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Chest Freezer Temps in Winter

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MrOrange

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Hello,

So I made my first lager this past Friday which is a Vienna lager that I decoction mashed. Everything on brew day went perfect considering I had never done a decoction. I chilled to 50F and put in the chest freezer set at 50F and fermentation started in around 12 hrs. The temps where I live were in the mid 50's throughout the weekend so I felt comfortable that my chest freezer wouldn't have any issue getting too cold in my garage. I woke up this morning and the temps outside had dropped to like 25F and to make things worse I left my garage door open all night. Does anyone think that this will cause an issue with my beer? I was thinking of running home on lunch and adding a light bulb to the chest freezer to try and keep the temps up. Anyone have any input of better ideas? I am just hoping I haven't screwed up my first lager.
 

scoundrel

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Hello,

So I made my first lager this past Friday which is a Vienna lager that I decoction mashed. Everything on brew day went perfect considering I had never done a decoction. I chilled to 50F and put in the chest freezer set at 50F and fermentation started in around 12 hrs. The temps where I live were in the mid 50's throughout the weekend so I felt comfortable that my chest freezer wouldn't have any issue getting too cold in my garage. I woke up this morning and the temps outside had dropped to like 25F and to make things worse I left my garage door open all night. Does anyone think that this will cause an issue with my beer? I was thinking of running home on lunch and adding a light bulb to the chest freezer to try and keep the temps up. Anyone have any input of better ideas? I am just hoping I haven't screwed up my first lager.
If it drops into the 40's it will be fine assuming you made a good sized starter. Fermenting in a garage is tricky due to the temp swings. Get a small space heater to warm up the garage above fermentation temps. That way if you have temperature swings at least it will be above lager fermentation temps.
 
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MrOrange

MrOrange

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I had a 3L starter so I am hoping everything is going to be fine. I guess I'll move my heater into the garage and see what happens. Just hope it didn't get to cold and put the yeast to sleep......
 
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I think you need a heat source in the freezer if it will be in the garage all winter. Do you have a temp controller?

I've found that mine rarely kicks in during the winter, but it does kick in occasionally. Usually after a few days of really cold weather. Better safe than sorry.
 
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MrOrange

MrOrange

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Yeah I was planning on doing something like what EdWort does. I think he just hangs a light bulb in his freezer to keep the temps up. I have a Johnson temp controller that my freezer is plugged into but that doesn't help with my heating issue. I wonder if the insulation on my freezer was enough to keep it within fermentation temp ranges last night. We shall see
 

bmac

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If you have a dual stage temp controller the best thing to do would be to use a fermwrap on the fermentation vessel to heat things up so you can stay within your chosen ferm temp range. If you don't have a dual stage then the light bulb trick should work.
 
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MrOrange

MrOrange

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Well I did a lot of worrying for nothing. I went home on lunch and the beer is still bubbling along just fine. I did go ahead and install a light bulb in the freezer just to avoid any huge temp swings but other than that I think eveything will turn out fine. Thanks for all of the feedback.
 

schristian619

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I just started doing the light bulb thing. My garage gets cold at night and I was having trouble keeping ale temps in the chest freezer without it dropping down to the 50s. I added a 40watt light and its been constant 66F since.
 
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