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Old 09-07-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
moscoeb
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So I just bought and received a temp controller, and I also have a small square chest freezer free.
I'm wondering if I should:
1) do a fermentation chamber
I ferment in the basement and stay right around 68-70 degrees year round. What temp is best for a ferm chamber.
2) do lagering chamber
Never tried lagers, am interested but not dying to try them either
3) do a cold crash chamber
Beer turns out pretty clear as is most of the time anyways.

I'm thinking fermentation chamber to make my brew better. But just wanted some more advice.

 
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:01 PM   #2
Teromous
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You can use the same setup for all three. It's all a matter of changing the temperature. The first thing I did was make a lager.

 
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Yep. Wire up a cheap temp controller and you will be able to ferment any style of beer you want. Search the forum for a STC-1000 build.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:13 AM   #4
moscoeb
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I'll have to research lagering more. Cold crash down around 35, right? And ferment around 65?

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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The first use I would have for that controller is a fermentation chamber. Brew your ale at 60 to 62 instead of your basement temperature (for the first week) and see if your flavor improves. You only need that fermentation temperature for about a week so pull the fermenter out after that to let the yeast do the cleanup at your basement temperature. You can start another batch while the first one completes its ferment, then pull it out too. Put the first one back in for a cold crash if you want, then do the second one when it is done. Lots of options with that controller.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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This ^

Plus fermenting lagers and the subsequent lagering period takes such a long time it will hog your freezer for months. First build a reserve of some tasty ales that will hold you over for when you decide to do lagers. Or get another chest dedicated to lager fermentation/lagering. You could probably do 4 to 6 different lagers all at the same time in an STC-1000 temp controlled freezer chest. Then after 3 months you got a nice large batch of lagers.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:07 PM   #7
moscoeb
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Awesome, thanks. That's the kind of ideas and thinking I needed!
Getting excited about seeing how much my beers improve. I have noticed a difference just by moving them to a cooler part of the basement, can't wait to try this.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
eltorrente
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You'll get the best results by fermenting your ale at slowly increasing temperatures.

I tape the temperature probe to the side of the carboy, then tape a piece of cardboard over the top of that, to ensure that it's not being affected too much by the air surrounding the carboy.

I usually pitch the yeast at 62 degs, then I raise the temperature 1 degree every 12 hours. I do this until I hit 68 degrees, then I pull it out and let it finish at room temperature - for the diacetyl rest.

Yeast produces diacetyl mostly in the beginning of the fermentation, so keeping initial temps low will minimize its production, then by slowly raising the temp, you keep the fermentation active - then eventually it will eat the diacetyl as it warms up. I do this method and my beer comes out tasting super clean and zero off-flavors.

The most critical time for low temperature is during the first 24 hours or so of fermentation. It is always better to wait to pitch your yeast until the temperature has dropped - as opposed to getting impatient/worried and pitch it when it's still warm.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moscoeb View Post
I'll have to research lagering more. Cold crash down around 35, right? And ferment around 65?
When I did my first lager I utilized How to Brew chapter 10. It's a good starting point, but there's countless threads and podcasts about it as well. You do tie up your resources doing a lager, but it's fun to do one just for the simple fact that it's not another ale. It's also cool because you're learning a lot of new techniques and the fermentation is a different experience.

 
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:33 PM   #10
moscoeb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltorrente
You'll get the best results by fermenting your ale at slowly increasing temperatures.

I tape the temperature probe to the side of the carboy, then tape a piece of cardboard over the top of that, to ensure that it's not being affected too much by the air surrounding the carboy.

I usually pitch the yeast at 62 degs, then I raise the temperature 1 degree every 12 hours. I do this until I hit 68 degrees, then I pull it out and let it finish at room temperature - for the diacetyl rest.

Yeast produces diacetyl mostly in the beginning of the fermentation, so keeping initial temps low will minimize its production, then by slowly raising the temp, you keep the fermentation active - then eventually it will eat the diacetyl as it warms up. I do this method and my beer comes out tasting super clean and zero off-flavors.

The most critical time for low temperature is during the first 24 hours or so of fermentation. It is always better to wait to pitch your yeast until the temperature has dropped - as opposed to getting impatient/worried and pitch it when it's still warm.
Great advice. I'll try that. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teromous

When I did my first lager I utilized How to Brew chapter 10. It's a good starting point, but there's countless threads and podcasts about it as well. You do tie up your resources doing a lager, but it's fun to do one just for the simple fact that it's not another ale. It's also cool because you're learning a lot of new techniques and the fermentation is a different experience.
Thanks, I'll look that over.

 
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