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Old 02-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default Temp fluctuation

Newbie question. How much of an impact will temp fluctuation have on my primary? I live in Houston, TX and I keep my primary bucket in a coat closet right next to my thermostat. This winter Houston has been ranging from 35 F low in the morning and up to 70-75F in the afternoon and I have noticed that this week that the temp on my primary bucket started at 74F (day 1) and has gradually decreased to 68F (day7) even though the thermostat has been set to 72-74.

Notes: a cold front came thru this week. I'm doing an American Pale Ale. Been in the primary for 7 days and had good air lock activity for 3-4 days. Haven't taken a gravity reading yet. Any suggestion, recommendations or concerns? Please share. This is my first batch.

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Old 02-02-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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Set up a swamp cooler - a bucket large enough for your fermenter, and a water bath. Keep it cool with frozen water bottles you can swap in as needed. You really want to be cooler than 68.

This should get you started: swamp cooler

And, do Texans really set thermostats to 74??

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:51 AM   #3
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The less fluctuation, the better. From what other members have told me, fluctuations of more than 10F in a 24 hour period can stall the yeast and render them dormant. If you have a basement or your house is on a slab, having contact with that surface would be a good strategy to try and regulate temperature. Otherwise I think Frazier has your best option. Also, ale yeasts operate best between 59F and 70F, as a general rule. Of course some work fine at 74F but most work best a little cooler... Otherwise you're losing attenuation and leaving extra fermentables unused by the yeast.

Reason: spelling... damn you autocorrect!
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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Higher temps won't leave unfermented wort. But too cool & they stall out & go dormant. High temps generally make off flavors that can be cleaned up after FG is reached in 3-7 days if they aren't to prevelant.
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