Hard to keep temps. during Fermentation.

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ChefBrew

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I live in S. California. It's pretty warm in my area and has continuously been between 85 and 95 degrees F. Although I have a cellar, it seems to always be at 80 degrees (haven't checked after 9pm), even in the middle of the day. In order to regulate the temp. on my brew, I have been using an Ice bath, with not a whole lot of ice, just to regulate and keep the temp. in the proper average. I do work with yeast often and know that it doesn't die until about 110 degrees, but thats baking yeast. Is there a difference?

Does it sound like I have a fighting chance to make some good brew?
If the temp. stays around 80 degrees, am I toast?
 

Reno Homebrewer

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Higher temps will cause off-flavors. To use your ice bath effectively, try putting a t-shirt over your carboy, and let a fan blow onto it. Basically, you are making a swamp cooler, and it should work wonders for you.
 

Livin_in_the_Sun

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I live in AZ where it was around 107 today. I wrap my fermenter in a towel. I put it in a cooler filled half-way up with water. Each morning I put a frozen 2 liter soda bottle filled with water, into the water bath. I don't use a fan. My house is usually at 80 degrees. Doing it this way, I never have a problem keeping my temps at 65-70. Just switch out the water bottle out every morning and you shouldn't have a problem.
 

ArcaneXor

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For best results, a temp-controlled fridge is the ideal solution. Since many of us don't have the space or money for one, there are several other methods available:

Best: Converting a picnic cooler. I used these instructions (with a styrofoam lid) with extremely good results. It allows perfect ale fermentations with ambient room temps around 80 degrees. On the inside, fill the cooler partially with cold water (as an additional temperature buffer), and add ice, frozen water bottles, etc as needed to maintain stable temperatures. For normal ales, two frozen 16-oz water bottles a day usually do the trick.

Good: swamp cooler, as described elsewhere in this thread. May not be sufficient to reach ideal fermentation temps when ambient temps are significantly higher. I haven't tried this (I have had a fan catch fire overnight while making beef jerky, so I don't trust those things any more).

Fair: Open ice/water bath with a wet t-shirt (i.e. no fan). Can drop the temperature of the carboy by a couple of degrees compared to ambient, depending on humidity. I have used this in the past, but it really wasn't sufficient for the spring/summer/fall climate here in in north central Florida.
 

AndrwHock

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A word of encouragement. I just brewed an IPA that I had to leave alone for a few days. When I got back the temp read at 88 degrees. About a week later, I racked to secondary and took a taste and there wasn't really any noticeable off flavor other than it being a green beer. You might certainly have some luck at those higher temps like I did, but you might want to think about putting your fermenter in a co0ld water bath to keep it down if possible. Happy brewing :)
 
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