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Old 02-09-2013, 01:49 AM   #1
Dec 2012
Posts: 38
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Hey guys, don't have a setup yet for a fridge that I can lager or really control temps in so here is my dilema. During the winter time here in CA my themostat keeps the house at a nice 68-70, and it stays about 62* in my closet where I keep my fermenter. Great conditions for most ales and everything I have made this winter has turned out great!

Now summer is coming, its mostly in the 90+ range with 100+ days not infrequent. Inside house temp I try to keep around 80 or less, not sure what my closet temp will be as this is my first summer brewing. Assuming its about 6-8* cooler than thermostat temp like it is now that would put it around 72-74*, too warm for most ales without funny flavors.

Here is the real question, are there any styles or yeasts which are meant to ferment at those type of temps or warmer? I would be very willing to try out different stuff. I am relatively new and this is a great hobby I'm going to stick with, my engineering/technical background fits right in with this kind of stuff! Been doing mostly extract so far but want to step up to BIAB or partial mash in the next batch or two. Thanks a ton!

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:54 AM   #2
Feb 2013
Posts: 7

Try brewing meads. Most meads ferment at those higher temperatures.

Good luck

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:55 AM   #3
Feb 2011
Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 204
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Some big belgians like fermenting warm, but ambient temps in the 70's is really pushing it. The thing is that while the beer likes fermenting at higher temps the kinetic energy produced by fermentation increases the temp in the fermenter on its own. Also, I would guess that stagnant air might mean your closet temp could be above room temp in the summer.

There are a lot of good threads on this site about swamp coolers. A great method of holding fermenter temps down is to put the fermenter in a pan with cold water in it. Put a tshirt over the fermenter with the bottom hanging in the water. The capillary action will wick cool water up and will cool the fermenter nicely. Put frozen water bottles in the water pan, rotating them daily or as needed.

Good luck.

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:56 AM   #4
Aug 2012
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 265
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If you want to do ales, look at brewing Belgians, saison and hefes
"I don't want these logs looking like a Boy Scout was turned loose on them with a dull hatchet" -DP
primary 1: Desert Sky's Bombshell Blonde Ale
primary 2: :(
bottled: Sim'arillo IPA, Stout, BM's Centennial Blonde, Belgian Blonde, Citra'rillo APA, Saison, Mt. Hood Blonde

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:56 AM   #5
KeystoneHomebrew's Avatar
Dec 2012
Montgomeryville, PA
Posts: 351
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Belgians, Belgians, Belgians! You may very well become one of the minority of homebrewers who can master what Wyeast 3124 Belgian Saison is capable of. Honestly, I would explore that yeast, as it can do a whole bunch, but needs temps that most of us can't handle on demand.
Got a Question? Always happy to help. Just shoot me a message.

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:00 AM   #6
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Apr 2009
☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
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For beer, you are going to get slightly fruity or funky. Maybe you'll like it, but it won't be like beer that you buy (unless you want to make Belgians, which you could excel at).
- Andrew

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:01 AM   #7
bleme's Avatar
Jan 2012
Visalia, CA
Posts: 2,142
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I used Ardennes last summer to make Saisons. They are some of my favorites but not popular with my coworkers as it doesn't quite have that "beer" flavor.

You might consider doing a 1-gallon batch to see if it something you like.

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:14 AM   #8
Dec 2012
Posts: 38
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Thank you for the suggestions, I have tried some commercial belgians (Chimay Grande Reserve was an experience in a corked bottle!) and really enjoyed them. I hear a lot about Saisons and would be willing to give that shot.

I'm a craft beer drinker by nature and really enjoy homebrew. I have very open tastes when it comes to food/drink and their experiences, willing to try just about anything! Thank you for the suggestions, I would look into belgians!

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Old 02-09-2013, 03:15 AM   #9
beergolf's Avatar
Jan 2011
collingswood, nj
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The suggestion to brew Belgians has to be taken with a grain of salt. Even Belgian yeasts can get some off flavors if they get too hot too fast. You do need to control the temp for a couple of days and then you can let them go. They do like higher temps to finish up, but not early in the process.

If, for example you get. WY1762 to the high 70' too early and you might as well call NASA and ask them if they wany to buy some rocket fuel.

Know your yeast and what works.

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Old 02-09-2013, 03:44 AM   #10
BigFloyd's Avatar
Dec 2012
Tyler, Texas
Posts: 5,267
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Originally Posted by stikman33 View Post
Hey guys, don't have a setup yet for a fridge that I can lager or really control temps in so here is my dilema.
Why not get set up to control temps instead of trying (and maybe failing) to find an ale you may not enjoy just you can ferment that warm? IMO, ingredients are too expensive and the effort is to great to roll the dice on it.

Do you have room for an extra fridge/freezer? They can be had rather cheaply on Craigslist. Add a dual control box based on an STC-1000 and you are golden. The most I've spent (including the upright freezer) on the whole setup was slightly under $100. You be good to do ales, lagers, or whatever you desire, all at the optimal temp.


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