keeping ferm temp consistant in winter

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GrizzlyRed

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hi all,
I searched and found a couple of things but thought I would ask directly. Pardon my impatience.
I live in Colorado and my basement temp is sitting around 60 degrees. I am afraid it will get even colder when winter really settles in. Obviously, I need to raise that fermentation temp. My questions: I know that the fermentation process produces some of it's own heat, would raising the bucket off the ground and putting a blanket around it get the temp raised enough? Do I have to raise the temp of the secondary? Would a "Brew Belt" help? Can I use a regular heating pad without any risk? Is there a way to raise the temp of bottle conditioning without using a space heater 24 hours a day?

Thanks in advance!
 

Yooper

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hi all,
I searched and found a couple of things but thought I would ask directly. Pardon my impatience.
I live in Colorado and my basement temp is sitting around 60 degrees. I am afraid it will get even colder when winter really settles in. Obviously, I need to raise that fermentation temp. My questions: I know that the fermentation process produces some of it's own heat, would raising the bucket off the ground and putting a blanket around it get the temp raised enough? Do I have to raise the temp of the secondary? Would a "Brew Belt" help? Can I use a regular heating pad without any risk? Is there a way to raise the temp of bottle conditioning without using a space heater 24 hours a day?

Thanks in advance!
I've got the answer to every one of your questions! It's "maybe". If the fermentation is very active, it may bring up the temperature. A brewbelt might help. A heating pad might work, etc.

What I'm doing at the moment is trying to use yeast that like those cooler temperatures. I'm also using my ice cube cooler, putting my fermenter and some water into it (that helps insulate a lot) and then an aquarium heater if needed. I haven't had great luck with a space heater- it's like the room is too big to get the fermenter warm enough. In a smaller room, that might work great.

I've heard of some people that were able to rig a fermentation chamber with styrofoam and a light bulb, and some have done ok with a brew belt. I think there is definitely more than one way to get this to work.
 

schweaty

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I know that the fermentation process produces some of it's own heat, would raising the bucket off the ground and putting a blanket around it get the temp raised enough? Depends on the yeast. Always check the manufacturers website and find out what the suggested fermentation temps are. I doubt a bucket and blanket will make that much of a difference in Colorado.

Do I have to raise the temp of the secondary? Generally the secondary should be kept at the same temps as the primary when making ales. Consistant temps are vital in making the best possible beer you can. Lagers are much different because you have to decrease the temps gradually each day. Lager yeast IS different than ale yeast.

Would a "Brew Belt" help? Yes, when used in conjunction with a temp controller they are pretty effective. It's like an electric blanket for your beer! NORTHERN BREWER: Fermentation Temperature Control

Is there a way to raise the temp of bottle conditioning without using a space heater 24 hours a day? 70 degrees is ideal for bottle conditioning. I'd say find a closet or some area in your warm home for this. SWMBO won't mind because there will be no smell, just the eye sore :) You can condition lower but they lower the temp the longer to carb. As YooperBrew says, "If I'm comfortable so is my beer" :)
 

thakoolaidkid

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I am in CT and the winters definitely get cold. I did temp measurements in a few spots and decided on the furnace room which stays about 65-70 when the heat is on; which will be until March :).

But at night the temp does drop to about 60 when the heat slows. I went out and picked up a radiator style portable heater that has programmable temp. The room is now a steady 70 at all times and I haven't notice much of an increase on my electric bill. I would also like to pick up a belt for my bucket but at the moment this works pretty well and helps keep the rest of the basement quite warm.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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I a having the same issues here (Louisville,KY) but only off by 2-4 degrees. The ale was setting around 66, and the yeast apparently wanted a little warmer.

I temporarily solved my problem by filling a Igloo "Cube" cooler with warm water (about 74) and placed the carboy in it and covered it with a blanket. It leveled out at 70.
 

Grinder12000

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HA - I switched from White Labs to Wyeast which all seem to have a lower temp.

Also - SO FAR - I've been pitching at 74 and by the time fermentation starts it's cooled off to 70. My goal is to get it active to heat itself and maybe wrap a thick towel around it to hold the heat.

My basement is at 61 now for the last week! This is my first winter with this basement (house actually).

I keep seeing people talk about lager but I feel lagering is less to do with fermentation but what needs to be done after that. Just how many 6g carboys can you hold in DIY freezer.
 
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