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Old 07-04-2012, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default Quick 'noob' question about fermenting temperatures:

So I was reading different recipes some fellow home brewers have got going on here and I was wondering something about fermenting temps after noticing something...

Some recipes call for holding the batch in the primary at a temperature of say... 68 degrees... Does this mean keeping a room at an ambient temperature of 68 degrees or does this mean they are maintaining that temperature for their batch (by whatever means)? I know that when the fermentation is at its early and vigorous stage for the first couple days or so that the temperature can be 5-10 degrees higher than the room, are brewers adjusting the room temperatures to account for that or what?


Also, what is the easiest and most reliable method of getting a temp reading of your actual batch of fermenting beer? I have been using those stip liquid crystal thermometers that stick on the side of anything, but I wasn't sure how accurate it was for my beer on the inside. Any thoughts?

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Old 07-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
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When measuring the temperature of the fermentation, you need to measure the temperature of the beer, not the ambient temperature. Those stick on thermometers work quite well and I still use them to this day along with my digital temp controller. They are (surprisingly) accurate and when you're not using some sort of temperature control, the best way to see what temperature your beer is fermenting at.

So yes, you do want to adjust the ambient temperature of the environment to get the beer to ferment at the right temperature. That means you may need to cool the space down to 60F to ferment at 68F. If you're looking for some ghetto temp control, search around for "Swamp Cooler" and that's a good way to start without spending you're entire week's pay. When winter rolls around, you swap out the ice for aquarium heaters to ferment your ales.

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Old 07-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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Those temps mentioned are the beer temp itself. To get a ferm temp of 68F, you need surrounding air/water temp of 60-65F. A cheap way to do that is with a swamp cooler where you submerge the fermenter in water and add frozen water bottles to the water to lower the temp-->

To read the beer temp itself, I cover a BBQ thermometer temp probe in foam taped to the side of my fermenter. I have stuck a thermometer inside the fermenting beer and matched the temps to within 1 degree F.

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Old 07-04-2012, 01:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by redgum View Post
When measuring the temperature of the fermentation, you need to measure the temperature of the beer, not the ambient temperature. Those stick on thermometers work quite well and I still use them to this day along with my digital temp controller. They are (surprisingly) accurate and when you're not using some sort of temperature control, the best way to see what temperature your beer is fermenting at.

So yes, you do want to adjust the ambient temperature of the environment to get the beer to ferment at the right temperature. That means you may need to cool the space down to 60F to ferment at 68F. If you're looking for some ghetto temp control, search around for "Swamp Cooler" and that's a good way to start without spending you're entire week's pay. When winter rolls around, you swap out the ice for aquarium heaters to ferment your ales.
+1, this is all the right information. The fermenting temp is dependent on the particular yeast you are using. It's always a good idea to check the manufacturer's recomended temp range for the yeast and shoot for the bottom range for the cleanest tasting beer.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Wow...is that an 8 gallon opaque fermenting bucket? I don't know if I've seen one of those before. Can you also see the Krauesen pretty well through it usually?

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Old 07-04-2012, 01:46 PM   #6
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Wow...is that an 8 gallon opaque fermenting bucket? I don't know if I've seen one of those before. Can you also see the Krauesen pretty well through it usually?
Yep on both questions. I picked up 3 of em from TSC Tractor Supply clearanced for $.99 each. Kicking myself for not buying every one they had. HDPE 2 plastic
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
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Wow...is that an 8 gallon opaque fermenting bucket? I don't know if I've seen one of those before. Can you also see the Krauesen pretty well through it usually?
I bought one almost just like it- I love it! Yes you can see through it pretty well and it cleans up beautifully. I got mine from Brewmaster's Warehouse. I didn't like it at first- it felt flimsy next to the big hard ale pail and I thought I wouldn't be able to carry about 6.5 gallons of beer in it. But it isn't flimsy at all, and it's a great size. I'll buy more with each order, until I replace my other buckets.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:48 PM   #8
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Yep on both questions. I picked up 3 of em from TSC Tractor Supply clearanced for $.99 each. Kicking myself for not buying every one they had.
WOW! I like that you can have a full 6 gallon batch in there. So rarely do my 5.5 gallon batches finish out above 5 gallons and actually FILL a corny!

Invariably my shortest batches are my best too, I guess that's some sort of brewing verstion of murphy's law.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I bought one almost just like it- I love it! Yes you can see through it pretty well and it cleans up beautifully. I got mine from Brewmaster's Warehouse. I didn't like it at first- it felt flimsy next to the big hard ale pail and I thought I wouldn't be able to carry about 6.5 gallons of beer in it. But it isn't flimsy at all, and it's a great size. I'll buy more with each order, until I replace my other buckets.
I appreciate the headsup. I just recently started buying from BM Warehouse, I'll look for one of these.
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