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-   -   Temperature Control (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/temperature-control-63950/)

bulleitb 04-25-2008 11:59 PM

Temperature Control
I have a kegerator that I used to use in college but I am now just using it to ferment my beer until I make the investment in a keg to put my homebrew in. Most of the time I leave it unplugged and the temperature stays around 75 degrees. If I have it plugged in the highest I can get the temperature is about 50 degrees or so. I read that a lot of people keep their fermentation around 65-68 but I don't think that temperature range is really possible for me. The question is whether I should worry about it, and if I should are there any tips on things I can do to get the temp a little lower in there? Keep in mind that I live in a small NYC apartment so there isnt exactly another location I can move it to. Muchos Gracias

Cornfed 04-26-2008 12:24 AM

I just went through this a few threads ago. I did an American Pale Ale in my apt in Central NJ which just so happens to get ridiculously hot all year (my heat has never been on in the 1.5 years I've lived here...).

Anyway, I went 2 days with the beer close to 80 degrees, then when I realized that wasn't a good thing, I put it in the tub in an unused bathroom (two baths in this apt, but it's just me here) and put a wet towel over the carboy. I then threw in some ice a couple times per day.

It's presently at about 70, which is within the allowable 68-73 range my yeast apparently wants to ferment in.

I'm now looking into carboy jackets and the like or perhaps a DIY method for my next batch since the carboy in the tub method is a bit of an eye sore to some (it's a thing of beauty to me, but the SWMBO-to-be will soon revolt, no doubt).

I'll let you know what I come up with, and I'm curious to hear what others thing.


Beerthoven 04-26-2008 12:47 AM

Get an external controller, like a Ranco or Johnson Controller, for your refrigerator/keggerator. You can find them for less than $50 on Ebay and other places.

I use a chest freezer connected to a RANCO ETC 111000 to keep my fermentation temps in the 60's. Lots of us do this.

And yes, temperature matters. 65 is much, much better than 75 for almost every ale yeast out there. Your beer will thank you for it.

bulleitb 04-26-2008 04:13 AM

thanks a lot guys... really appreciate it. Ill order one of these ASAP. So I already made a starter because Im going to brew a AHS Fat Tire Ale clone. Is this temp (75 degrees) going to really mess it up? The yeast I have (White Labs California Ale) has a recommended temp of 68 - 73 degrees. Im really looking forward to this beer and dont want it to go wrong but I also dont want to wait and have the ingredients get stale (Grains are pre-crushed, yest already in a starter)

WBC 04-26-2008 05:11 AM

When yeast packs say 68 to 73 they are talking about the beer itself and not the ambient temperature around it. Fermentation makes heat (it's exothermic or heat-releasing) so if the ambient temp is 70 the beer is 80F. Place the thermometer under some bubble wrap that is taped to the fermenter to learn the real temperature of the beer and cool the water bath to obtain the proper temperature.

david_42 04-26-2008 02:21 PM

The temperature of a starter isn't as critical as for fermentation, because the yeast is growing, not producing alcohols and esters.

Cornfed 04-26-2008 05:05 PM

Thanks. I was actually using a "fermometer" to see the temp of the beer.

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