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Old 12-24-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
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Default Question about Ferm Chambers

So, as I'm looking even farther down the rabbit hole that is this hobby -

As it stands, the two greatest things that I want to have control over are my ferm temps and water. Water's a different issue. Right now temps are fairly stable in the basement at 63-68deg depending on which corner you measure, but it's also close to 0F outside right now.

Looking at temp control, and fermentation chambers (cooler/fridge/foambox of doom), I see folks using them for primary fermentation and doing "step fermentation" where they gradually raise the temp over a few days to a final resting temp.

My question is - what then? At the end of primary fermentation ( or when a supposed transfer to secondary if that's your thing "happens"), are those carboy's removed from the ferm chamber and left at ambient temp? Do they hang out in the ferm chamber for the duration of the ferm cycle (2-3weeks)?

I ask, because it'll impact what kind of ferm chamber I'll consider. Obviously with smaller batches (2-3gal buckets/BB's) I'm not dealing with finding space for a humongous carboy. But if I'm stuck with leaving the carboys the full term, obviously I'd need more than a 4cuft dorm fridge if I'm planning to do a few batches. I'm not opposed to a foambox-o'doom, but I've got space for a small fridge/freezer.

Freezer I'd have to buy/source of CL. Dorm fridge I stand a very good chance of getting free at work. Foam, I can get large foam coolers for free at work, but they're not "set/forget" like the other options.

Thanks gang.



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Old 12-24-2013, 06:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumbrewindude
So, as I'm looking even farther down the rabbit hole that is this hobby -

As it stands, the two greatest things that I want to have control over are my ferm temps and water. Water's a different issue. Right now temps are fairly stable in the basement at 63-68deg depending on which corner you measure, but it's also close to 0F outside right now.

Looking at temp control, and fermentation chambers (cooler/fridge/foambox of doom), I see folks using them for primary fermentation and doing "step fermentation" where they gradually raise the temp over a few days to a final resting temp.

My question is - what then? At the end of primary fermentation ( or when a supposed transfer to secondary if that's your thing "happens"), are those carboy's removed from the ferm chamber and left at ambient temp? Do they hang out in the ferm chamber for the duration of the ferm cycle (2-3weeks)?

I ask, because it'll impact what kind of ferm chamber I'll consider. Obviously with smaller batches (2-3gal buckets/BB's) I'm not dealing with finding space for a humongous carboy. But if I'm stuck with leaving the carboys the full term, obviously I'd need more than a 4cuft dorm fridge if I'm planning to do a few batches. I'm not opposed to a foambox-o'doom, but I've got space for a small fridge/freezer.

Freezer I'd have to buy/source of CL. Dorm fridge I stand a very good chance of getting free at work. Foam, I can get large foam coolers for free at work, but they're not "set/forget" like the other options.

Thanks gang.
I typically keep the fermenter in the chamber for 6-12 days (depending on the beer) and then I rack to a keg to cold condition and carbonate. For me, no secondary and no moving the carboy out of the chamber until racking day. I keep it at ferm temps for the first 2-3 days of active fermentation and then let it free rise to the low to mid 70s until its finished.


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Old 12-24-2013, 06:32 PM   #3
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If you are going to lager the beer will have to stay cold for the full ferment as well as the lagering. You will probably want a temp controller as you will have a ferment temp, the dicytal (sp?) rest, and the lagering temp.

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Old 12-24-2013, 08:19 PM   #4
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Not lagering (yet), so not worried about that for the direct moment. Maybe eventually, but at that point I'd hope to have more space and a keg/keezeer setup.

So it sounds like you should leave the carboy(s) in the ferm chamber for the duration of the fermentation (6-10days), and also to condition (an additional week)?

What I'm not sure about is if raising the temp from lets say 65F to 73-75F make a difference when conditioning after the 10day fermentation has been completed.

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Old 12-24-2013, 08:37 PM   #5
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Once active fermentation slows or is complete there is no concern for off flavor development from higher temps. You can certainly pull the vessel and allow the remaining time to be spent outside if the chamber to clear and then package.

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Old 12-25-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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Once fermentation is over temp control is no loner needed. If your comfortable in the room the carboy is in then it's good enough for the rest of the 3 weeks before bottling. Just remember to keep the carboys away from UV light.

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Old 12-25-2013, 10:34 PM   #7
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Mine normally stay in the chamber until done fermenting. Sometimes I'll let one finish at room temp if I've got another batch I want to start..

One more additional step you can do if you have a fermenter fridge/freezer is, once fermentation is complete, cold crash the batch down into the middle 30's for 5-7 days before you keg or prime/bottle. It clarifies the beer, firms the yeast cake (making it easier to avoid sucking it up with a siphon) and results in much less yeast trub in the bottles.


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