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Old 11-29-2009, 03:16 PM   #1
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Default Temp Control Importance??

I am on my 3rd batch of HB and I am now wondering what the impact of temp control is?? My fermenter stays in a spot that the temp swings between upper 60s to upper 70s. Is this swing in temp to much? My brews have been fairly good, but I am thinking closer temp control will improve the beer. Any thoughts?

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:21 PM   #2
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temp control is the #1 thing you can do to improve your beers, in my opinion (and many others). flavors and aromas put off by the yeast change radically with a few degrees deviation. you'll definitely want to work on your temp control.

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:23 PM   #3
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Yep, keep your temps down to at least between the recommended range for the yeast you use.
I use the lower end of the yeast range myself.

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
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In most cases you want to try to stay towards the lower end of the temperature range for the yeast you're using.

Try using a swamp cooler to get the temperature down.

Made a big difference in the taste of my beer.

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:25 PM   #5
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Temperature control is very very important. You are correct that your temperature swings are too much. Ideally for ales you would start fermenting somewhere in the mid to high 60s. (beer temperature that is, not the room temperature; you can get a stick on thermometer for your fermenter to see the beer temp). The beer temperature is usually much higher than the ambient temperature during fermenation.

Once you have your fermentation temperature, you want to keep it there for the bulk of the fermentation (a slight rise of 1-2 degrees is OK, but try to avoid a drop in temperature). After you've reached your final gravity and the yeast have had some time to clean up, temperature control becomes less important, but you still want to avoid swings in temperature.

Here's a link to a very good podcast on fermentation temperature control. They do a much better job explaining than I do.
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/533

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:28 PM   #6
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well if the ambient temp stay in the 70s, your ferentation temp will be even higher. when it stays in those higher temps your going to start to get some flavours that you may or may not like. (think fruity esters)

Some styles its ok (hefes, wits, etc) some styles is not (anything lager-esq, alts, cream ales)

I think your best bet is try to find somewhere a little more stable (even if its a cooler area) because ferentation temps are always higher than ambient. you can always add a brew belt or a blanket to help insulate and warm up the fermentation if need be

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:30 PM   #7
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wow alot of people all writing at the same time! just shows how important temp control is!

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:33 PM   #8
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Put the beer into a water bath - like a larger trash can that is filled up to the halfway or 2/3-point on your fermenter. The mass of the water will help stabilize the temperature of your brew. You can then add ice (or frozen water bottles) to the bucket to keep the temperature down when it is getting warm in your fermentation room.

As said above, temperature control (after sanitation) is the #1 thing that brewers need to master to make great beer.

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Old 11-29-2009, 04:55 PM   #9
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Get a stick on thermometer and attach it to the outside of your carboy...they are cheap and rather accurate. Check the temp several times a day...morning and evening then again at bedtime.
Five gallons of liquid is a large theramal mass...trying to chill the mass after boil before you pitch the yeast...you are well aware of this.
It takes time to change that amount of mass a single degree.
I keep my carboy in a room with a southern exposed window; the temp swings quite a lot. I have a digital thermomter that will records and stores temps. Even though the room ambient temp swing is from mid 70*s by day to mid 60*s at night, the brew stayed around 66* for three weeks.

I think you should be ok as long as the temp swings into the 70s were for only several hours (~6) and not several days.

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Old 11-29-2009, 10:40 PM   #10
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Just to clarify the space that my fermenter is located has the has the wild swings in temperature. I need to add a stick on thermomter, but I am more concerned with the swings in the outside temp...

I was contemplating creating an insulated "box" with a light in it to keep the temp constant, and storing in my garage (in the 40-50* range)...

Has anyone created something like this? I see a lot of folks converting a fridge, but right now I can not afford this portion of the HB Equipment "needs" {unless santa brings one HoHo HomeBrew}..

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