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Old 07-25-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
blackbear219
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Default It's too d*** hot out!!!

First of all, I bottled my first batch yesterday!!! The taste test went pretty well and I'm psyched to try it in a couple weeks. The bottles are currently hiding in a closet. That batch got a little hot during fermentation but it is a Belgian so I think it will be okay.

After bottling, I started my 2nd batch...a blueberry wheat for SWMBO. I'm kinda worried about this one. It took me a long time to get the wort down below 80 degrees (about an hour, maybe a little longer). Once I pitched my yeast, I put it on the stairs down to the basement (darn near coolest place in the house) and when I checked the stick-on thermometer on the site of the bucket this morning, it read at 81-82 degrees. Uh oh. It is just SO hot out that I can't control it. I'm not going to spend too much time worrying about it, because its only this hot a couple days out of the year...but still, bad timing for me. I probably should have waited for the heat wave to pass before I cooked the next batch, but I was so excited to start my 2nd batch after bottling my 1st that I didn't even really think about it.

A couple questions:
--When you guys cool your wort...cover on or cover off? It seems to me that it would cool much faster without a cover so that the heat could escape, but that it would be risky to leave it open because of the chance of infection.

--I'm just doing my flavoring with artificial syrup, not real fruit, since this is only my 2nd brew. If my fermentation is too hot and puts off some bad flavors, could that stuff help mask it?

--I need tips for keeping my primary bucket cool in these heatwaves!! My only free bathtub is on the 3rd floor and it gets REALLY hot up there (it's an attic converted to a master bed/bath that we're not even using at the moment) so I don't think that will help much unless I was constantly cycling in new cold water, which is hard to do when I'm at the office.

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
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Lots of folks control their temps with simple devices- and that bath tub is on the right thought path. How about a small portable bath?
Have access to a wally world or Ace hdwe? - get the large rope-handled tub, even two (for insulative qualities) and fill it with cool water. Set your bucket/carboy in that. Control the temp of the water bath with frozen water bottles - just rotate a few through your freezer.

Or you can go large ice-chest. Or, you can spend money and build/buy a fermentation chamber - buy= refrigerator, with temperature controller, build = lots of options in the DIY section.

welcome to brewing and to HBT

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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Get yourself some sort of small tub. I got mine at Home Depot. It's a flexible plastic thing, fermenter fits in there just fine and only cost me $6. I put a couple bricks in the bottom to raise the fermenter bucket a couple inches off the bottom and put several gallons of water and a couple tablespoons of bleach in it with the bucket. Throw in some ice or frozen water bottles. Then an old T shirt goes on to wick up the water. Put a fan facing it and you get a couple more degrees drop.

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:56 PM   #4
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No reason to ever have a cover on your kettle, it could cause DMS issues.

Search for "swamp cooler" on this site for your cooling issues. It's a tub with water, put your fermentor in it, place a Tshirt around the fermentor, place jugs of ice in the tub, etc, etc.

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Old 07-25-2011, 01:08 PM   #5
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The swamp cooler is the cheapest/easiest way to go without using a freezer/refrigerator with a temp. controler. I just brewed my first batch on saturday (Fat Tire Amber Ale Clone from AHS) in 100 degree weather. I set up my swamp cooler the night before to get the water temp where I wanted. I use a small igloo cooler on wheels and ice bottles, no t-shirt and it works perfect. My house stays a constant 72 degrees and I can keep the fermometor reading at 63-64 extremely easy. I usually only have to use 1-2 frozen water bottles a day. My water temp. was at 60 last night so I didn't put a bottle in before I went to bed and this morning the water temp was at 62 and the fermometor was still reading at 63. I tossed a bottle in this morning before I went to work just in case the fermentation kicked into high gear and heated things up a bit.

As far as wort cooling goes do you use ice baths or a chiller of some sort? I used a 25' 1/2" copper IC that I made myself for about $35. Now my well water is down right cold, even will all of this heat, and I know alot of people have issues with warm water during the summer. But I stirred my wort with my paddle while using my IC and got the temp down <70 in 12 minutes.

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Old 07-25-2011, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
No reason to ever have a cover on your kettle, it could cause DMS issues.
Only during the boil and if you are doing all grain (or at least a large portion partial mash).
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice, guys. I really appreciate it. You've given me some good ideas. This batch has already been warm for 18 hours or so now, so the damage might be done but I will try to get it cooled off and keep this stuff in mind for the future. Thankfully, it's not nearly this hot here most of the time :P

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Old 07-25-2011, 03:21 PM   #8
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I use a cover when heating strike and sparge water, as well as when starting the boil. It helps get things up to temp/boiling quicker which saves propane and natural gas. Once boiling I take it off.

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Old 07-25-2011, 04:54 PM   #9
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I moved my primary bucket from the 1st floor to the basement when I was home on my lunch. I'll check the temp when I get home tonight and if it's still not low enough I'll give it a bath. Basement is pretty cool right now though so I think it will be okay.

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Old 07-25-2011, 07:52 PM   #10
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I've never done fruit flavoring myself, but I know that the preservatives in a lot of syrups and juices can kill your yeast when added... Be mindful of this, and if you do end up using fruit syrup, make sure its all natural, or at least with out preservatives.

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