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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > Less than optimal temperature
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:34 AM   #1
scobysurfer
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Default Less than optimal temperature

I started brewing KT today and noticed the temperature of my brewing vessel remains between 68-70 degrees. I live in NH and I house the brewing vessel in a corner cupboard in my kitchen.

I've read that the optimum temperature for fermenting is between 72-80 degrees with a ready date between 14-28 days, that's quite a range. What are everybody else's temps. and ready dates?

Also, I noticed people selling heating elements for brewing vessels, such as KombuchaKamp's Heating Mat or using reptile heaters as an alternative. Anybody else here use heating elements? Recommendations?


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Old 05-21-2013, 04:40 AM   #2
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Depends on what you are fermenting and the yeast strain.


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Old 05-21-2013, 04:43 AM   #3
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Kombucha, I forgot to specify.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:49 AM   #4
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Haha can't help you there then, but there is no harm in fermenting cooler in general cases. Just takes longer.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:56 AM   #5
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+1
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scobysurfer View Post
I've read that the optimum temperature for fermenting is between 72-80 degrees with a ready date between 14-28 days, that's quite a range. What are everybody else's temps. and ready dates?
:
Anybody else here use heating elements? Recommendations?
76-78 deg F. Ready in 10 days. As you imply, takes much longer if it's cooler.

I use a standard heating pad bought at a local drugstore chain, set on Low. Calibrated it originally with a glass gallon jar of water which I sampled after 24 hours on Low, Med, and High settings. Often in the winter months I only leave it on Low for the first 4-5 days.

Sometimes I'm impatient. If the scoby looks really good, I'll test pH & start secondary fermentation earlier. Had a snapshot handy, so here's the batch that fermented in two gallon glass containers starting on 5/10, ending on 5/18 (8 days). For secondary ferment I added about 3oz fruit juice to the 1 liter swing-top bottles, plus an ounce or two of crystallized ginger & let that sit for 4 more days. Just re-bottled the pictured booch into 12oz bottles on 5/22 (last night) where they'll rest for a couple more days before going into the fridge.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:37 AM   #7
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Thanks for the pics and recommendation zapped! I'm going to the drug store today to pick something like that up. At my rate (brew is currently at 62 degrees), it'll take over a month to ferment!

I'm curious what sort of fruit juice did you throw in? I take it the ginger is for flavor and the juice is both for flavor and carbonation?
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:52 AM   #8
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I'm curious what sort of fruit juice did you throw in? I take it the ginger is for flavor and the juice is both for flavor and carbonation?
Exactly right. Actually... I'm not convinced I've ever tasted a difference between juices since I'm only using 3oz per liter, maybe 4oz per liter at most. But yes the sugar in the juice is for the carbonation. Although there are *some* bubbles in the primary ferment when it's complete, since most of the sugar is gone I need the added sugar during the sealed secondary ferment to produce some bubbly zing.

Juice = 100% pomegranate, or a pomegranate-(other better) mix. There's nothing special about the brand, but this happens to be the one I usually buy.

Ginger = definitely for flavor, and I most definitely notice a difference on the rare occasion when I make a batch without it.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:33 PM   #9
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So I went to the drug store last night and all there heating pads had automatic 2-hour shutoffs. This must be some new industry or government regulation due to heating pads overheating and catching fire. The worker there suggested I buy a heating plate (to keep plates of food warm) after realizing a camp grill wouldn't cut it.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #10
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Bummer about the 2-hour shutoff on new heating pads. Our two heating pads are at least ten years old & stay on indefinitely. Maybe try one of those reptile tank warmers from Amazon or Petco for example.


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