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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: BP79 on June 21, 2011, 02:46:10 AM

Title: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: BP79 on June 21, 2011, 02:46:10 AM
Hi there - I plan on brewing a Chinook IPA but my apt stays a toasty 80 all day b/c my wife thinks the a/c is going to freeze my newborn.  I know a swamp cooler will solve the problem, but we're going away for 3 days over July 4th and I'm worried about the temps getting too hot.  Would loading up the tub with several frozen 2L bottles do the trick and keep the water surrounding the fermentor in the 60's for the 3 days?  Since this would occur from days 7-9 in the primary, would it be ok it I temporarily plunged the temps to however cold i can get it (40's???) and hope it doesn't get above 70 before I get home?  Any help would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 05:52:28 AM
By days 7-9 your fermentation should be about done.  I'd just move it to a cool inside closet and not worry if it hits 75F+.  It might actually help clean up the beer a bit and drop the gravity, depending on your recipe.

The main fear with warm fermentation is the first 3 days or so for normal gravity beers if you pitch a healthy amount of yeast.
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: mabrungard on June 21, 2011, 12:31:00 PM
The evaporative cooling effect of a swamp cooler only provides a couple of degrees.  If you're fermenting at 78F, it probably won't matter much with going up a few degrees.  The esters and fusels are likely to be present in large numbers either way.  A large improvement to your beer quality will come with more effective fermentation temperature control. 
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: BP79 on June 21, 2011, 12:33:58 PM
Awesome, appreciate the reply.  I suppose I can always wait until after vacation, but that's just an insane idea, right?  Thanks again.
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: Tristan on June 21, 2011, 12:40:10 PM
Sounds like you'll be good to go.  Did anyone say "natural D-Rest?"

The evaporative cooling effect of a swamp cooler only provides a couple of degrees.  If you're fermenting at 78F, it probably won't matter much with going up a few degrees.  The esters and fusels are likely to be present in large numbers either way.  A large improvement to your beer quality will come with more effective fermentation temperature control.  

Martin, I think he's talking about a water bath (Swap Cooler) that frozen water bottles are placed in to keep the temp within optimal ranges.  The wet towel method is evaporative.
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: weithman5 on June 21, 2011, 01:16:38 PM
take the baby on vacation with you and turn on your ac while you are gone. ;D
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: a10t2 on June 21, 2011, 02:44:15 PM
IME using a swamp cooler in conjunction with a towel draped over the fermenter and a fan blowing across it will drop the temperature ~6-8°F below ambient. If you can keep fermentation in the mid-60s for the first week and then it warms up to the low 70s while you're gone, that won't be a problem. That would be a pretty typical fermentation schedule even for someone with precise temperature control.
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: denny on June 21, 2011, 03:18:54 PM
I suppose I can always wait until after vacation, but that's just an insane idea, right?

No, it's actually very sensible.
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: Hokerer on June 21, 2011, 04:38:56 PM
I suppose I can always wait until after vacation, but that's just an insane idea, right?

No, it's actually very sensible.

Pragmatic even :)
Title: Re: Swamp cooler duration
Post by: Will's Swill on June 22, 2011, 12:09:17 AM
take the baby on vacation with you and turn on your ac while you are gone. ;D

Then it wouldn't be a vacation.  :)