Fermentation Temperature Question

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chucke

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Does the recommended fermentation temperature refer to ambient temperature or the temp of the beer, which will be 5-10 higher than ambient?

I’m brewing a porter so ferment temp should be about 65 degrees. What should the ferm. refrigerator be set at?
 

ifishsum

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The temperature of the fermenting beer is what's important, at 65* ambient your beer will probably be over 70 at high krausen. I'd probably start the refrigerator at 65 for the first 12-24 hours (lag phase), then drop it down to the 60 range and keep an eye on the beer temperature. If you have one of those stick-on thermometer strips it helps.

As the active part of the fermentation starts slowing down, you might want to slowly raise the fridge temp back up a little. You'll probably notice that because the temp in the fermenter will drop a few degrees as it slows down.
 

corncob

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The temperature of the fermenting beer is what's important, at 65* ambient your beer will probably be over 70 at high krausen.
I have been fermenting in a ~70-degree closet. Does that mean my actual "fermentation temperature" is 75? I have had some off flavors (just finished drinking my second batch) that could be attributable to fermentation temp, I guess. And all 4 batches fermented out in 2 or 3 days with S-04. They did all lose a couple of gravity points over the following two or three weeks, though.

If that's the case, how do people get it done in the summer? My only extra fridge has a keg in it.
 

ChshreCat

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Swamp cooler!

(stealing Revvy's pic, but he won't mind)

and/or you switch to Belgian brews that like it a bit warmer. I'm making a saison this August.
 

Makeyermark

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I don't have air conditioning in my house, so in the hotter months I use a water bath to keep my beer at about 65 degrees F. Just fill a water tight container, big enough to hold your fermenter, with water and put your fermenter in there. I use a hard shell drum case for my water bath. Obviously you don't want to submerge the top of your fermentor. I drop a themometer in the water and if the water temp starts creeping up, I drop in a couple of gatoraid bottles filled with frozen water.
 

ifishsum

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I don't have air conditioning in my house, so in the hotter months I use a water bath to keep my beer at about 65 degrees F. Just fill a water tight container, big enough to hold your fermenter, with water and put your fermenter in there. I use a hard shell drum case for my water bath. Obviously you don't want to submerge the top of your fermentor. I drop a themometer in the water and if the water temp starts creeping up, I drop in a couple of gatoraid bottles filled with frozen water.
This is what I've been doing, and it works. You can kick it up a notch by putting an old T-shirt over the bucket or carboy so that the cold water wicks up and offers an extra evaporative cooling effect. Even if the water is only 6-8 inches deep it really helps to stabilize the temps. If it's hot I add a couple of frozen water bottles each morning and change them out fresh in the evening.
 
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