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Old 08-23-2011, 06:31 PM   #1
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Default Refrigerator Temp Controller or simple bucket of water


My last batch made me paranoid about developing off-flavors in my beer. I made an American wheat and due to the summer heat, the fermentation temps got up to the mid 70's. It's sitting in the keg now and I can sense a bit of weird flavors that I'm hoping go away soon. For my current batch, I made sure to control my temps from the very beginning. I didn't have any luck last time with the traditional swamp cooler and t-shirt method, so this time I just put my better bottle in a big rubbermaid container and filled it with water so it's right around the level of my wort. I'm able to keep the temps of the water between 60-65 by swapping frozen water bottles, and my fermometer reads between 64-68, although it recently started turning all different colors due to being submerged. I'm actually surprised it was able to maintain effectiveness while being wet for this long (two and a half weeks so far). My question is, does this method suffice, or do I need to get a temp controller? Is this minor variance in temperature detrimental to my beer? I tried to test out my spare fridge temps a few weeks ago by filling a carboy with water and setting the refrigerator temp to the lowest factory setting (warmest setting) and my fermometer still read about mid 50's. Since this is too cold for ales, will a temp controller solve this, or does my fridge actually have to get warm enough for a temp controller to be effective?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 08-23-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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that method will suffice, many many brewers (including myself) did this for awhile. only thing is, like you had mentioned, the fermometer will suffer. and the temps will vary, this awesomely is not a full issue, it'll just be a tad more difficult to replicate a recipe if you loved it.
if you go to the fridge controlled method, you will need to turn it all the way to cold. and set the remp on the controller. the controller will not let the fridge run untill it gets above your set temp, then it'll allow the compressor to run to chill it back down. if that made sense.

you should go to the fridge method... just sayin! it's a tonnnnnn easier. it's like ron popeal "jet set it, and forget it!"
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