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Old 10-16-2009, 01:19 PM   #1
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Default Walk in Fermentation Room

So I plan to use a walk-in fermentation room. I wanted to see if anyone had experience with these before.
I want to know what temp. they keep the room to achieve a specific temp.. I wanted find out if you keep it lower during the first 15 days and then increased the temp..
I am trying to keep a constant 68 degree. I do not think i will be able to achieve a true constant. However, +- 1-2 degrees wont be the end of the world.
My plan was to keep the air temp around 62 for the first 15 days. Then increase the temp to 68 degrees.

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Old 10-16-2009, 01:41 PM   #2
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Take a look at the Sticky - Project locator or the Wiki.

There's a mega feature on a walk in cooler. It should be a lot of help.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:31 PM   #3
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just my two cents...

I have a walk-in cooler that I keep at a constant 38... and that's for my kegs and beer lines that I run to the bar. (I can also use it for some food storage which isn't bad).

... but I don't know if I would want to really use it for fermentation. I onlt say that because of different fermentation temps across different beers. Granted, keeping it at a steady temp in the 60's would be good but if you brew a fair amount, I think you would be changing the temp in the thing all the time and you might want one beer at 62, another at 68 and then be ready to lager a third at 40... and then how do you do that with a large walk-in fermentation room?

The way I handle fermentation is that I have a basement that is a natural 65ish... and it stays that way pretty consistantyl tyhrough the summer and winter. I then have two refridgrators that I got off of Craigslist for free. And then a small keg-fridge that I ripped the tower off since I didn't need it any more to give me three fermentation cabinets.

Double thermostats so I can both cool and heat (via a heating balnket) and I can ferment at any rage of temp at any time for multiple beers.

I ferment in 1/2 corny kegs and one will fit in each cabinet no problem. If I'm doing a saison, I crank the heat up to 80+ in one. "regular" ales... I either leave 'em out in the basement or dial in one of the fridges. If I want to lager, I toss it in the walk-in cooler.

It seems to work really well and other than the temp controllers (which I literally just used home thermostats), it was pretty cheap.

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Old 10-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #4
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Im sorry guys I am not sure if i was clear. I have a walk in already. It 10x10. I was curious to know what temp did one keep the air temp to maintain the liquid temp.?

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Doesn't blowing on it when its soft cause it to get hard? It's been a while, but I think that's how it used to work...

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Old 10-16-2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cape Brewing View Post
just my two cents...

I have a walk-in cooler that I keep at a constant 38... and that's for my kegs and beer lines that I run to the bar. (I can also use it for some food storage which isn't bad).

... but I don't know if I would want to really use it for fermentation. I onlt say that because of different fermentation temps across different beers. Granted, keeping it at a steady temp in the 60's would be good but if you brew a fair amount, I think you would be changing the temp in the thing all the time and you might want one beer at 62, another at 68 and then be ready to lager a third at 40... and then how do you do that with a large walk-in fermentation room?

The way I handle fermentation is that I have a basement that is a natural 65ish... and it stays that way pretty consistantyl tyhrough the summer and winter. I then have two refridgrators that I got off of Craigslist for free. And then a small keg-fridge that I ripped the tower off since I didn't need it any more to give me three fermentation cabinets.

Double thermostats so I can both cool and heat (via a heating balnket) and I can ferment at any rage of temp at any time for multiple beers.

I ferment in 1/2 corny kegs and one will fit in each cabinet no problem. If I'm doing a saison, I crank the heat up to 80+ in one. "regular" ales... I either leave 'em out in the basement or dial in one of the fridges. If I want to lager, I toss it in the walk-in cooler.

It seems to work really well and other than the temp controllers (which I literally just used home thermostats), it was pretty cheap.
I just checked out your gallery, that is one nice man cave you have. Bravo!
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cold_Steel View Post
Im sorry guys I am not sure if i was clear. I have a walk in already. It 10x10. I was curious to know what temp did one keep the air temp to maintain the liquid temp.?
Ahhh... sorry..

That's actually a bit harder to answer because it really depends on the beer and what stage of fermentation you're at.

Fermentation = heat generation.

If you have a big beer at the peak of fermentation, it's going to toss off a ton of heat so you would need to keep the room pretty cold to bring that fermenter back down to temp... versus... a small beer that is just about done and isn't really throwing off any heat.

A swamp cooler would probably help a lot in what you're talking about.

Either that or you would have to wire your thermostat for that room into a temp probe either IN or ON the beer fermentor and for a room that size, that would be a horribly inefficient way to do it with 100 other easier solutions.

For a 10x10 room, I dont see how you're going to be able to set a given temp and hold a fermenter constant. You'll have to adjust the temp constantly in the room as the fermentation cycle runs its course
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:34 PM   #7
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I think you're going to have to vary it a little depending on your brew. Keep an eye on the temp of the beer and then adjust your walk-in thermostat accordingly. I'd probably start in the low 60's.

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Old 10-16-2009, 04:39 PM   #8
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I would still highly recommend using some sort of other temp control method along with keeping the room at a given temp. Just having a fermenter sitting in an open room of that size is going to be a really inefficient way to bring the temp of the fermenter either up or down.

I would still at least use a swamp cooler in addition to temp-controlling the room.

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Old 10-16-2009, 04:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Brewing View Post
Ahhh... sorry..

That's actually a bit harder to answer because it really depends on the beer and what stage of fermentation you're at.

Fermentation = heat generation.

If you have a big beer at the peak of fermentation, it's going to toss off a ton of heat so you would need to keep the room pretty cold to bring that fermenter back down to temp... versus... a small beer that is just about done and isn't really throwing off any heat.

A swamp cooler would probably help a lot in what you're talking about.

Either that or you would have to wire your thermostat for that room into a temp probe either IN or ON the beer fermentor and for a room that size, that would be a horribly inefficient way to do it with 100 other easier solutions.

For a 10x10 room, I dont see how you're going to be able to set a given temp and hold a fermenter constant. You'll have to adjust the temp constantly in the room as the fermentation cycle runs its course
Let me give you the specifics and see what your plan would be.
fermenter http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/2-54-barrel-s-s-conical-fermenter-build-135991/
and its going to be a belgian triple so you know its going to go crazy at the begining.

I am thinking starting temp 65 in hopes of getting the fermenter going at 68-70. The next day after fermenting has started drop the temp to 58 in hopes of 65-66
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:52 PM   #10
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That big of a fermenter... I think you're going to have to go a lot colder in the room to have any effect on it. That's a lot of thermal mass with lots of yeasties generating heat.

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