Temperature Control

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jescholler

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I'm currently fermenting my 1st batch. My wife is complaining that we're wasting energy because I'm keeping our temperature constant at 67F. The recipe kit I used called for 64-74F. Normally, when we're not home or sleeping, we will turn our thermostat down to 60F and have it at 66F when we're home and awake. Since the beer needs to be above 64, we can't do that.

My question is, what does everyone here do for situations like this? Surely my wife isn't the only one to complain and ale yeast typically likes to be near 70F. I'm an electrical engineer, so I wouldn't mind designing a regulated thermal chamber...

Oh yeah, my basement temperature is about 60F this time of year, so using the basement without adding any heat is out of the question.
 

rsmith179

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I simply use a small space heater in the fruit cellar of our basement. Keeps the room at a perfect 70F with the built in thermometer. You should be fine without keeping the house temps at 70F though. The temperature inside your primary is actually a good 5-7F hotter than the ambient temps due to the heat released during fermentation. My first few batches were in the 60 degree basement and came out fine.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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Same problem here.
I am going to solve this very soon ! I think the easiest is the Son of a Mother Fermentation chamber (search the forums) combined with some heating/cooling elements. I am toying with the idea of making a peltier heater/cooler and placing it in the crawlspace (dry, easy to access, reasonably stable temps most of the year)
 

KingBrianI

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Your basement, at a constant 60 degrees, is perfect for many strains. The temperature guides on yeast packages are always just estimates, and many yeast strains can work happily below suggested temps. They will ferment a bit slower and you might want to bring them upstairs to finish, but that's where I'd be fermenting were I you.
 
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jescholler

jescholler

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To give everyone an update on this topic, I decided that for my next batch I will use a water bath to store my fermenter in (in the basement).

I've already purchased a large (~35 gallon) tote to store the water and an aquarium heater to keep the temperature where I need it.
Amazon.com: Jager 150 W Heater 13 inch UL Approved: Home & Garden

I'm currently using it to carbonate my bottles at 69F and it is rocking out. I'm very pleased. I thought that I might need some sort of a pump to circulate the water to keep the temperature constant throughout the tote. After testing it out, I found that a pump is not necessary and the temperature is within 1 degree F across the tote.
 
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emacgee

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Its also good to remember that the temperature of the liquid is going to be a few degrees higher than the ambient environment due to yeast activity etc...
 

histo320

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I do nothing.

Temp in my apt is always around 70F so I just put it in the corner, away from sunlight, and but a wind breaker over it to keep the light out, and it provides very little insulation.

When summer comes, i will have to concoct something to keep temps down.
 

remilard

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A very good and very easy (but not the cheapest) solution is a digital temperature controller and a mini fridge or small chest freezer and a heating pad or some other heat source.
 

jcarson83

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Your basement, at a constant 60 degrees, is perfect for many strains. The temperature guides on yeast packages are always just estimates, and many yeast strains can work happily below suggested temps. They will ferment a bit slower and you might want to bring them upstairs to finish, but that's where I'd be fermenting were I you.

+1 You might want to warm it up a bit to finish it off but 70 is too warm for most ale yeast IMO.
 

wilserbrewer

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Your basement, at a constant 60 degrees, is perfect for many strains.


+2, 60 degrees is a great temp. Most on here would love to be in your situation! IMO you are overthinking the situation when there is a simple solution...ferment in the basement. Ale yeast will give a nice clean profile at this temp. Nottingham of US-05 work great at 60.
 

Tonedef131

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Make lager...
lol this won't work.

60F ambient is actually pretty ideal for english and american ales. It might a little too warm for German ales since when the fermentation really gets rocking it can shoot up. It also could be too cool for Belgian strains to really shine. But you can do most ales just fine at that temp since I have monitored temps as high at 12 degrees higher than ambient. Just pitch at the low end of your yeast range and it will ramp up a few degrees as it gets going.

For example my garage stays 58-60 during the winter and now that it is warming up it has been more like 62. I brewed an APA the other day that I pitched at 65, then it got up to 68 at the peak of fermentation.
 
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