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Old 08-05-2008, 06:54 AM   #1
bernerbrau
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Default can't get my temps down!

It's August in Tennessee... daytime temps are in the high 90s and it gets down to 80 at night. I have AC in my apartment but I tend to leave it in the high 70s what with energy costs and all...

I'm brewing a batch of hard cider and I'm trying to get the fermentation temperature down below 70. I have the carboy in a half-full bathtub of cold water, and I dumped a whole pail of ice in there.

I'm reading about 72 with an outside stick-on thermometer; the inside is probably warmer!

The heat's also probably what's wreaking havoc on my bottled beer -- 4 weeks aging and I'm still getting off, PVC-type flavors!

More of a rant than anything. I'll probably buy a few gallon jugs and just fill them with water for freezing, then change them out twice a day...
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:20 AM   #2
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The towel trick works... but it doesn't control the temperatures.

I had the same problem here in California. I broke down and bought a 5 cubic foot kegerator. I'm going to buy a Johnson controller and use it as a kegerator and as a fermentation chamber.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:24 AM   #3
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The stick on thermometers are pretty accurate. What they read won't be too far off from what is inside. They've been used for a long time by a lot of people for a reason.

As for the other beer, I can't tell you, but I've had beer push limits of temp while conditioning and it has been fine. I know, during this part of the year it is tough and it can wreak havoc on your fermentation, but just give that beer a bit more time. It might just need some more time in the bottles.

The most important part of your fermentation will be the first few days. Then it matters less, but you still want to avoid temps too high. Get as many 2 liter to gallon jugs as you can to act as your temp controls and see what you can do. But most of all, relax, it will all end up ok.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:27 AM   #4
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Actually the ambient temperature in the room is probably higher than the stick on thermometer. My brewing buddy and I have both performed experiments on the wort inside the bucket and it reads exactly what is on the stick-on.

As for bringing down the temps...keep doing what you are doing but soak a T-shirt in the tub water and drape it over your fermentor and then blow a fan directly on it - and I mean directly on it. Not across the top but get that fan blowing on the top of that bucket. I tried it on an active Wee Heavy (1.110) fermentation that was going VEWRY vigorously at 73 on the inside and dropped it to 66. I wasn't using ice in the tub so you could probably get better than 7 degrees. I have read that others have gotten better than that with this method.

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Old 08-05-2008, 07:53 AM   #5
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It's a carboy, not a bucket, and I do have a wet towel on it.

Don't have a fan, though. Maybe I'll borrow one from work...
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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My apartment was 105 degrees inside... my modified 60qt Igloo cooler water temp.... 50 degrees.

I have the carboy sitting inside it and the cooler 1/2 filled with water and every morning I check the temp and swap out a 2liter soda bottle that I froze the night before. I've even gotten, like I said, down to 50 degrees.. so I've had to 1/2 fill the bottles and then freeze them to help moderate the temps.


I don't have the exact link but if you do a search you will find the plans. I could take pics of mine if you wanted.

Igloo cooler = 25$
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:13 PM   #7
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=75147

A guy in this thread has done what I have and so many others with the Igloo.

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Old 08-05-2008, 11:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BADS197 View Post
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=75147

A guy in this thread has done what I have and so many others with the Igloo.

It really works well- I can even lager in it in the winter in my basement and I use it for ales during the hot summers. It's not hot here this summer, so I haven't needed it, but it's ready to go when I start my next lager.

(By the way, I'm not a guy.................)
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tankard View Post
I had the same problem here in California. I broke down and bought a 5 cubic foot kegerator. I'm going to buy a Johnson controller and use it as a kegerator and as a fermentation chamber.
Yeah, I bought a small closeout fridge and a controller and IT ROCKS. Set it at 65F or whatever you want.
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