A couple of questions on first batch.

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Kizdeana

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Hey everyone -- I'm new here. A boyfriend of mine a couple years ago was a brewer, which piqued my interest, and I'm really excited to get started on my own. I'm a little nervous for my first batch (I keep telling my friends that I finally know what motherhood feels like. I'm planning my baby's name, and I can't wait to see it bubble for the first time, which I only assume is akin to a sonogram.), and have a couple of questions.

First off, I'm using a Mr. Beer. Yes, I understand that this is not the best way to do it, and that my beer won't be as wonderful and amazing as it would with some 5G hotness going on. Please understand that this is my first time, I'm hoping to turn this into a full-time hobby within the next 6 months, will upgrade accordingly, but please don't rant about how Mr. Beer sucks. I understand that.

1. Temperature regulation. Are there thermometers that I can buy that will help me make sure my beer is staying at the right temp? How often should I check the thermometer? If it gets too hot, how can I cool it off, and if it gets too cold, how should I heat it up? I live all of 10 minutes away from Northern Brewer, so if there's supplies that will help me, at least they'll be easily accessible.

2. I'm moving in about 3 weeks. Can I (carefully) move the beer mid-fermentation, or should I just wait to start until after I move for fear of hurting my baby? I'm just moving down the street, so it wouldn't be a cross-country expedition, but I'm still concerned.

Thanks everyone for your help! I've read a lot of the forums so far, and am getting absolutely excited to get started.
 

SumnerH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
2,057
Reaction score
44
Location
Alexandria, VA, USA
1. Temperature regulation. Are there thermometers that I can buy that will help me make sure my beer is staying at the right temp? How often should I check the thermometer? If it gets too hot, how can I cool it off, and if it gets too cold, how should I heat it up?

I live all of 10 minutes away from Northern Brewer, so if there's supplies that will help me, at least they'll be easily accessible.
Get a stick-on Fermometer at NB for $3. NORTHERN BREWER: Thermometers

Check it in the morning and at night for the first couple of days until you're sure the location you put it in isn't fluctuating.

The best way to control temperature is to find a spot in the house that's close to a good temp. If you have the time, fill your fermentor with water and set it where you think you'll be putting it when you ferment. Let it sit 24 hours and check the temp. If it's too hot or too cold, see if you can find a better spot.

You'll want the water about 3-5F cooler than the target temperature, since fermenting generates some heat.

Once you're going, if it's too hot you can put the fermentor in a pan full of cool water and drape a towel or (ideally) old t-shirt over it (with the bottom of the cloth in the water) to act as an evaporative cooler (search this board for "swamp cooler"). If it's too cool, you can try wrapping it in blankets but that won't help too much; there are plug-in fermwraps and brew belts available from NB.


2. I'm moving in about 3 weeks. Can I (carefully) move the beer mid-fermentation, or should I just wait to start until after I move for fear of hurting my baby? I'm just moving down the street, so it wouldn't be a cross-country expedition, but I'm still concerned.
It should be fine, if you brew this weekend it'll be close to fermented out before then; once that happens, you just need to keep it between, say, 32F and 80F. Ideally you'd keep it around 70-75F for a couple of weeks after primary, but a little blip won't hurt much after primary fermentation is over.
 

Clonefarmer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
9
Location
Springfield, MA
1) Fermometer The temp can be adjust by using a water bath. Usually just putting the fermenter in the right place is enough.

2) 3 weeks should be enough time to brew and bottle.You can move the fermenter if needed, just cover it with something if taking it out during the day.
 

SumnerH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
2,057
Reaction score
44
Location
Alexandria, VA, USA
Note: If you have a basement they often have decent stability in temperature. I can get a stable 61F in the corner up to about 67F near the water heater.
 

Nurmey

I love making Beer
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
3,970
Reaction score
37
Location
Omaha, NE
Welcome to HBT!

There is a stick on thermometer that should work on the side of Mr. Beer, however, I do not have experience so someone may have more insight. Anyone at Northern Brewer can direct you to the thermometer right away. Cooling can be done by putting your primary in a tub with water. I think Revvy has a picture of his Mr. Beer in his swamp cooler somewhere on here. It might be in the Mr. Beer thread but I'm not sure. In any case, he will probably be along soon.

Moving shouldn't be a big deal. It might stir up the trub a bit but that will settle back down in a few days. Try not to splash around the beer while moving or you could get some oxidation. I think you should be fine though.

edit: dang, you guys are fast today.
 
OP
K

Kizdeana

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Thanks much for the replies and advice. I'll go to NB today and pick up a fermometer.

I don't have a basement, but I do have a garage where no cars park, so I'm thinking that will be the best place for everything. Just have to cover up the windows, and I have my own little brewery.
 

SumnerH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
2,057
Reaction score
44
Location
Alexandria, VA, USA
I don't have a basement, but I do have a garage where no cars park, so I'm thinking that will be the best place for everything. Just have to cover up the windows, and I have my own little brewery.
How stable is the temperature? A place that averages the right temp but fluctuates +/-5 degrees is usually worse than a place that's stable but 5 degrees too warm.

I ask because garages usually aren't well insulated so the temperature varies a lot.

You can help stabilize it by putting the fermentor in a bucket of water (obviously don't cover the top of the fermentor or any vents it has), if you're doing this it's best to put the water in the fermentation location at least a day ahead of time.
 
Top