Temperature Control for Fermentation

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by New to Brew, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. New to Brew

    New to Brew New Member

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    I'm weighing up my options for temperature control for fermentation.
    I ferment in my cellar which is a steady temperature , but around 60 degrees f.
    I have a heating belt, but I'm looking to be more accurate with controlling the temperature.

    A brewing friend of mine uses an aquarium heater directly into the brew, but I'm concerned with contamination using this method.
    Another option is for a bath - placing the FB into a large bucket and controlling the temperature in the bucket with an aquarium heater and water pump.

    Can anyone advise as to what would be the best method?

    Thanks,
    [Not so] New To Brew
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    60 air is fine, I ferment at 62 air and have had no issues but if you want exact temps place your carboy in a water container then it will always be at that temp but be warned it will be a slower fermentation but cleaner
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Your yeast will warm the beer as it ferments, up to 10 degrees if the fermentation is vigorous. This is a RDWHAHB situation: Your beer will be fine. Better problem to have than too warm...
     
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  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I think eliminating wild temperature swings is the main idea to reduce yeast getting stressed out anf doing nasty farts in your beer lol. I live in a subtropical place so am on the opposite side of the equation and use a freezer and regulator to keep fermentation temp in check. I have a heat belt but rarely use it;).
     
  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I didn't use my heat belt at all this winter. I bought an extra one for the cold winter months of basement fermentation. Actually, I did use it in the garage when it was really cold. My goal was to maintain 55°F (That's 12.8 for you metric squirrels). It worked. Thermowell controlled.
     
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  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Mate if i saw a metric squirrel scampering around my neck of the woods here in Aus id think "gee i gotta reduce the alcohol content of these hombrews"!

    12.8 they would have been some pretty clean brews then jeffpn;).
     
  7. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    That's my lager primary temp.
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If I had a steady 60 degree environment, I'd never think about temp control again! :)
     
  9. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Metric squirrels ...will this become an ongoing joke around here ? I for one hope so .
    Nobody asked what strain is being used though
    Can do a lot fermenting at those temps , some ale yeasts will be happy enough with maybe a little extra heat near the end and most Lager varieties will be running strong and clean with some heat for a D rest
     
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  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    WHAT! You saw a metric Squirrel :D. Yeah Im Happy with that fermentation temp too a little low on the ale schedule but nice beer flowing from this basement.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Those metric squirrels are nearly extinct in the US. I hear Canada has a few.
     
  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    What's the exchange rate?
     
  13. New to Brew

    New to Brew New Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I'm a bit overwhelmed - i posted at midnight in the UK and woke up to 8 replies!!
    I know I'm lucky with my cellar temperature. I'll take the advice of a little extra heat at the end of fermentation, I usually do that the other way round - start with the heat belt and then remove it.
    I'm still tempted with the bath. I'm becoming a bit of a control freak!

    As for metric squirrels.....o_O
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I take my ales out of the chamber around day 7 then let it sit at house temp around 72 for 3 days, moving it loosens up the sediment and the worm air change just helps get a few more yeast to eat
     
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  15. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've been brewing a lot for a Belgian beer competition and have had to cycle everything through the chamber pretty quickly...5-7 days and then get it out of the way. I've let things sit in my garage and it's gotten a little warm in there. Belgian yeasts really seem to like the higher temps and one beer went about 3 points lower than I expected.
    I've got a Cream Ale (lager/ale yeast blend) in the chamber now that I have to treat a little more carefully. I hope all the sulfur production is good and gone because I have to bring that one into the house to stay a little cooler while it finishes out.
     
  16. SonnyK85

    SonnyK85 New Member

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    My recommendation is to just go all out. If you want the ability to truly scrutinize your fermentation process, repeat results and be able to brew lagers/pilsners someday.. A basement won't suffice. Your best bet is a Chest Freezer with a Ranco dual channel switch.

    Personally, I use a Catalyst Fermenter in a chest freezer. I keep the Fermenter wrapped in blankets so no part is exposed to blasting, cold air. In addition, my temperature probe from the Ranco controller is taped behind at least 5 layers of Bubble Wrap to the outside wall of the Fermenter (Thermowell would work as well). I also have my Fermenter wrapped in a FermWrap (and attached to the second switch of my Ranco). This allows me to set my Fermentation temp with a variance of +/-1F. It also allows me to ramp up temps after the critical 48-72 hour period (depending on yeast lag time) to help eliminate diacetyl and ensure proper attenuation.

    Best of luck!
     
  17. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I built a 3 tall 2 deep 5 wide chamber out of 2" Styrofoam, added an apartment fridge I had in the attic to the end and put a strong 120v fan in the freezer and took off the door, the fridge was an oder model and had the coils on the out side, I had to attach a fan to those coils to cool them down when running too long, now I can cool down to 50 but I don't, I use that for ales only I also have an ink bird controller meant for this with the heat and cool outlets, its easy to adjust compared to my home made stc-1000, I use my keezer for lagers its set to 34 normally but Ill bump it up for a good beer
     
  18. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yep fermenting in a fridge or freezer with some temperature control is just plain convenient. These days you never know what the weather is going to do one day it could be stinking hot and the next cool (in my neck of the woods anyhow). I even have temperature control of sorts for my starters using an old wine fridge my previous fermentation chamber to set starter ferment temp. I like to dump all my starter liquid in no decanting here I want all them yeasties in the game:).
     
  19. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    If I had a temp stable area like the OP I doubt I'd bother with a fridge
    I would still use a temp controller hooked up to a heat belt and use strains like Nottingham and 34/70 .

    Brewing doesn't need to be complicated or expensive to get solid results
     
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  20. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Say that again?
    Thanks!!
     
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