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Old 08-29-2012, 01:35 AM   #1
betelgeuse4721
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Oct 2010
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Since I live in Florida, my A/C never really goes below 77F in order to have a reasonable electric bill so I never really get to ferment my ales at suggested temperatures like 60-72F.

Lagers are pretty much out of the question for me too which is a bummer.

Will my beer taste better when fermented at lower temperatures? What are the problems associated with fermenting at higher than normal temperatures - and lower than normal, just to be curious?

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:48 AM   #2
Gameface
 
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Yes. It might be one of the very most important factors in the way your beer tastes.

At higher temps you might get fusel alcohol, which tastes like rubbing alcohol. You'll get more esters. Essentially the flavor won't be as "clean." Getting a ferm chamber has really taken my beers to a new level.

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:57 AM   #3
betelgeuse4721
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Where can I buy a ferm chamber? I've looked around but they all seem to be do-it-yourself projects. Not that thats a bad thing.

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:02 AM   #4
IFMracin
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A freezers or refrigerator and plug in a temperature controller. Done.
if you don't want to do the diy controller projects get one of the Johnson controllers from NB or Midwest, etc.

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:03 AM   #5
Jtbrown54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betelgeuse4721
Where can I buy a ferm chamber? I've looked around but they all seem to be do-it-yourself projects. Not that thats a bad thing.
I live in charleston sc...and before I bought a freezer and converted to a kegerator/ferm chamber I used to use a swamp cooler.

Get a large bucket (like what you would use to put a keg on ice in a party or store Xmas stuff in all year) and then freeze about 6-8 large bottles of water or old milk jugs or juice bottles. Then stick your carboy into the bigger and fill
It until it about 5 inches deep of water and flop in a few of the huge ice cubes and rotate 3 times a day.

Doesn't cost much at all and worked well.

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:04 AM   #6
Dan
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I don't know if the they are sold commercially. Probably are, I've just never seen one but that doesn't mean anything. If you feel like spending a little money the easiest was is to buy a small chest freezer and put a temperature controller on it. Ferment wort at pefect temps and when fermentation is finished drop the controller to around freezing and crash cool a few days to clear the beer even more. Works like a champ!

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:05 AM   #7
dougdecinces
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Jan 2011
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Or you can always go the horribly inefficient but effective route of a tub and lots of ice.

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:06 AM   #8
Gameface
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betelgeuse4721 View Post
Where can I buy a ferm chamber? I've looked around but they all seem to be do-it-yourself projects. Not that thats a bad thing.
Well, how much you wanna spend?

I think the easiest "off-the-shelf" solution is a chest freezer that you plug into a temp controller. It's really simple. You just tape the temp probe from the temp controller to your fermentor and set the temp to something like 63F. With the chest freezer plugged into the controller it just supplies power to the chest freezer when the probe goes above your set point and cuts power when it is at or below the set point. Very easy and basically set it and forget it.

Another solution is to get a tub large enough to set your fermentor in and fill it partially with water. Then take a towel or shirt or whatever and drape it over the fermentor so that it's contacting the water. Pointing a fan at all this helps and adding frozen water bottles to the water also helps. This is a cheaper but less graceful option. But it does work!

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:06 AM   #9
chumpsteak
 
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Do a search for swap coolers. You can get a plastic tub, fill it with water and rotate 2 liter bottles full of ice through it to keep temps down. The best solution really is a fermentation chamber of some sort. If you're adventurous to make your own beer you should be adventurous to build things that help make your beer better.

Seriously, if you want to get serious about this hobby you need to control ferm temps and a fermentation chamber is the best way to go. Plan on spending a few hundred bucks and do it right the first time. Set it and forget it rules when you start brewing a lot.

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:12 AM   #10
ArcLight
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I made a fermentation chamber (enclosed swamp cooler) with a $40 70 quart picnic cooler. I built a styrofoam cover (kind of a 7 inch high box, not just a flat slab) and can maintain temperatures well, due to it being completely closed (not air tight, but very well insulated). The foam board was $10 at Home Depot. The hard part was planning it, and cutting it into 9 pieces, with an extra cover in reserve.

 
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