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Old 01-19-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
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Default Cold House - Where to ferment?

Hello!

My house is normally pretty darn cold in San Francisco, and we do not have a heater. The temp in my house ranges from 54'sih, to 68'ish during the day, making it very difficult to get a consistent ferm temp. I've purchased a fermwrap....as well as a temp controller. Aside from using these two pieces, does anyone have any tips they use to create a consistent ferm temp? I'm going to start with Ales, but my house gets WAY to cold at night to keep the yeast happy.

I'll be fermenting in glass carboys.

HELP!
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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In cases like that (our furnace is fubar'd),I use kerosene heater with a couple electric oil heaters in the house. I used an old fleece lined CPO to wrap around the fermenter to keep temps more consistent,& thus keeping a minimum temp. You could even pick a room for your brewery stuff & get a small heater with temp control for that room.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
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You can always put the carboy in a big Rubbermaid bin and fill it with water. I do this and rotate ice packs in it to keep the carboy cool but you could add warm/hot water to keep it warm. The water will slow down the temp swings. It would be like a reverse swamp cooler.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Some use aquarium heaters in the swamp cooler,but they complain that they can only get them down to 68F. Logical,since they are intended to keep tropical fish warm.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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Could you put it in a box with a lamp? How about one of those heating pads you use on your back?

Disclaimer: It might be a fire hazard.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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Some have done it with a box of some sort & a light bulb. Makes enough heat to keep the beer warm. Might be fine with a temp controller. Craig did it with a small plastic dunnage container once.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:28 PM   #7
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A cold house is an advantage. Yeast performs better at the lower end of the spectrum. Keep it cool the first 3-4 days and then move it to the warmest part of your house to finish.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:30 PM   #8
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Well,with my experiences in socal in November,it got down to around 53F at night,but by 8:30am or so,was already back up to 89F!! Talk about temp swings...
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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Yup. I was brewing in San Diego with some buddies for about a year before I move to SF and decided to take it up again on my own. SF is just so cold!
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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make lager.
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