Temperature Control Questions

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Darwin18

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I'm going to be brewing an Extra Pale Ale and with recent temperatures in the 90's, temperature is my main concern. I'm going to place the carboy in a rubber maid container with cooled water in the guest bath tub. I figure I can put in a ice pack in the morning and swap it out with another at night to try to keep the temperatures in the mid 60's.

My main question is how long do I need to keep this up? I generally leave my beer in primary for three to four weeks and then bottle. Also, do my bottles need to be kept in a cooled environment? I'm not going to leave them to condition in my hot garage but I was hoping a room temperature closet would do.
 

Revvy

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Many of us use a simple swamp cooler like this...



In answer to your question, the most crucial time for temp control is in the first few hours..I usually recommmend the first 72 hours or so.
 
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Darwin18

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That's similar to what I have planned. So the first 72 or so hours is the most critical time for temperature control? After that point I can let it sit at ambient temperature?
 

Revvy

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That's similar to what I have planned. So the first 72 or so hours is the most critical time for temperature control? After that point I can let it sit at ambient temperature?
Leave it in your water bath after that, even without the ice it will be cooler than the ambient temps for awhile, plus the water will even out any major temp shifts.....
 

EricCSU

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Here is a thread that will answer some logisitics questions. If you read the whole thread, I experiment with a few things and had success. The beer turned out great too!

Eric
 

carl spakler

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I just skimmed that thread and saw nothing about time to keep the cooler active. Did I miss it? I recently brewed and kept my fermenter chilled this way for 2+ weeks, might have been overkill but it was easy enough to keep swapping frozen bottles in the tub every day.


I asked this in another thread but saw no reply: Do people put anything (sanitizer for example) in the cooler water to prevent anything bad from growing?
 
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Darwin18

Darwin18

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Good thread EricCSU but I'm didn't see how any ideas for how long I should keep the temperatures under this control. Its not that hard to swap bottles twice a day so I could keep it up until its ready for bottling but I'm not sure if I want to press my gf's patience that far...

Carl spakler: I was going to put some star san in the cooler water to try to keep stuff from growing in there.
 

Homercidal

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I just did this for the first time. My IPA in a bucket with water all around and a few frozen Mt Dew bottles twice a day. The temps seem sto be reading pretty steady at around 62. Not positive my thermometer is entirely accurate, but I got plans to get a new one soon. The beer smells good though!
 

Brewin_CRAZY

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Its a tough call, having to put iced water bottles in there daily is a pain. I would say try to keep your temp high enough (65-70) to cruze through primary fermentation, rack into a secondary and put it in the coldest part of your house, basement if you have one. Or find a good closet ideally with a concrete floor, the concrete will act as a heat sink to help keep your fermentor cold. Im lucky enough to have a house that manages to keep pretty cool (75 or lower FV stays around 70) even on the hot days so I just choose a good closet and forget about it for a while.
 

Revvy

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I just skimmed that thread and saw nothing about time to keep the cooler active. Did I miss it? I recently brewed and kept my fermenter chilled this way for 2+ weeks, might have been overkill but it was easy enough to keep swapping frozen bottles in the tub every day.


I asked this in another thread but saw no reply: Do people put anything (sanitizer for example) in the cooler water to prevent anything bad from growing?
Good thread EricCSU but I'm didn't see how any ideas for how long I should keep the temperatures under this control. Its not that hard to swap bottles twice a day so I could keep it up until its ready for bottling but I'm not sure if I want to press my gf's patience that far...

Carl spakler: I was going to put some star san in the cooler water to try to keep stuff from growing in there.
I think I answered the "how long was crucial here.....

In answer to your question, the most crucial time for temp control is in the first few hours..I usually recommend the first 72 hours or so.
It's not a bad idea to put something in the water, a little bleach or starsan...it is going to be sitting idle after all, and all manner of stuff could fall, crawl in, so having sanitizer in there won't hurt, and can only help.....
 

kevmoron

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Temperature is most crucial through to the late krausen stage of fermentation. Basically this means that you want it to be cool and consistent until you are very close to your FG.

After that, a warmer temperature won't be as big of a problem, but this is a situation where you might want to consider a secondary fermenter after a week or so, if you want to stop maintaining the low temp after that point. If it is still sitting on the yeast cake when it gets really hot, that can really stress out the yeast and make them do weird things to the beer.
 

