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Old 06-21-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
HopSong
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Default Noob Question.. Temperature

Ok.. so, he's headed for a month vacation.. away from home the guy says. IF he can control the fermentation temp's for, say, 5 days (ale at 68*) and he puts the fermenter in a tub of water to help stabilize it while he's gone.. do you see any problems with his beer plan, assuming the brew will probably stay in the neighborhood of 75*, maybe less? He's looking at about 5 weeks + in the fermenter. I suggested a swamp cooler sans the fan.. just the towel wicking up whatever it can. He'll put the water level at the beer level.. the water will evaporate and the beer will get lighter as it becomes alcohol.. Don't want the fermenter to upset by floating.. that could be disastrous..

I didn't see any issues myself. The temp will be reasonably well controlled in the tub while he's gone and the time should be no issue. He wants to have something ready to bottle when he returns. I think he should do it and possibly do a dry hop for a week before he bottles..

Any thoughts?


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Old 06-21-2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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the thermal inertia of liquid can be a good or bad thing here. If it gets too warm in ambient temp, he could be encouraging the beer to ferment at the warmer temperatures by a water bath. I like the idea of a wicking system, AND a fan. I like to rement my ales on the cool side anyway, so I'd try to err in that direction if I were him. 75 FWIW is pretty warm and warmer then most ale yeasts recommend. If he does a water bath that locks IN 72+ degree temps, the beer will be hot and give off flavors (nail polish remover for one).

If I were him (and I'm not sure from your post about this..) and he's going to be around for the first five days of ferment, I'd cool it to the very bottom of the yeast's range during that period then the wicking system for when he's gone, he should be fine.

All IMHO.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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Thanks jbs... I think that is exactly what he is planning on doing. The first 7 or so day, he'll have control to keep the temp at about 68* for that full time. He is using the method that I use.. and that is to put the fermenter in a large tub. He will keep the temp controlled with frozen water bottles during that time. After the 7-8 days, he'll be leaving. I'd guess he could train a small fan on the wet towel for the month.. but, not sure how he'd feel about an electric fan going unattended for a month... burnout causing fire or ???
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