Summer is around the corner and living in Southern California it makes it hard to brew without something to help control the fermentation temperature. My current batch which I just racked to my second stage definitely had a banana bread aroma which I've read generally is contributed by being too warm during fermentation.
I recently bought a kegerator in order to transition to kegging however since I don't actually have the kegs themselves yet I thought I would use the kegerator to help control the temperature. The kegerator has a digital thermostat and the highest it seems to go is about 47 degrees F and without an additional regulator would this be too cold for an ale or could I just let it fermente a bit longer since it would be slowing down the process? I was looking to try a lager since I couldn't do this before but was just curious the affects on the ale yeast around the same temps.
That is going to be too cold for brewing ales. Some lagers you could do it, but a little too cold for me. Why not just get a plug in regulator and have it all? Then if you can swing it, get an old beat up fridge sometime off of CL and have a dedicated fermenting fridge at some point in the future.
Thanks for the advice. I figured as much, i was hoping with summer coming so soon and it already getting well into to high 70s and low 80s I may be able to get away with out one. Looks like I know what my next purchase will be haha.
An STC-1000 is a good solution. They're only $19 on Amazon. A few more bucks for an outlet. Build a controller box out of scrap plastic or wood and you're good to go.
You can certainly use it later when you do keg to precisely control the temp in that kegerator. I use one on my keezer to keep it right at 39*F (+/- 0.8*C). I also have them on my fermenter fridge and cold crash/lagering freezer.
__________________ Good Temp Control -----> Happy Yeast ------> Tasty Brew