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Old 05-12-2009, 01:22 PM   #1
Apr 2009
Posts: 85
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It's getting hot here and making my budding brewing interest a pain. I don't want to keep the house cooled to the fermentation range, so I've put water in a cooler, the fermenter in the water, and ice packs in the water, and have so far received great results (or, at least, the water seems to be staying in the critical 65-72 range, dunno if the fermenter is substantially different).

I've looked around and can't find a answer to this question: how much does temperature matter in the secondary and bottle fermentation stages? I suspect that I'm in less danger of the fusel generation after the main phase. Though my cooling method seems to work reasonably well, it is a pain to attend to for weeks on end.

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
Aug 2008
Posts: 965
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You would be right. The key temperature is during the primary, especially during the first 50%.

You should be ok on the temp, especially in the 65-72 range in a swamp cooler. I have used just about everything, but the most success was with a big cooler with a syrofoam cover and a blanket. A 16 oZ frozen bottle kept it good.

Right now I have a chest freezer on a controller, but that is gone in a couple of weeks, so I am brewing my butt off!

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:34 PM   #3
Evan!'s Avatar
Aug 2006
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,863
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One thing: there is no such thing as "post-primary fermentation" unless you're dosing with sugars to re-start. Fermentation is the actual converting of sugars into co2 and alcohol by the yeast. Everything after that is just aging.

Anyway...what he ^^^ said. Temps are most important during the growth phase and the initial half of active fermentation. I typically raise my ale temps up to the 70's as soon as I see it starting to slow down...and after that, it doesn't much matter. The one caveat here is that the lower your bulk aging temps after fermentation, the better/faster clarity you will achieve. Hell, if you have the opportunity to lager it in the low 40's/upper 30's, even with ales, you will see a great benefit. But otherwise...doesn't much matter once the yeast has flocculated.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers

•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:35 PM   #4
Malticulous's Avatar
Aug 2008
St. George Utah
Posts: 4,146
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After primary you can get away with much higher temps. I'd say as high as 90F or so would have no ill effects. You just don't want to cook it by leaving it in a closed up car or something like that. After primary it is beer.
Everything is better with a beer.

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