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Old 10-28-2010, 01:31 AM   #11
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Farenheit or celsius?


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Old 10-29-2010, 01:29 AM   #12
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Farenheit. After 24 hours it looks like I can get 46 degrees Farenheit.


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Old 10-29-2010, 11:24 PM   #13
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Now that the weather is a little colder, my basement (old drafty farmhouse) is hanging right around 58F. Will it cause a problem if the temp fuctuates between 55F and 60F? Is the up and down ok?
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Old 10-30-2010, 01:31 AM   #14
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Now that the weather is a little colder, my basement (old drafty farmhouse) is hanging right around 58F. Will it cause a problem if the temp fuctuates between 55F and 60F? Is the up and down ok?
It's not good. Could you still submerge the fermenter in a water bath in a cooler or trashcan, so that the extra water will "insulate" the fermenter, and keep it from those temperature extremes? It takes a LONG time for a water surrounded fermenter to change temps, so a water bath with stabilize the temperature fluctuations' effect on the beer.
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Old 10-30-2010, 01:54 AM   #15
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Yes I can put it in a waterbath. As I understand it, the temp fluctuating a couple degrees is ok, but only if it is really slow?
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:45 PM   #16
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Just use an ale yeast dude. Fermenting requires equipment wich you clearly don't have or a very cool basement that will not have swings in temperature (something like a COLD cellar). You also have to account for lagering: do you have a spare fridge or place for a big clunk carboy in your fridge ? And are you okay with dropping the temperature on your fridge low enough to lager ? And waiting a few weeks ? I hate to recommend it since it has been recalled recently, but Notty can take low temps to approximate a lager. Or US-05. Just ferment these at the lowest temperature recommended and they will finish clean and crisp with no need for diacetyl rests or any of that fun stuff.

I really don't know who the kit makers are targetting when they put out canned, hopped LME kits with a yeast that needs lagering. 99% of the time, if the buyers have lagering capabilities, they will also have PM or AG capability and thus won't need hopped extract.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:27 PM   #17
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Thanks for the input. I can do the lagering. Easily. That is the only reason I'm fighting the primary so much. And I have AG capabilities, but I'm very new to the whole deal, so I kinda wanted to understand the basic process first.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:30 PM   #18
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Calibrate your thermometer and do a few dry runs beforehand: how much ice do you need to add to your water bath with water at beer level to get equilibrium ? What temperature is your tap water ? You can also do some rough calculations using the volume of water relative to the beer. You need to know how fast you can drop the temperature (or increase it) if something goes wrong. And baby the beer during primary fermentation.

With ales I feel you can just ballpark it: ferment on the cool side, add more ice if necessary by touching the carboy/bucket and comparing to water temp. Lagers are more finicky with temperature swings since they are more delicate: I would use as much water as possible in order to reduce swings. And if your basement is drafty, consider cutting on the drafts in order to have your ambient temperature stay roughly the same.

The worse that can happen is that you will learn something
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:46 PM   #19
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The worse that can happen is that you will learn something
You are correct. My basement isn't too drafty, but we heat with wood and don't use the furnace much, so the what few drafts there are will affect the temp more than normal. I have a perfect place where I can set it up basically with a water trickle that will keep it right at 55F +/- 1F. And the lagering can easily be done in my shop fridge with the door locked and a sign that says "stay the f*** out"
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:51 PM   #20
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I also heat with wood, so I know your plight. Temperatures in my living room can swing from 19C to 28C in winter due to our big windows facing south and the heat from the furnace. Luckily, the furnace is not in the basement, so we have "cellar temps" down there almost year long.

Remember though that ambient and fermentation temps are two different things: during vigorous fermentation, the yeast will give off heat, so you need to shoot for a lower ambient/water bath temp than what you need as a fermentation temperature to compensate. You can probably buy a small digital thermometer that can monitor the temperature from outside the carboy/bucket (or inside it it is a probe). My experience with temperature strips from my "aquarium days" have been horrible. They aren't really reliable if you want precision.

Take care.


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