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Old 01-07-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
Jan 2013
Posts: 17
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

All this talk about brewing in Florida (house temps around 77-80 in the summer, 70-75 now in the winter) and needing cooler conditions for fermenting pushed me to create a fermentation cooler using the 60qt Igloo blue Ice cooler and a modified lid. I placed two frozen 2L bottles in there to cool.

I brewed the Surly Furious clone (Ferocious IPA from Midwest) last night, racked to primary at 6:30pm. Fermentation temps were great around bed time (68* beer temp, low 60s in cooler), got better by the morning (64/65* beer temp, mid 50s in cooler). Realizing the temp was dropping pretty fast, this morning I removed one 2L and used a towel over the top of the cooler instead of the insulated cooler lid. This still wasnt enough to prevent the temp drop, and by the time I got home from work today the temperature was 57* (beer temp) and 48* in the cooler.

1) Does anyone use the Igloo fermentation cooler or a swamp cooler and have a good scenario for holding the temp around 65*. I read that most everyone was swapping one or two frozen 2L in the morning, and later again at night- this might hold true in the Florida summer when it is 77* in my house, but it is 72* in the house now and obviously it got too cold.

2) More importantly, have I compromised my beer? The Wyeast British Ale II strain is recommended for 63-75*. I obviously escaped this window for about 6-8 hours this afternoon. Is this temperature shock going to be a problem or will the yeast get going in the next couple days?

For now, the fermenting bucket is sitting off ice allowing it to get up to the optimal mid 60*s.

Thanks for the help in advance. Hope this brew turns out nicely.

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Old 01-07-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
homebrewdad's Avatar
Jan 2012
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 3,275
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Worst thing you'll do is put the yeast to sleep; you typically don't really get off flavors from cold temps like you do from hot ones. Let them warm up, and they'll get back to work.

As for keeping the temps steady? Trial and error. Be advised that as fermentation continues, you'll likely need less ice, as less heat will be generated when the vigorous part of the process winds down.
Check out the priming sugar calculator, yeast starter calculator, and the beer calorie calculator.

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