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Old 12-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #1
8Bit
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Default Steam beer temp control

I am going to be brewing up a Steam beer (California common, sorry don't sue!) and I had a quick question about the fermenting temperature. My house is about 67 degrees all of the time, but I know the ferm process will mean that the brew will run about 72 degrees if I don't do anything about it. Obviously that is too warm. So the plan was to cover the carboy with a tee shirt and spray it with cold water a few times per day.

So here is the question...will that alone keep the temps cool enough or should I also run a fan on it? I'm trying very hard not to invest in a swamp cooler right now.

Thanks guys and happy brewing!

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:25 PM   #2
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The wet T shirt should work. You will have to check temp to see how many times a day you will need to wet it. Check the temp range for your yeast strain and keep it in range and try not to let the temp very too much.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:32 PM   #3
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Styrofoam coolers are cheap,so are 20 oz waterbottles to freeze.It would be more consistant to submerge it. Do you have a plastic storage tub that fits? That will work also.Fill it up put some frozen bottles in,keep a therometer to regulate,and swap out the bottles once or twice a day if that.

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:07 PM   #4
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You should note that evaporative cooling is only going to work well if your ambient is warm and dry. If the humidity is high, you're going to want to go with the water bath/ice blocks method.

Also, a tshirt won't hold enough liquid and is going to dry too quickly to be of any use. I use a beach towel, soaked wet enough so that it just barely doesn't drip, and then a fan. I have to re-soak the towel 2-3 times in a 24hr period. With the fan on, I can get my beer down to around 62 minimum, which I would call the absolute upper limit on a steam beer. You're going to need to be pretty diligent with it.

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Old 12-30-2011, 02:58 AM   #5
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Alright I think I see the where this is going. I guess I will have to do a swamp cooler. I was hoping not to, not just for the extra expense but also because I don't really have any easy way of changing that water out. Its hard enough for me to lift the filled carboys, let alone lift one out of a water bath several times a week, then carry the water outside to dump it, then fill it with water again. Sounds like a PITA to me, but if that is what I have to do to produce a quality brew then that is what its going to be.

Madness I tell you.

Anyway, as always, thanks for the help guys. Its great for us noobs to have such a helpful, non-patronizing place to go to ask questions.

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Old 12-30-2011, 03:22 AM   #6
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The swamp cooler thing is not that bad really. I live in Oklahoma, and have fermented my batches over the summer in a swamp cooler. I only had to change the frozen bottles out in the morning and evening. The worst part is just remembering to get it done. The longest that I have left them in the swamp cooler has been a week.

With that said, I'm really glad it is winter time as my garage is a lot cooler than the house. I can leave the fermenting beer out there during the winter time to ferment. One of these days, I will make a fermenting chamber.

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Old 12-30-2011, 03:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevokie View Post
The worst part is just remembering to get it done.

Yea this is a big concern for me. I am sooo forgetfull about stuff like this. Thank god my husband feeds the dogs otherwise they would starve. I am equally thankful we don't have children lol.

I guess I will give this a try and see how it goes. The man of the house is beginning to raise his eyebrows at this inexpensive little hobby of mine. I think hes starting to figure out that whole "it will save us money on beer!" argument was a touch of very sincere and well meaning BS. At least a swamp cooler is cheaper then a lagering chamber.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:49 AM   #8
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You dont really need to change the water,and if you did you could just use a autosiphon. I only added some sanitizer. You only really need to use the cooler until the krausen drops really.then take it out around a week. I put mine in my basement for only the few days mine ferment-low 60's then bring it up to room temp 65ish.Within a few days.

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