Author Topic: Fermentation Temp  (Read 395 times)

Offline mbarr13

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Fermentation Temp
« on: June 02, 2014, 01:11:26 PM »
Hey everyone,
I'm brand new to brewing as of this past Saturday. I started with a light Stout, the guys at my local shop coached me through most of it, and I followed the brewing process to the letter. Once I got everything in my primary fermenter (got it down to 67 F), got the lid and EconoLock on fine, put in my generally cool storage room. Yesterday, the fermenter was at 80 degrees, as it was this morning. For the life of me I just can't figure a way to get it cool. It was bubbling at a fairly decent pace yesterday, and today, not so much. Is my batch ruined? Or did the fermentation process get kicked into high gear and should I put it in the secondary? Is there simple & cheap ways of keeping the fermenter cool? How can I tell if it's ruined?

Thanks for any feedback.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Fermentation Temp
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 01:22:46 PM »
it's not ruined. it might be mostly done. at that temp it will go fast. Regardless give it a couple more days. you did right by chilling down to 67 before pitching the yeast. It might still taste a little hot and alcoholic at first but some time should help with that.

I would skip secondary and let it ride on the yeast until a couple of sequential gravity readings a couple days apart read the same.

To avoid this in the future you can go a couple routes:

1) Get a big tub put the fermenter in there and fill the tub with water which you keep cool with ice, ice packs, frozen water bottles, or similar.
2) Get a big tub, put the fermenter in it and put a couple inches of water in the tub, drape a cotton t-shirt or similar over the fermenter so it's bottom hem sits in the water, this will wick up water which will evaporate and cool the fermenter. This requires some air flow. a fan can help
3) get a big tub, or a cooler, that will fit the fermenter, put it in there and put frozen water bottles or ice packs in there with it, drape a blanket over the whole thing to insulate. swap out the frozen stuff 1-2 times a day or as  needed to maintain target temp.

to tell if it's ruined, taste it.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Fermentation Temp
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 01:23:52 PM »
You haven't ruined it but it may not be as good as it could have been due the high temps.  You have several options to control temp they range from cheap to expensive and various levels of work involved.

1) Swamp chiller - put fermenter in a tub with water and put a t-shirt on the fermenter.  Add a fan on low and you get evaporation to cool things for you.
2) Frozen water bottles - same tub full of water but rotate soda bottles full of ice in every day to keep things cool.  You should also add a coat or blanket to isolate the setup from the hot air.
3) Modify an old fridge or freezer by adding a temp controller and do the fermentation in this.
4) Build a cold room and use a window air conditioner to control the temp.

There are likely more options but this list hits the highlights.

If it helps any, the 2 beers I brewed on Saturday made a huge mess by Sunday morning due to the blow-off being rather exuberant and I'm been doing this for 17 years.  :^(
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline mbarr13

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Re: Fermentation Temp
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 01:31:48 PM »
Whew. Thank you. Follow up question, if the fermenter does blow, can you still salvage the brew?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Fermentation Temp
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 01:48:26 PM »
Whew. Thank you. Follow up question, if the fermenter does blow, can you still salvage the brew?

sure, just makes a mess. doesn't hurt the beer. Clean it up, resanitize around the opening to the fermenter.

Look up blow off tubes. Basically it's a tube that runs from your fermenter into a jug or bucket of sanitizer. this way when krausen pushes out of the fermenter it just ends up in the jug/bucket and not on the carpet.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline mbarr13

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Re: Fermentation Temp
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 02:01:48 PM »
Awesome, Thanks a bunch