Author Topic: Fermenting during a heat wave  (Read 2337 times)

Offline drjones

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • So much to beer, so little time to brew it all...
    • View Profile
Fermenting during a heat wave
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:19:23 AM »
Without a chest cooler, I'm dependent on old-school methods of temp control.  My mead is (relatively) safe in a big bucket of water receiving four swapped out freezer packs twice a day and staying at about 65F (though I'd prefer it a bit lower).  The session ipa (1.046, US-05) from last Sunday is probably about done with the bulk of its fermentation, and I managed to keep it at 70F in the cellar next to the mead bucket. Ideally, it, too, would be 5 degrees cooler.  How are you guys managing the heat - wet towels, other ideas?  (Short of buying a freezer!)     
- Brian
------------------------------------------
Fermenting: dry stout, 60 schilling, 70 schilling
Bottled: west-coast IPA, dry mead, cider, Cascadian Dark Ale, wild-hopped blonde

Online Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2321
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 10:29:43 AM »
I have a small room in my basement that I keep cool with a window unit.  It stays at a nice cool 60 degrees.

Probably not helpful for you...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11651
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 10:36:32 AM »
I put my fermenter in a large plastic tub full of water and add ice packs to the water.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline duboman

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
    • View Profile
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 10:41:19 AM »

I put my fermenter in a large plastic tub full of water and add ice packs to the water.

Before I got a ferm chamber this method can be very effective, also know as a swamp cooler and works on the science of evaporative cooling.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline BrewArk

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 452
  • Rick - Newark, California
    • View Profile
    • BrewArk
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 10:44:05 AM »
wet t-shirt  ;) fan, ice if necessary.
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

Na Zdraví

Offline svejk

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
  • Seattle, Wa
    • View Profile
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 10:44:28 AM »
I like brewing saisons in the summer because the yeast are happy at higher temps.  Then again, summer in Seattle isn't exactly a real summer so the basement stays a great temp for ales for most of the time.

Online kramerog

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 777
    • View Profile
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 10:48:10 AM »
Water bath.  But really what I try to do is not to fight it.  I brew lower gravity beers (more because I need to stay cool), saisons (where higher temp is helpful) and American sours with Brett as my primary yeast (also good at warmer temps).
Brewers of South Suburbia
Brixie's Brewers
Oak Park Homebrewers

Offline stlaleman

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
    • Penrose Picobrewery
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 01:10:23 PM »
I have a better way, controls temps =?- 1 or 2 degrees. I use an internal SS coil in my Brewhemoth and a simple glycol chiller made from an old window AC. Check out http://penrosepicobrewery.blogspot.com/
Currently I'm fermenting a British Ale at 66 in a shed that exceeds 100 degrees every afternoon.

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7216
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 01:41:02 PM »
I gave up and bought a freezer. In fact I bought two...
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

cornershot

  • Guest
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 02:12:26 PM »
I gave up and bought a freezer. In fact I bought two...

Ditto

Did the wet T-shirt thing. Did the swamp cooler thing. Nothing like precise, effortless, carefree temperature control and the quality of beer it produces in any season.
But I did have a keezer catch on fire a while back...

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11651
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 02:29:20 PM »
I gave up and bought a freezer. In fact I bought two...

I lust for a freezer or two, but I've got nowhere to put them.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7216
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 03:15:36 PM »
Lust, covet... I say make room! ;D ::)

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11651
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 03:40:34 PM »
Lust, covet... I say make room! ;D ::)

You'd think that would be possible....but it's not....yet.....
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline erockrph

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2414
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • Critical Tastings
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2013, 06:56:37 PM »
Working hard trying to convince my wife that I need a fermentation fridge, but no luck so far. My basement ranges from about 62F-70F ambient in different locations during the summer, so I can get away with it for most ales. What's nice is that I can control temps to some extent based on where I put the fermenter. The corner that is deepest underground generally ranges from 62-64F, while the area closest to the outside ranges from 67-70F.

I try to at least chill to the low 60's before pitching, then let it rise from there. If needed I'll use a swamp cooler for temp control. I've even brewed lagers using a swamp cooler in August, but it's a royal PITA changing out frozen soda bottles 2-3 times a day to maintain temps within a reasonable range.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6305
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Fermenting during a heat wave
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2013, 08:19:06 PM »
I guess it's almost embarrassing to say that at the height of my home brewing days I had three 14 cubic foot chest freezers (one of them for serving) not to mention carboys laid out fermenting on basement floor. That doesn't even include when I added the three 55 gallon vessel brew system on back porch and upright freezer with 42 gallon blichman conical in garage. Though I at least didn't exclusively pay for all that and it was only there 4 or 5 months.

Don't have any of that now. Nearly no brewing supplies in the house (I do a little fruit wine now here and there but nothing like home brewing). Course we had to invest a large chunk of our life savings to move it all out of the house and into the brewery.

I truly married an angel. Or maybe it's just I'm that good in the sack.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner