the carboy. I take water bottles, dump a little out, and stick them in the freezer. Then every day I check the pool thermometer that I put in the cooler water and dump a couple of the frozen water bottles in there if I need to bring the temps down. I'm able to keep the temp down in the low 60's pretty easily here in Houston, and that's with the cooler sitting outside in a non-temperature controlled shed.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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Your best bet for a relatively cheap and easy option is to buy a used fridge or freezer on CL and connect it to a Ranco or Love controller. The next cheaper but more labor intensive option is to build a "Son of Fermentation Chiller". The next is the swamp cooler method, where you set your vessel in a water bath with a fan blowing across.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:42 PM   #5
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In the dead heat of summer the closets even get hot for me and I keep the AC at 75 most of the time.
Just use a big rubbermaid container with water or a big party bucket with water and then freeze some 2L bottles.
I put one 2L in in the morning, one in the after noon and one at night. Keeps the temp in the giant party bucket right around 65-68. This will be much better than even the 74 degrees of the closet. The fermenting wort will be slightly warmer than the ambient temp anyways, so your beer would have been fermenting at like 75 degrees.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:42 PM   #6
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The tub full of water and ice bottles works great. I kept a beer in the 60's when it was over 100 degrees out and we had no AC in the apartment. Now that I have a house, I've finally decided to upgrade. Picked up one of those reach-in coolers that they used at grocery stores. A chest freezer and temperature controller works as well too if you don't want to go that far. As said, you can find them fairly cheap on craigslist.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:49 PM   #7
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I like using my chest freezer with Johnson controller, because you can just set it and forget it. $50 for a chest freezer on CraigsList and $65 for the controller.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:53 PM   #8
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I decided not to *****foot around anymore. I got a temperature controller for the spare fridge. I figured that would be the last time I screw up my ferm temps. The next brew was my best.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:56 PM   #9
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I've done the ice bottles and other routes.

I am going to attempt a pressurized ferment at room temp here for my next brew, which is quickly climbing into the 70's. Since you're supposed to get less esters under pressure, it might work. Lord only knows how much I'd love to be able to drop the buckets of water, t-shirts, fans, etc.



Hmmmm....eyeing yet another freezer for fermentation My small chest freezer plus eBay temp controller set me back $80 total, but I don't know if I have any more space to do one for fermentation

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:56 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tips

Hogging the a/c is a possibility, but not an option at this time . It would make a certain somebody even more crazy when it get's hot like this.

We just sold our full-time garage freezer, so Ice will be at a premium - due to lack of indoor, excuse-for-a-freezer space.

I'm going spend my day off looking at the options you guys listed.
I really appreciate it.

I love these boards.

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