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High Fermentation Temp

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nbrower

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Hey, I'm a new brewer doing a little research before starting my first batch.

My apartment is on the top floor, and it gets fairly hot up there in the summer. It seems like many yeasts are supposed to be used at 70-75 degrees. Yet, my room is much hotter than that during the day, perhaps even reaching 90, I'm not sure. How will this affect my brew, and is there any high temperature yeast? Anybody have any suggestions? Thank you so much.
 

Kephren

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It will still ferment, but you will get some 'off' flavors similar to banana or clove. It won't harm the beer, and if you don't mind the flavors, then that's good. There aren't any 90 degree yeasts that I'm aware of. There is a thread on homemade fermentation chillers that you might be interrested in. When I brewed in my last home, the temps got pretty warm. I combated this by wrapping a wet towell around the carboy and aiming a fan at it. This kept the brew about 10 degrees cooler. I had to re-wet the towell often. You could also set the fermenter in a tub of shallow water with a towell wrapped around it, leaving the end of the towell in the water... then it will wick up the water constantly.
 

SwAMi75

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Piggybacking on Kephren's suggestion, you can also add ice, ice packs, bottles of frozen water, etc. to the pan you set your fermenter in. Then it'll have even cooler water to wick from.

Welcome to the forum!
 

hekman

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One solution that I've read a lot about but have not had the need to use (I have a dark, dank basement) is to soak a t-shirt in cold water, drape it around your fermenter and have the top of your carboy come out through the neck hole. Then, put your fermenter in a laundry sink and/or a tray of water so that the bottom of the t-shirt sits in the water and soaks it up...Make sure you change the water and t-shirt regularly (every few days) so that you don't start to grow mold!
 

brewhead

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i have 4 carboys - three large rubbermaid tubs - two per tub - the third tub is for the primary. i fill them 3/4 full - place two carboys in each tub. i've saved all the one gallon milk jugs and water jugs and frozen water in them NOTE: don't fill them all the way - maybe about 2/3 rds the way and don't cap them. then take a jug out in the morning and place it in each tub with a cap on each morning or as weather demands.

i know this sounds like a lot of work but once you get a system down it's no big. i'll prob do this until i bring air conditioning to the brewery/barn. i have a system - just need to duct and wire up. sounds like a great winter project.

but the water tubs/ice packs works. i can maintain 75° fairly well....yes it's not 72° whihc would be o[timal - but i haven't tasted any differances for the 3 degrees of diff.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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the high temps can give you estery, phenolic type flavors in your brews. fermentation will probably be a lot faster at those temps too?

like all have said above, i used to set my primary/secondary in my brew kettle, add water to it. i'd drape a towel or t-shirt around the carboy to where the end is in the water. i'd put a timer on a fan and aim it to the kettle/carboy. the towel helps whick the water up as the fan blows on it, and it does help keep the temp down. just check the water level frequently.

all mentioned are good, easy ideas for lowering your ferm temps.
 
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nbrower

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Thanks for all of the suggestions.

As luck might have it, I found a minifridge at a friend's house that is not being used. It seems like just the perfect size for my carboy. The only obstacle is that the lowest temperature setting is about 45 degrees. I found a bunch of thermostat controllers and things from some brewing websites that you can hook up to your fridge to get the temperature you want, but they are expensive (over $50).

I was thinking, that I could just take apart the thermostat in the fridge right now, and modify it so that it would be less sensitive. I'd then experimentally determine where to set it in order to get the coldness I want.
 

vtfan99

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If you do decide to go the thermostat controller route, go to www.controlsdepot.com. On the left side of the page, click New User (takes you to their shopping section). Now type "Ranco ETC" in the search box. They sell a two stage controller (heating and cooling) for 58 bucks, which isnt too bad. They used to sell a single stage (which is what I have) for about 40 bucks. You have to wire it yourself, which is pretty simple (just follow the diagram). When checking out they may ask for a business name....just make one up....I did. It was never questioned.
 
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