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Old 02-01-2013, 11:12 PM   #11
xenomaniac
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I have it stored in a dark closet. It's been a little chilly the past week. Seems the temp gauge says 65 degrees on the temp gauge. Hope I didn't ruin it. First batch I've done using grains and hops.

I feel that I'm going to be making a lot of Ales in the future (my favorite type) and with spring already here in Austin, keeping it cool when the summer months come is going to be a little tricky. What is a good way to keep my brew cool during those hot summer months? I am on a budget of course (stupid dead end job).

 
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:23 PM   #12
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenomaniac View Post
I have it stored in a dark closet. It's been a little chilly the past week. Seems the temp gauge says 65 degrees on the temp gauge. Hope I didn't ruin it. First batch I've done using grains and hops.

I feel that I'm going to be making a lot of Ales in the future (my favorite type) and with spring already here in Austin, keeping it cool when the summer months come is going to be a little tricky. What is a good way to keep my brew cool during those hot summer months? I am on a budget of course (stupid dead end job).
Nope- 65 degrees ambient is perfect, for all ales.

A good way to keep fermentation cool is with a fermentation chamber- generally a fridge or a mini fridge with a temperature controller. Otherwise, it's hard to do in Texas! When I'm up north, I can do a "swamp cooler" or a cool water bath, but in Texas it's not that easy. Spring, fall, and winter are much easier if you don't have a fridge to control the temperatures.

I don't brew in Texas, except at a friend's house, and he has a fridge that he uses for fermentation.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Nope- 65 degrees ambient is perfect, for all ales.

A good way to keep fermentation cool is with a fermentation chamber- generally a fridge or a mini fridge with a temperature controller. Otherwise, it's hard to do in Texas! When I'm up north, I can do a "swamp cooler" or a cool water bath, but in Texas it's not that easy. Spring, fall, and winter are much easier if you don't have a fridge to control the temperatures.

I don't brew in Texas, except at a friend's house, and he has a fridge that he uses for fermentation.
*Cough* Um yeah that doesn't sound like an "on a budget" way to keep things cool over the summer. Any other suggestions? During the summer we keep it at about 75 in the house. What would be a better brew instead then?

 
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:39 AM   #14
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I have a friend I often brew with who has a temp controlled fridge but any batch that stays at my house over the summer has to use a Saison yeast.

Swamp coolers work in the spring and fall here, but not in the summer as nobody is home to swap ice bottles all day.

I tried my hand at a spin on the Son of Fermentation chamber (look that up too) but I made the mistake of using plywood which got all moldy. If you follow the plans to the letter, those are supposed to work great though.

There is also an insulated bag that some people swear by - the brew bag (or something like that) - so you might want to check that out as well.

 
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenomaniac View Post
*Cough* Um yeah that doesn't sound like an "on a budget" way to keep things cool over the summer. Any other suggestions? During the summer we keep it at about 75 in the house. What would be a better brew instead then?
+1 what Yooper told you about setting up a fermentation chamber (and whatever else she tells you for that matter).

It's not as hard nor as expensive as you might think and the payoff is large. It lets you ferment, lager, etc. at a precisely controlled temperature. Set it and leave it alone vs. having to mess with swapping out hot/cold bottles, guessing at your temps, and/or making messes. I'm really new to this and I have two, one chest freezer (that had been sitting empty in our garage) and one upright freezer bought on Craigslist. Total cost to buy and rig the upright freezer with the controller - $100. Compare that to the insulated bag thing which costs $55 plus shipping just for the bag. IMO, it's a no-brainer.


Just get a decent used freezer or fridge from Craigslist. Either works fine. The upright freezer or fridge is easier to move buckets/bottles in and out of vs. chest freezer.
I use (and like) temp control outlet boxes based on the STC-1000 dual controller. It's inexpensive ($24.39 shipped on Amazon) and gives you precise digital control (in Celsius) over your temps. I have the tolerance on mine set for +/- 0.5*C. All you have to add is a wall outlet and some sort of box to mount it all in (I used an old computer speaker casing for one and an old power supply box for the other).



If your fridge or freezer sits where it may get cold, the dual controller triggers either cooling or heat as needed (with a heat source placed inside). If you can wire a wall outlet, you can set one of these up easily.


http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay...-build-163849/

http://brewstands.com/fermentation-heater.html

 
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post
[FONT="Georgia"]+1 what Yooper told you about setting up a fermentation chamber (and whatever else SHE tells you for that matter).
Fixed
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post
+1 what Yooper told you about setting up a fermentation chamber (and whatever else he tells you for that matter).
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabloj13 View Post
Fixed
Yep- it's a minor fix but I most definitely am not a a "he"!

The waterbath/cooler idea works great for many people in the summer- but in Texas it's so warm that it may not work well for you.

If you keep the air at a cool 75, then it may work because you can probably keep the fermentation temperature 10 degrees cooler than ambient. Most people I know, at least down here in S. Texas keep the air on at 80 or so, though to save a little $$$.

It should work this time of year. All you do is put your fermenter in a cooler, filled with water up to the beer level. Add a frozen water bottle (or two, or three) to get the water bath at 65 degrees. Then swap them at when needed. I float a thermometer in there- one of those cheapie floating thermometers, and keep the water bath at 65. That helps minimize temperature fluctuations, as it takes a long time for 5 gallons of beer and 5 gallons of water to change temperature, as well as hold it at the proper temperature.

In general, you want the fermentation temperature to be no higher than 73, and preferably less, for most ale yeast strains. 65-68 is perfect.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:30 PM   #18
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Just to get a first-hand observation of the heat generated by active fermentation I put a thermometer on the rack to see what the air temp is inside my upright freezer where I have a batch of Northern English Brown that's been there about 19 hours. It's bubbling pretty steadily through the airlock.

I have the STC-1000 temp sensor taped to the side of the bucket and insulated so it gets a good reading to operate the controller.

Ambient air temp = 60*F

Side of bucket temp = 67*F
(which is the temp at which I have the controller set)


 
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:05 AM   #19
xenomaniac
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Yeah I'm completely confused by the temperature controller. Call me lazy but I don't want to construct anything. I just want to buy something and have it already set up for me. Basically plug and play, that's it. Please make this simpler for me.

EDIT: Come to think of it, don't think there is any other alternative. I have a friend of mine that has been brewing for 12 years now. I should probably have him help me out.

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #20
pabloj13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenomaniac View Post
Yeah I'm completely confused by the temperature controller. Call me lazy but I don't want to construct anything. I just want to buy something and have it already set up for me. Basically plug and play, that's it. Please make this simpler for me.

EDIT: Come to think of it, don't think there is any other alternative. I have a friend of mine that has been brewing for 12 years now. I should probably have him help me out.
Just buy a Johnson controller then.
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