Revvy

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"I usually recommend 72 hours" is not confident sounding enough for you???:confused:

That was only the third time yesterday I answered the question, and you were the first one to question it....heck in the couple hundred times I've answerd..you are only the first one that questioned the "confidence" of my answer. :D
 

carl spakler

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"I usually recommend 72 hours" is not confident sounding enough for you???:confused:
In the business world "usually recommend" means I am taking a stab without having done the analysis to back up a solid action plan. ;) Usually means there are exceptions to this rule. Perhaps if you clarified when you would *not* use that 72 hour rule it might be better. :mug:
 

sgtturmeric

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I don't have much experience (5 extract batches) but I've used the water bath method recommended in various threads here on my last two batches. I swap frozen water bottles a few times a day.

My primary fermenter sits in my kitchen (2 bedroom apt) with my son's high chair sitting in front/on top of it. I don't put any kind of antiseptic into the water bath, and my son regularly drops cheerios into there. I haven't had any problems with unwanted growths yet :)

The temp strip on the outside of my bucket sits around 68-71 usually. What I'm wondering is: how does this relate to the temperature inside the bucket? I've read that it can be up to 10 degrees_F hotter inside, which kind of freaks me out. When that happens I of course RDWHAHB.
 

Schnitzengiggle

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I use a 70 qt coleman xtreme ice chest with water, I usually fill it and throw a couple frozen bottles of water in it and point a small fan at it to get the water temps down the day before, or the morning of brew day.

The water comes up to about the 4.5 gallon mark on my buckets when completely full, and I can fit two of the fermenters in it at a time.

I try to get the water temps down to at least 65, but usually start at around 62-63 when I place my fermenters in. After fermentation begins, I usually just rely on the fan, my house is air conditioned and I keep the stat at about 78, and with the fan blowing on my swamp cooler the temps usually stick around 64-65, even at the peak of fermentation.

Like I said my stat is 78, so usually the rooms will be around 76 ambient. With 90 degree temps like you have, depending on your cooling situation, you will definitely need to trade out water bottles often, even more so if you home has an evaporative cooler, the humidity makes the ice melt quick.

As Revvy states 72 hours are the most critical, but I keep my temps in the 65 degree range for the month or so I primary. The only exception would be a belgian, I would allow that to rise to room temp 76-78 to get the funky/fruity flavors required.
 

Revvy

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In the business world "usually recommend" means I am taking a stab without having done the analysis to back up a solid action plan. ;) Usually means there are exceptions to this rule. Perhaps if you clarified when you would *not* use that 72 hour rule it might be better. :mug:
Well, we're not in the business world, we're in the brewing world, which uses normal English not that linguistic dance around crap they do like the stuff found in The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary

(Hmmm, I wonder if "solid action plan" is in there.) :mug:

In MY WORLD (I'm also a published author,) when asked this question, "I usually recommend....." means, in other words, "that's the usual answer I give....." :D

Plus the fact that I put a picture of my swamp cooler must have given you a clue that I knew what the hell I was talking about.;)
 

Zenman

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Plus the fact that I put a picture of my swamp cooler must have given you a clue that I knew what the hell I was talking about.
or the fact that you have almost 14,000 posts to your name, not that you answer any questions or anything ever... ... ... You are always a wealth of knowledge and willing to help the newly initiated.

To the OP I personally keep the cool down going until I bottle, just don't like the idea of temp fluctuation, figure no harm no foul. But many here agree that it is only needed during the main fermentation phase which can vary and only a hydrometer reading would let you know when that is done. Since I'd rather not pop the top and take the reading, i just keep it cool the whole 3 weeks i keep in primary (unless i found it wasn't done fermenting at that point, but i have not run into a stuck fermentation yet...)
 

carl spakler

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In MY WORLD (I'm also a published author,) when asked this question, "I usually recommend....." means, in other words, "that's the usual answer I give....." :D

Plus the fact that I put a picture of my swamp cooler must have given you a clue that I knew what the hell I was talking about.;)

1) Say what you mean and don't dance around the issue, being published means nothing to me.
2) A picture means nothing on the interweb.
 

conpewter

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or the fact that you have almost 14,000 posts to your name, not that you answer any questions or anything ever... ... ... You are always a wealth of knowledge and willing to help the newly initiated.

To the OP I personally keep the cool down going until I bottle, just don't like the idea of temp fluctuation, figure no harm no foul. But many here agree that it is only needed during the main fermentation phase which can vary and only a hydrometer reading would let you know when that is done. Since I'd rather not pop the top and take the reading, i just keep it cool the whole 3 weeks i keep in primary (unless i found it wasn't done fermenting at that point, but i have not run into a stuck fermentation yet...)
I keep the carboy cool for the whole primary as well. I use a chest freezer and temp probe though. More money up front but so easy to set and forget.
 

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