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Old 02-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #1
Jan 2012
Grayslake, IL
Posts: 19

Running into a bit of trouble with our brewing during these winter months. We store our home brews in my unfinished basement and the temperature is sitting around 60 degrees which is too low for the yeast to work. Ideally, we'd like it about 5 degrees warmer. Our first beer came out a little too sweet so the yeast are definitely slow in the process because of the temp.

Any suggestions on what to do to help keep the temperature on the beer warmer during the fermentation? I've been thinking of building a box to store the carboys in to help keep the cold basement are off, but not sure how much effect it would have. Anyone else run into this problem?

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Old 02-27-2012, 05:22 PM   #2
Jan 2012
buffalo, New York
Posts: 83

I'm new but what I did was got a box and my son has a lizard and had an extra reptile tank heater so just plugged that into dimmer switch and got 8 extra deg into the box. It worked well.

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Old 02-27-2012, 05:25 PM   #3

I've never used one, but some friends who ferment in their basements use "Brew Belts" that wrap around a carboy.

There are a few great strains that love 60 degrees. Depending on what you're making, using on of them may be less trouble than any other solution.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
Oct 2010
Sisters, Oregon
Posts: 1,745
Liked 238 Times on 149 Posts

A constant 60 degrees is great for brewing. Active yeast will give you those extra degrees you want. My winter beers (before I built my ferm chamber), fermented in a bedroom that kept 58-62 all winter, were the best of the year.

edit - you can always throw on a brew belt after the initial active phase is done to warm it up a little.

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Old 02-27-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
AmandaK's Avatar
Feb 2010
Posts: 1,498
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I use a Ferm Wrap with a Ranco. Works nice.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
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You don't need to be lagering to use my cheap setup for warm temp control

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Old 02-27-2012, 08:21 PM   #7
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Dec 2011
Grand Ledge, MI
Posts: 1,258
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I used this to bring up the temp in my bucket by a few degrees... wish I had the old school xmass lights. They put out a lot more heat!
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
jsv1204's Avatar
Jan 2012
Posts: 290
Liked 23 Times on 19 Posts

I have a similar problem - smuggled my wife's heating pad down to the "cave", snuggled it up my plastic fermenter with a big towel ("Haven't seen that either, Hun - must be the boys...") held in place with a clamp. Turns out medium heat did the trick but there is no thermostat so I had to play around with it. Like the Christmas light idea! Once the ferment started in earnest, it kept going without the extra stimulation.

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Old 02-27-2012, 08:34 PM   #9
arvee's Avatar
Jan 2012
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Posts: 15

Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
I used this to bring up the temp in my bucket by a few degrees... wish I had the old school xmass lights. They put out a lot more heat!
And it's festive! Love it.

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Old 02-27-2012, 08:44 PM   #10
sweetcell's Avatar
Jan 2012
Rockville, MD
Posts: 5,115
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60*F is a very nice temp to ferment at. i generally brew belgians, which are officially listed as having warmer temp ranges, but people are telling me that the beer will taste better if fermented at the low end or even below their listed ranges. just today someone suggested that temps are listed high to ensure a quick and active fermentation.

i'm currently fermenting a batch of belgian strong honey ale that would have done much better at 60*F than the 70*F i left it at. during peak fermentation it likely went over 80*F due to the heat generated by the active yeasts. had the room been at 60*, the fermentation would have peaked at 70* and i wouldn't have a carboy full of bananas.
What hops should I grow? Looking for cheap honey?
- Drinking: BPA made with ingredients from NHC, 2 blends of a rye sour: ECY20 + ECY34, local sour cherry kriek #2, brett'ed Belgian blond on raspberries
- Aging: Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout (half on coconut), sour blond on second-use cherries, English Barleywine (half on brett), 3726 saison w/ brett x2 (dregs mix & Lochristi), GNO 3724 saison w/ brett mix, sour cherry mead, acerglyn, and a few other sours...

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