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Old 08-06-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
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Default Non-Belgian beers to brew in summer?

I've got an unusual weekend off, and with the nice weather here in Seattle of late, I want to brew!

However, my house has been hitting ~80F, which puts a damper on things. I've looked and looked for ideas, and all I find are shouts of Saisons, Wits, and other estery Belgians.

Now, I don't mind a Belgian beer now and then, and I can certainly appreciate them, but it's not the kind of thing I want to drink over and over (though I do love my 'quads', not very refreshing). I've got 4lbs of various hops in the freezer needing used up, and I thought I'd make a hefe or a hefty American rye wheat to put a dent in all the Hallertau or American hops I've got, I dunno.

Anyway, I'm going to try surrounding my carboy in a tub of water with frozen water bottles, but I doubt even then I could get stuff down past mid-high 60's if I was very lucky.

Am I out of luck for the next month or two, or can anyone suggest a yeast strain that will not be overly estery?

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Old 08-06-2012, 05:18 AM   #2
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You'd be surprised how cool you can get a fermenter in a water bath with some ice. especially if you add some salt to the bath.

Summer brewing seems to be the realm of saison and belgian brewers, though, i agree. Except for those with refrigerated fermentation chambers, or the patience and perseverance for swamp cooling.

That Being Said, a friend of mine in kentucky is having good luck with an anchor steam clone recipe, brewing with lager yeast at temperatures in the 70's. Which is the california common way.

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Old 08-06-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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Thanks! Hmm...that's not a bad idea! Maybe I'm underestimating the power of a water bath. I guess there's only one way to find out. I'll check out doing a steam beer, that's one style I've never really looked at much.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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Im hitting consistent 60 degrees in my swamp coolers- in 80 degree ambient in NY - nasty time for weather here. Darn heat and a kids party dropped my temp a ton, and used up all my ice.

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:36 PM   #5
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You can always do a wheat of some kind...esters are no big deal that way.

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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Florida brewer here.

with a swamp cooler and changing out frozen water bottles ~2 times a day, i am able to keep my fermenting beer in the mid 60s.

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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Berliner Weisse, yumm

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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The tub with frozen water bottles is called a swamp cooler. It's a fairly common approach to maintain fermentation temperatures in the warmer months. If you could get the temperature of the fermenting beer down to the mid to high 60s, that would be perfect for the majority of ale yeast strains.

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #9
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Lots of good ideas, thanks guys! If I can decide on a style I'll do a half batch to see what my swamp cooler is capable of. I feel much better about this prospect. Temp seems to have spiked at 90F here yesterday but should drop to at least low 80's.

I hadn't thought of a Berliner Weisse specifically but you guys are right, the esters would be okay there. I've been wanting to make one inoculated with dregs from a bottle or two of 1809 since it has live cultures. That's definitely going on the to-list. Any tips on doing one without contaminating my equipment?

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:50 PM   #10
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Alright, so while doing more research, I discovered Dampfbier, basically the German California Common, but it uses hefeweizen yeast, and ferments in the 70's (though I may keep it a bit lower to keep the banana in check). Recipe is simple, here's what I came up with:

6.5lbs Pilsner Malt
3.5lbs Munich
1.5oz Hallertauer (~4.8%AA) @ 45 min
1 oz Hallertauer (~4.8%AA) @ 0 min

I haven't decided on a yeast yet but am leaning towards Wyeast 3056 as I understand it's a bit milder on the banana and bubblegum.

Any thoughts?

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