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Old 12-15-2009, 10:23 PM   #1
Wildrebel
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Default Swamp Cooler Help Please

Yesterday I brewed a batch of beer and put the fermenter in a big rubbermaid tub full of water. I read somewhere that you shouldn't put ice in the water before it starts fermenting.

This morning I woke up and the airlock was bubbling slightly. I put 9 frozen bottles of water in the ice to cool the wort down between 65 and 70 degrees.

When I got home this afternoon the airlock wasn't bubbling anymore and the temp of the water was down to about 45 degrees.

My questing is if I should keep adding ice bottles to the water or wait until a healthy fermentation starts?

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Old 12-15-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
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Do you have a thermometer on the fermentor . . . a "fermometer"? The important number is the temp of the wort inside, however, sitting in a 45 degree water bath would bring the wort down to below good ale yeast temps pretty%

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Old 12-15-2009, 10:33 PM   #3
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Most ale yeasts have an optimum fermentation temperature of 68 to 73 degrees. You will need to take your fermentor out of the water and get it to heat up to that range.

Typically the fermentor and wort are chilled for a short amount of time in an ice bath until the wort reaches that temperature range. Then you pitch the yeast into the wort.


hope this helps,

loop

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Old 12-15-2009, 10:35 PM   #4
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I do have a fermometer but I think the water in the tub has messed it up.... The beer I'm brewing is a Flying Dog Doggie Style clone. I just didn't want it to end up like my last two ales which fermented at temps way too high and had an intense alcohol taste.

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Old 12-15-2009, 10:46 PM   #5
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I'd be surprised by the need for an ice water bath this time of year. Its only 37F in Oxford, MS right now.

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Old 12-15-2009, 10:50 PM   #6
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Yes, this is way too cold. You will find that the temperature inside your fermenter is equal to the swamp water temperature. Let it warm up and restart airlock activity. Then put it in the swamp cooler at about 65 F water temp. Shouldn't need to add much, if any ice to keep it below 70 F.

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