Fermentation Temp Control Question

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HossTheGreat

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Lately, I've been fermenting most of my ales around 66-68 degrees....meaning, I set my temp controller between 66-68. Now, I know that fermentation can cause the temp of the wort to be nearly 10 degrees higher than ambient. So my question is, say you want to ferment at 68 degrees, do you set your controller lower or just at 68?
 

TimWeber

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Are you using a controller to monitor temperature, and if so are you using a thermistor (probe that came with the controller). If so what I do is mount the thermistor to the outside of my glass fermenter using bungee cord and and put a blanket between the sensor and the bungee. This still will not give you the reading of the beer inside the fermenter. You will have to offset it a bit with trial and error depending on your set up.

Alternatively you can purchase a thermowell that protrudes into the fermenting beer, and place the thermister in the socket. I have no experience with this, but I would imagine they still would not give you absolute temperature, as there would be some temperature loss between the core of the beer and the sensor.

Not knowing your set up, or ambient conditions, and assuming you have your fermenter in a fridge I would guess that you would have to set the temp lower during high krausen and then increase as the krausen settles.

But honestly, I would relax and not worry. I would set the temp to 66 and forget about it, experiment with the beer and see what works for your set up. If it's overly fruity/estery lower the temp next time.
 
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HossTheGreat

HossTheGreat

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Actually, I use a Johnson analog controller. Generally I just tape the probe to the side of the carboy or bucket and set the controller to 68. Now that you mention it, I seem to recall a podcast of Brew Strong where Jamil says to cover the probe with something to insulate it. I guess I should start doing that as well.
 

JamieT

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I am typically fermenting 10-30 gallons at any given time.. I bought one of the infrared thermometers to spot check each carboy during the process.. Usually I will have to back the temp down quite a bit early on to maintain a surface temp on the carboy ~63.. As the process slows down I bump it back up a touch..
 

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