Temperature control

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sborah05

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I am a relatively new brewer with about 6 beers to my name so far. I have spent hours on this forum soaking up all the information I could gather. My main concern I have with my process right now is fermentation temperature control. My last few beers I have made have been decent, but not quite the flavor I was hopping for. My last brew was northern brewers caribou slobber extract kit, and the fermentation temperature varied between 72 degrees and 74. My house usually stays around that temp. Long story short, is this temperature too warm to ferment many ales of non Belgian variety? And if so are some good ways to control fermentation temp ( aside from a Johnson control refrigerator, I'm trying to avoid buying a 3rd refrigerator). What are everyone's preferred method of temp control?
 

brewit2it

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You can put it in a cooler place, put in water and use Ice +/- evaporation or you can build a chamber or use a fridge or freezer with an electronic temp controller. That is pretty much all the options. Decide which sounds best for you and do a search.
 

C-Rider

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Here is a primary bucket sitting in a "muck" bucket w/blocks of ice. Temp outside is about 85 Temp in the muck bucket is about 70. I wet towel w/evaporation will bring it lower.
 

jigidyjim

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72-74 is too warm for ambient with no temp control... remember that fermentation temps can be much higher than ambient temps (some people here claim 10 degrees higher). I bought a fridge of craigs list, but lots of people here use swamp coolers.
 
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sborah05

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Thanks or the advice everybody. So if 74 is too high what would should I shoot for? So if fermentation temps are that much higher and the recommended fermentation temp is 68-72 should I go for an ambient of about 65 or so?
 

hector

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To control the ambient Temperature I use a Styrofoam Box filled with cold water .

As you see in the Picture , I've put a small Styrofoam Box in a bigger one , so that it is more isolated and it keeps the ambient Temperature constant longer .

My room Temp. is 74F and the Water Temp. inside the Box is 66F and it has been constant since a few Days ago .

The Box is also capped to protect the Beer from the Light .

Hector

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ayoungrad

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If you have $200 to spend, just get a refrigerator or freezer (that will hold your fermentation vessel with airlock intact) and a temperature controller. You do NOT need to rewire anything - just plug your frig into the controller and you are done.

If you can afford it you will not regret it. There is no other way to better improve your beers.
 

txinga

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If you have $200 to spend, just get a refrigerator or freezer (that will hold your fermentation vessel with airlock intact) and a temperature controller. You do NOT need to rewire anything - just plug your frig into the controller and you are done.

If you can afford it you will not regret it. There is no other way to better improve your beers.
This is what I did. Picked up a fridgidaire 5 cubic foot freezer at brandsmart for 157 including tax. I already had the aquarium controlrler from another post. Nice thing about the freezer or any other ferment enclosure is if the bucket blows the lid your ceiling remains dry.
Tx
 

txinga

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Oh and I now have 2 fridges and 2 freezers. Full of beer and bbq. Now I gotta buy a generator :)
 
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sborah05

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Well it looks like I may go the freezer/fridge route. My wallets gonna be pissed off at me but it's worth it when homebrew is involved.
 

Russtang

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FYI, I built my complete setup for less than $60 total. Spent $25 on a used craigslist dorm room fridge and $34 on a temp controller. Ain't the prettiest fermentation chamber out there, but it was cheap, works great, and I can fit a couple of corny keg fermenters in it.

Temp Controller


It's got separate heat/cool programs for when winter rolls around. I extended the temp probe by a few feet and ran it into the fridge. It does a great job of holding temps to within a degree or two of setpoint.

FYI, the thermostat only goes down to around 50F IIRC, so when I wanted to cold crash my last brew, I just unplugged the fridge from the thermostat and plugged it straight into the power strip on max cool (and ended up with a frozen blowoff tube/reservoir). ;)
 
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Homercidal

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Freezer and temp controller is the best IMO, but with your temps, if you can get a cooler of the right size, a few frozen soda bottles will work great too. Just swap them out once or twice a day for fresh ones.

I loved my fridge and controller this winter when I put a little heater in it. Now I know that I really need a dual stage controller for our crazy temp jumps. It won't even start it's so cold now, but in a few days it will be too warm (I hope!)
 
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