Brewing in Southern California

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brewshki

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Has anyone had any experience brewing in warmer climates? where I am from, it can be really hot all year round and I am pretty worried about being able to control the temp so my beer can get a good shot at fermenting correctly. Any advice would be welcome. I don't want to spend a lot of money but if anyone could give me an estimate of what i am likely to get into, that would be great.
 

Singletrack

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Has anyone had any experience brewing in warmer climates? where I am from, it can be really hot all year round and I am pretty worried about being able to control the temp so my beer can get a good shot at fermenting correctly. Any advice would be welcome. I don't want to spend a lot of money but if anyone could give me an estimate of what i am likely to get into, that would be great.
Party tub and frozen bottles of water.
 

Thesomeguy

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I live in Southern California (high desert) and use a chest freezer with temp control for fermentation. You can find a freezer for 100-200. Temp controllers range from 30-150 depending on how you do it.


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brewshki

brewshki

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I live in Southern California (high desert) and use a chest freezer with temp control for fermentation. You can find a freezer for 100-200. Temp controllers range from 30-150 depending on how you do it.


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Very cool, close by. That's what I've been hearing. I was just hoping that that was a common thing. Those are also the prices I have been able to find. I was hoping to not get so deep into it, but you gotta spend your money somewhere right? Might as well be fun.
 
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It's hot here a lot too. I started out with a swamp cooler and it got to be a PITA. Got a 7cf chest freezer with Johnson controllers. Sure it costs more but almost fool proof. You should be able to find a chest freezer cheap on craigslist.
 

Konadog

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I live in SoCal also, and my first few batches were set in a party bucket with frozen blocks of ice. It worked, but is a pain to change out ice twice a day. If you can't find a chest freezer, look for a small dorm refrigerator and take the door off, build a small box to bolt it to, that's what I did and still use.
 

dkevinb

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I'm in Newport Beach. It got a little hot this summer. I use swamp coolers with a T-shirt around the fermenter and a fan blowing on them. When it gets too hot I add frozen 2-liter water bottles to the cooler. It's not that difficult to swap water bottles a couple of times a day. I'm seriously thinking about converting a small fridge, though.
 

SuliBrew

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One word of advice, go with the 12 cuft if you can. esp if you plan to ferment and serve out of the same keezer. I just put mine together with a 7cuft and cannot serve and ferment at the same time because of space without building a collar. My neighbor also brews and does not temp control, but keeps in a cool room in his house. in winter, real easy. just use an unheated room and that should keep ambient temp in the upper 50s low 60s. PM if you need help wiring the controller.
 

JonW

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One word of advice, go with the 12 cuft if you can. esp if you plan to ferment and serve out of the same keezer. I just put mine together with a 7cuft and cannot serve and ferment at the same time because of space without building a collar. My neighbor also brews and does not temp control, but keeps in a cool room in his house. in winter, real easy. just use an unheated room and that should keep ambient temp in the upper 50s low 60s. PM if you need help wiring the controller.
You ferment and serve your beer at the same temperature?
 

frettfreak

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I live in Southern California (high desert) and use a chest freezer with temp control for fermentation. You can find a freezer for 100-200. Temp controllers range from 30-150 depending on how you do it.


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What he said. I can tell you if you watch craigslist, you can get some awesome deals on chest freezers. I got mine for $80 (7.9 cu ft) and made a temp controller for around $30. I dont know what your definition of "spending a lot" is, but that was the best $110 i have spent in my brewing adventures by a MILE.

BTW.. thesomeguy... i am in Apple Valley! :mug:
 

frettfreak

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Most people don't want to ferment and serve from the same keezer. You ferment most ales 60-68 and you serve 36-46. It's going to be pretty hard keeping them both at the optimum temperatures.
I tried to figure this one out and even attempted to see if i could make something work with one freezer for both. Its just not possible. Unless you enjoy warmer beer anyway. Once your fermenting, there is just not a way to keep your finished beer cold.
 

SuliBrew

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Most people don't want to ferment and serve from the same keezer. You ferment most ales 60-68 and you serve 36-46. It's going to be pretty hard keeping them both at the optimum temperatures.
I pretty much had an octoberfest in mind when putting together my keezer. Thought it would be nice to be able to lager and serve at the same time. but those plans didn't really work out but I do like the compact nature of the 7cuft.
 

jbaysurfer

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On craigslist, if there's any college anywhere near by, you can get smaller kegerator sized fridges for dirt cheap when school gets out. 30-40 bucks. Make one a kegerator and one a fermenter.

I use a chest freezer, but it's not mandatory that you use a chest freezer. Any fridge will do.
 

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