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Old 09-11-2011, 01:45 AM   #1
May 2011
Osage, Iowa
Posts: 78

Just wondering how everyone controls their fermentation temps.

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Old 09-11-2011, 01:46 AM   #2
DoubleAught's Avatar
May 2011
Seymour, Indiana
Posts: 1,247
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If you have the resources....a fermentation chamber. Be it a fridge, chest freezer, or a DIY chest. If not, then search a swamp cooler.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:52 AM   #3
Feb 2011
No, New Jersey
Posts: 75

This is probably my second biggest hurdle to climb in improving my brewing (moving to full boils being the other).

I started going with swamp coolers, which helps me keep temps cooler than they were before, but I'm still having a hard time keeping them as cool and stable as I'd like, and I've had to re-ice the water every few hours to keep the temp down, which is a big pain in the toosh.

In fact, re-icing may be a mistake on my part, as it may be causing temp fluctuations. Maybe what I should be doing is setting it and forgetting it. That's my plan for the next few batches. Hope to see if that results in any improvement.

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Old 09-11-2011, 01:52 AM   #4
Dec 2008
West Hartford
Posts: 351
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I use a my keezer for now...but want/need a small fridge as a dedicated ferm chamber down the line
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:55 AM   #5
barrooze's Avatar
Jan 2009
Pearland, TX
Posts: 2,445
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By far the best/easiest method is using a fermentation chamber, be it a fridge, freezer, or converted box controlled by a temp controller of some kind. Using a dual-stage controller is also very nice handy.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:14 AM   #6
Aug 2011
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 465
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I used a swamp cooler of sorts. I place my bucket into a tray with 3-4 inches of water. Then I place an old t-shirt over the bucket. I have a fan blowing on them. It seems to knock the temp down by 10. It took me a few day to build up a supply of plastic bottles to put in the freezer. A few times a day I just replace the thawed bottle with a frozen one. It's been really hot lately so I'm doing this quite a bit. I'm sure in the winter months I won't have to do this as often.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:25 AM   #7
Jun 2011
Posts: 21

I use a small chest freezer and a Johnson Controls temperature controller. Set the freezer on the coldest setting and dial in your temperature. Done.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:35 AM   #8
malweth's Avatar
Nov 2010
Wakefield, RI
Posts: 461
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This is why, for me at least, it's easiest to brew in the winter. My basement is a chilly 52 degrees, which is easy to fix with a brew belt (hits in the 60s). I think this keeps it relatively constant.

In the summer the basement temps fluctuate much more, from 68-80 depending on the weather. I've been putting the bucket or carboy in a big tub filled with star san (to prevent mold) and drop 4 frozen water bottles in twice a day (I have 8 I use and swap out).

A fermentation chamber build is on my list, but may not happen for a couple years... and that doesn't get around the fact that I need some method for cooling the chamber (either ice or a fridge/freezer).

... Looking forward to cooler temps. . . .
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:50 AM   #9
Jul 2011
Lynchburg, Va
Posts: 90
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I'm not rich by no means but I can't understand why people put off buying a ferm fridge? After I brewed my first beer I realized the need and brought one. The same guys who say they can't afford it also post they've brewed 5 beers in the last month. If you really want to get into brewing seriously then save the money your spending making ok beer so you can make better beer later. It's a investment not a race!
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:31 PM   #10
Bmorebrew's Avatar
Mar 2010
Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 474
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I use my MLT as my swamp cooler and it works great. It is the Igloo Ice Cube 48 quart version. I bought styrofoam sheeting and fashioned a cap to fit atop the cooler and accommodate the fermenter. It is simply five pieces glued together with Elmer's and duct tape. I also have four 'flanges' of styrofoam glued to the inside that sit just inside the cooler to help hold the cap in place - that way the cap is not just resting on top with a gap the entire way around. I also have a hole cut in the top for a blowoff tube or if I'm just using an airlock it prevents CO2 buildup - not that the cap is airtight however.

With the fermentor in place I fill with about 4 gallons cold water and rotate between one and three 1 liter bottles I have frozen in the freezer twice a day or so during the first week of primary. Sometimes two weeks if I have no other brew planned. After the first week I'm far less anal about rigid temperatures and I just put the bucket in the bucket area in the basement where temps are usually between 65 and 70. I feel at this point temperature control is not nearly as critical as long as I don't let it get extremely cold or warm. It's that simple and it works great.

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