Author Topic: Fermentation and light  (Read 2453 times)

Offline MacEriu

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Fermentation and light
« on: January 29, 2015, 06:16:30 AM »
I’m going to do my first brew sometime within the next week or so and have some basic questions The recipe that I am using uses a dry yeast. The directions say that the fermentation should be done at room temperature, but I live in a cold house. I need to make a storage cabinet that will keep the carboy at room temperature and is dark, but it also need to be done very cheap but not to the point that it is pointless. I will make something more costly when I get surer of what I am doing. I’ve been looking at to ways of doing this. One put the carboy in a large bucket of water and use a fish tank heater to warm the water or take the box that the deluxe kit came in, insulate it and use a light bulb in a paint can to heat the box. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the temp and a dimmer switch to control the light-bulbs output. I am also open to other ideas that work on a budget. My other question is how do you check the fermentation without exposing the brew to light or do I just need to be quick about it so that only a few minutes of light will not ruin the brew.

Thank you for any answers

MacEriu

Offline dcb

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 06:33:43 AM »
We need to know what "cold" means.  Many people would find 62 unbearably cold indoors but it would be perfect for US-05.

The nice thing about a cool environment is that for something on the order of $20 and some stuff you might be able to scavenge from your garage, you could set yourself up with an STC-1000 temperature controller and do a great job of keeping your fermentation in your yeast's sweet spot.
 

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 09:20:25 AM »
short wave length or high energy light less than 400nm is the biggest concern, and that's really UV / sunlight and LED. if you basement is dark and free of sunlight, short  exposure to longer wave length (incandescent, CFL) light is not as quickly problematic  as it is over 400nm. however, I and many others do place pillow case or other shield over clear carboy to minimize any light exposure. rule of thumb-no exposure to UV, minimal to CFL and incandescent and you and your beer will be happy.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2015, 12:11:15 PM »
FYI: Room temp is too warm for fermentation temp for most syles of beer, unless your idea of room temp is 58-64 degrees. Fermentation is exothermic and will generate heat, as much as 6-8+ degrees over ambient. You really don't want the temp of the fermenting beer to be much warmer than 68 (70-72 at the highest) during  the first 72 hours. This is when most of the fusel alcohols are created and other off flavors. Now, all that said, after 72 hours you may want to let the beer warm up into the high 60s/low 70s to finish fermentation.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2015, 04:37:26 AM »
short wave length or high energy light less than 400nm is the biggest concern, and that's really UV / sunlight and LED. if you basement is dark and free of sunlight, short  exposure to longer wave length (incandescent, CFL) light is not as quickly problematic  as it is over 400nm. however, I and many others do place pillow case or other shield over clear carboy to minimize any light exposure. rule of thumb-no exposure to UV, minimal to CFL and incandescent and you and your beer will be happy.
OK, I'm a dummy, but I have to ask.  In this case I'm pretty sure CFL doesn't stand for Canadian Football League.  "C-something" fluorescent lights?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2015, 04:41:29 AM »
Compact

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2015, 06:23:24 PM »
Compact
Duh, of course.  Thanks.
I'll bet the big ones are a real no-no for UV.
I'm surprised that LED lights are bad.  I usually check the temp strips on my clear carboys with an LED flashlight.  It's very short time, but should I worry?
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Offline MacEriu

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2015, 06:41:33 PM »
I check this morning around 9:00am and the temp was about 53f, so I am reading right putting a cardboard box over the carboy and use a paint-can light to bring the temp up a little should be OK, just do not check the fermentation with a full LED light.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2015, 07:40:41 PM »
Compact
Duh, of course.  Thanks.
I'll bet the big ones are a real no-no for UV.
I'm surprised that LED lights are bad.  I usually check the temp strips on my clear carboys with an LED flashlight.  It's very short time, but should I worry?
White LED's are actually blue LEDs that emit a pretty tight band at about 450nm, and are coated with a substance that emits in the 600-700nm range when hit with the blue light. The two colors combine to a perceived white color to the eye. I don't think that you would have to worry much about with a typical white LED.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2015, 08:11:52 PM »
Compact
Duh, of course.  Thanks.
I'll bet the big ones are a real no-no for UV.
I'm surprised that LED lights are bad.  I usually check the temp strips on my clear carboys with an LED flashlight.  It's very short time, but should I worry?
White LED's are actually blue LEDs that emit a pretty tight band at about 450nm, and are coated with a substance that emits in the 600-700nm range when hit with the blue light. The two colors combine to a perceived white color to the eye. I don't think that you would have to worry much about with a typical white LED.
Phew... I have been using a cheapo harbor freight magnetic light to see inside my ferm freezer. Never noticed an issue, but I'm only using it for a few seconds to check the temp and progress.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2015, 09:00:29 PM »
I sometimes put a heavy button up shirt over my carboy to protect from light. It's convenient as it already has a hole at the top and can be unbuttoned to go around blow-off tubes, etc.
 
And it has arms, because my carboys need that.

The other thing about indoor lights is that even if they are emitting some harmful wavelengths, the light is orders of magnitude less intense than sunlight.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 09:02:16 PM by Jimmy K »
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2015, 09:10:18 PM »
Compact
Duh, of course.  Thanks.
I'll bet the big ones are a real no-no for UV.
I'm surprised that LED lights are bad.  I usually check the temp strips on my clear carboys with an LED flashlight.  It's very short time, but should I worry?
White LED's are actually blue LEDs that emit a pretty tight band at about 450nm, and are coated with a substance that emits in the 600-700nm range when hit with the blue light. The two colors combine to a perceived white color to the eye. I don't think that you would have to worry much about with a typical white LED.
Phew... I have been using a cheapo harbor freight magnetic light to see inside my ferm freezer. Never noticed an issue, but I'm only using it for a few seconds to check the temp and progress.

no worries at all. it takes quite a bit exposure to longer wave length /low intensity light to even remotely cause a problem...(if at all) biggest enemy is UV/sun light.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

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Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
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Amber Ale
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Ger Pils
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2015, 11:40:18 PM »
+1.  Checking on your dark fermentation room or chamber with an LED flashlight is no big deal.  It is not like you are leaving it on for long period of time.  No worries there. 

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2015, 12:34:14 AM »
think of it this way...how many commercials  beers have you bought from a store (singles), that were in other than brown bottles and they were perfectly fine tasting; no skunk or otherwise.  Lots of fluorescent and incandescent lighting in stores and no worries.

Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

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Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
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Amber Ale
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Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Fermentation and light
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2015, 12:48:21 AM »
short wave length or high energy light less than 400nm is the biggest concern, and that's really UV / sunlight and LED. if you basement is dark and free of sunlight, short  exposure to longer wave length (incandescent, CFL) light is not as quickly problematic  as it is over 400nm. however, I and many others do place pillow case or other shield over clear carboy to minimize any light exposure. rule of thumb-no exposure to UV, minimal to CFL and incandescent and you and your beer will be happy.

I could be wrong here; I'm not a scientist, but I always thought that it was blue light that skunked beer, light up in the 700 nm range. Do I have it backward?

Edit: never mind: I see what I did here. I guess I had to see myself write it before I understood it. Higher energy light (blue light) shorter wave. Okay, I get it.

Frank C.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 12:51:55 AM by Frankenbrew »
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