Bottle Conditioning, keeping em warm!

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Pyg

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I just finished my first week of bottle conditioning. I play to keep them there for 2 more weeks. However the issue I have is that my house is 63 degrees during the day, 68 during the hours we are home.
My basement is 59.
I have moved the beers to an upstairs closet (which shares a wall with the shower), covered in blankets, closed the doors, still 63 degrees.
I moved them to the dinning room floor and covered with blankets, still 63.
Last night I put them in a hallway closet that is next to the thermostat, which reads 68. I covered in 2 of the heaviest winter coats. I checked this morning and it was still 63.
Now Maybe I can get by as is, and just need patience. However my thought was If I require warmer weather and if I intend to continue to brew I will have this issue during the winter months. I know that SWMBO is not pleased with having a couple cases of beer draped in blankets strategically placed around our house.

I am trying to find a fix, where I can store the brews but keep them mildly warm. I realize that I can not keep something warmer than the temp of the room with out the use of a heating element.
I am not able to buy anything or construct anything, so aquarium heating units and tubs are out.

I have been advised to place the bottles infront a heat vent, however I have forced hot air and the temp would dip when the heat is off. and there are not many places or room where I could leave them sitting for 2 weeks.

My first thought was to place all the bottle in the furnace room where it will be warm, really warm when the furnace runs, but during the day when the heat is off they would drop down to the basement temp of 61 to 59.
Then I thought I have a huge igloo cooler. I could put all the bottles in and place that next to the furnace, this may keep the temp from swinging up and down and keep it constant, especially if I start by putting a bottle of warmed water in there to begin with.

I do have a small aquarium patch heater, which is meant to stick to glass. I could putt it all in the igloo and put the aquarium patch in there, but I would not want to do this for 2 weeks.

Anyone have any DIY ideas for warm temps during bottle conditioning?
Or should I just wait it out at 63 degrees and hope it carbonates properly?
But my thought, once again is what do I do next year around this time? I dont want to sacrifice brewing because I dont have proper bottle conditioning temps!
 

flars

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A light bulb in a tin can inside your cooler. A 20 watt bulb might do it. A trouble light, if you have one, with a 60 watt bulb inside a cardboard box, away from the flammable cardboard, or tote.
Give you any other ideas?
 

unionrdr

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They should be warmed up a little, at least 68F imo. Not sure about the stick-on heater? Never had them when I was breeding tropical fish. Maybe a good size box with a light bulb hanging in it to warm'em up?
 
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Pyg

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A light bulb in a tin can inside your cooler. A 20 watt bulb might do it. A trouble light, if you have one, with a 60 watt bulb inside a cardboard box, away from the flammable cardboard, or tote.
Give you any other ideas?
They should be armed up a little, at least 68F imo. Not sure about the stick-on heater? Never had them when I was breeding tropical fish. Maybe a good size box with a light bulb hanging in it to warm'em up?
My only issue is leaving a lightbulb on for a few weeks, which could potentially be a fire hazard. I want my beer to condition and carbed, but not at the expense of burning my house down.

I know when aging wine, bulk & bottle fluctuating temps can harm the wine and I assume that beer is the same.

The aquarium heater, for lizards I have been using as a replacement for my brew belt which went kaput. I had used it to keep a wine must a bit warmer during fermentation.
I guess if I put everything in a cooler, attached the heat pad to a glass bottle of water and put in the igloo cooler, cover in blankets. I might be able to get the inside temp warm.

Not sure....
:smack:

heat pad .jpg
 

wildactbrewer

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The top of my fridge and behind my freezer stays pretty warm from the condenser giving off heat. Might be a thought...
 
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JonM

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I don't think it'll matter a whole lot, and those beers will carb up just fine at 63.

Years ago, I kept my old bachelor pad WAY cooler than 63 when I wasn't home and I worried about bottle conditioning. So I brought a sixer to the office where it's always 70+. After a couple weeks, I tried a office-conditioned and a home-conditioned bottle side-by-side and they were identical in carbonation. Totally anecdotal, and YMMV, etc, but I bet your beers will be fine where they are.
 
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dcrog

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The higher they are the warmer the air temperature is in your home.

If you empty out one of the upper kitchen cabinets and fill it with the bottles I think you'll be good to go. :D

Or as good as gone when SWMBO sees it.
 

ArrogantDusty

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I was going to say the same thing. Consider even putting cases on top of the cabinets if they cannot be seen from the ground. If nothing else, the beer will carbonate eventually in colder temperatures. It will just take a longer period of time.

Alternatively, I have been frustrated because my bottles were taking too long (we keep our place at 66), so I turned it up to 75 while I was gone two days in a row. The night before those two days, I swirled all the bottles and then placed them upside down (I read to do that on this forum). They carbed up nice.
 
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Pyg

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I decided on a bench trial, of sorts.
I placed a beer in a small cooler, with a thermometer strip. Placed this cooler on a table 5 feet from my furnace.

I left one bottle sitting on a table, covered in some blankets in the basement.

Lastly I left the remainder of the bottles in the hallway closet, covered in heavy winter coats.

My thought is to find out which method will work. Therefore next winter I can brew and know where to store everything.

Thanks for all the help!
 

lazarwolf

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@dcrog that's exactly what I was going to say. At our new home the kitchen ceiling is maybe 10' the cabinets stop at 9'. Swmbo. Is to short to realize the top of the cabinets is covered with conditioning beer all along the wall. ... someday she'll look up from the dining room and my conditioning spot will be gone. ..
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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I have the same issue in my house. I condition in a utility closet with a small quartz heater ($20). I keep a thermometer inserted in a case of bottles. I check it periodically for a couple of days and adjust the thermostat on the heater until the thermometer reads consistently in the temp range I want.
 
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Pyg

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@dcrog that's exactly what I was going to say. At our new home the kitchen ceiling is maybe 10' the cabinets stop at 9'. Swmbo. Is to short to realize the top of the cabinets is covered with conditioning beer all along the wall. ... someday she'll look up from the dining room and my conditioning spot will be gone. ..
My young ones know where the step ladders are. They also like to construct ladders by placing boxes and stuff ontop of bar stools to rummage through the cabinets. They are of the belief that there is always candy hidden in the cabinets.
No matter how many times I tell them there is not, they will go into ninja-sleuth mode to look for non-existent candy.
Long story short (too late) they would move all my bottles!
 

YeastFeast

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I bottle my beer in my basement and that's also where I carb it (I don't want to have to haul 50 bottles up the stairs and find a dark place to put them). My basement is 63-65°F almost year round and they carb up just fine down there.
 

aopisa

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I brew 2 gallon batches. My house is cold. Maybe 64 during the day and high 50's at night. I have my bottles in a tub of water with a small submersible aquarium heater. I put a small amount of bleach in the water to keep it from getting funky. It generally keeps the bottles around 68-70. Now that we seem to be perpetually in the single digits and below zero the heater is struggling to keep the water at 64. Still, carbing and conditioning seem to go well.

The heater is only 15 watts with no temperature control. I am going to upgrade to a 25-50 watt controllable heater since I want to use it in fermenting some higher temperature Belgian styles in a few months.
 
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