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Controlling Ambient Temperature

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xinunix

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I am a beginner brewing extract ales. I live in the south east and it is starting to warm up outside pretty quickly, got up into the 80s yesterday. Ambient temperature in my house jumped up to 75, turned on the air to bring it down to 72 but that is likely where it will have to stay as I just can't afford to keep my house at 68 for the sake of the beer (much to my dismay).

I have an Irish Red in the second week of fermentation, still in the primary bucket in a dark closet off of the back of my house. It looks like the ambient temp in that closet is going to hang around 72. I would assume most people that homebrew don't go to extremes to moderate ambient temperature and that most people keep their homes in the low 70s. But then again I have been bitten by the bug for sure and find the urge to spend more money on this hobby hard to resist. I am wondering what others do (the cheaper the better) to regulate fermentation temps, or if I even need to be worrying about it at 72?

I have heard about people putting primary buckets in water baths but it seems like it would be difficult to keep the temperature regulated that way?

Any advice and wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

blackwaterbrewer

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i have used the water method before and it worked pretty well. i think it dropped it a few degrees. if i remeber correctly, i think i put some ice in it every couple days to keep the water temp colder than the air. there are some pictures on HBT of a sweet conditioning cabinet that the guy made out of a small fridge and some foam insulation board if you want to spend some money! do a search and see if you can find the pictures. pretty nice set-up.
 

BarleyWater

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The swamp cooler is the bucket of water method your talking about. Unless you find a way to keep the fermentation temps down, your beer isn't going to be as good as it can be. A few cheap methods to look for are the Swamp Cooler or the Son of a Fermentation Chiller, but a dorm fridge from craigslist and a thermostat from the homebrew store isn't too expensive if you consider the quality of beer it will help you make. Check the DIY section and you should be able to find plenty of examples.
 
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xinunix

xinunix

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If I was going to get a mini fridge, or a nicer fridge that can regulate the temps, does anyone have suggestions of models that will fit a 6.5 gallon bucket + fermentation lock and let me keep them temp at ~65, would prefer to go to the set and forget method if I am going to purchase something... Don't want a full size fridge, no room...
 
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