maintaining correct temp.

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maintaining correct temp.

Postby jwswanboats » Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:29 am

hello all,
this is my first post here, so i hope this question isn't too redundant, or could be found in a faq's section that i overlooked. I have wanted to get into homebrewing for the last couple of years, have checked out book from the library on it, and always threatened to pull the trigger and get the neccesary infrastructure. well, my friends got together and got me a two stage fermentor kit for christmas, and i have started off by making a pale ale. the instructions state that the ideal temp for fermenting is between 60-75 degrees. well, I live in Ashland, WI on Lake Superior, and right now we live in a drafty old house that most of the time doesn't see 58 degrees, let alone 75. I have the fermenter located between the fridge and the stove (i am hoping it can pull some ambient heat from the fridge motor and the stove when it is on), but the temp gauge is reading right at 58-60. will this adversely affect the beer fermentation process, or should i just expect it to take longer? and, if it does need to be warmer, does anyone have any tried and true, and tested methods of keeping a fermenting beer container warm? I realize i can purchase a heat belt, but where is the fun in that. thanks for any and all help.
sincerely,
josh
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Maintaining Temps

Postby BillyBock » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:36 pm

One quick approach if it's staying at 58F, is to just pitch lager yeast or use a cold-tolerant ale strain such as Nottingham (dry). Otherwise it will adversely affect your brew--the ale yeasties will go to sleep and go on strike because it's too cold.

One option to stabilize the temp is to put your fermenting bucket, or carboy, in a bucket of water. The water will help to stabilize the temperature swings. To this bucket of water, get yourself an aquarium heater with a thermostat and rig it to maintain the temp you want.

Or get yourself one of these http://www.morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=16674 But you'll need a thermostat to go with it.
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Postby jwswanboats » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:28 pm

thanks for the advice.
I am keeping the house warm enough to keep the fermenting beer at 61 degrees. I ordered a wrap around heater for my carboy, although I do like your idea of the water immersion with an aqaurium heater, it seems really stable (alternatively i though of making my own wrap around heater with small gauge wire, but that just seemed like an invitation for a house fire). It seems like things are working, as i have been getting plenty of bubbles passing through the fermentation lock, but i am eager to siphon it into my glass carboy so i can see what it all looks like. lastly, thanks for the yeast tip. I ordered some along with what seems like a really good porter kit. I realize using a premeasured, prepared kit is most likely not too exciteing to you all, but i look forward to getting a little more familiar with the process before i start to try out more involved recipes. thanks again for your help. this place is a great resource.
josh
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:14 am

Postby BillyBock » Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:51 pm

No problem...that's what we're here for. I learned alot from this forum and others. I've been brewing for 6 years now, so I like to give some back to the community and help new folks. As for kits, there's no problem with that. There are some very decent kit beers out there. Heck, I started out with a Mr. Beer :shock: But now's the time to spend just learning about the process, the flavors, and nailing your procedures down so you find something that works for you and your setup. You'll thank yourself later. By the way, in my book there are 3 things that you need to control in order to make great beer: sanitation, temperature control, and yeast selection--in that order. And I've developed the following maxim in the last 6 years: your brewery will never be complete and will be in a constant state of 'upgrade'. :D

v/r
Bill
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