Author Topic: Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement  (Read 643 times)

Offline Leroy

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement
« on: October 27, 2015, 02:40:50 AM »
Hi everyone,

I need to start keeping my fermentation in the basement.  I live in Michigan, my basement stays around 65deg now, but it will get much colder in the upcoming months.  I'm not sure how much the temp swings as of yet.

I brew only ales right now.

I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction to keep proper temp.  My basement is unfinished, so I have many options.

I was thinking about the electric fermenter wraps with a controller, and/or making myself an insulated chest-type container to help hold temp.

Thanks in advance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8479
    • View Profile
Re: Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 03:08:20 AM »
My suggestion would be a fermwrap with a dual stage controller.  Dual can be used later when you buy a chest freezer...

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4452
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 03:33:06 AM »
I built a chamber out of 1" foam insulation and duct tape. I use a little 200 W ceramic space heater to warm it, but almost anything would work. The advantage over something like a belt heater is being able to hold more than one fermenter.
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

Offline stevecrawshaw

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
    • My Recipes
Re: Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 08:31:46 AM »
This is the cheap and easy way I do it. As long as your ambient temps are below your desired fermentation temp (which it sounds like they are) you will be good to go. A builders bucket and an aquarium heater is all you need. I would check the temperatures with a good quality thermometer because the gauges on the heater are not that accurate. But once it is at temperature it will remain stable as there is an internal thermostat. A 100W heater should keep a 20L batch at fermentation temps.
cheers
steve
I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy.

Offline neddles

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Re: Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 12:07:29 PM »
This is the cheap and easy way I do it. As long as your ambient temps are below your desired fermentation temp (which it sounds like they are) you will be good to go. A builders bucket and an aquarium heater is all you need. I would check the temperatures with a good quality thermometer because the gauges on the heater are not that accurate. But once it is at temperature it will remain stable as there is an internal thermostat. A 100W heater should keep a 20L batch at fermentation temps.
cheers
steve
This exactly. A good 15 - 20 gallon bucket or rubbermaid container works great for a 5-6 gallon fermentation. He's also spot on about the temp settings on the aquarium heaters… you need to work with them and a thermometer to get the temp right where you want it. If you have a temperature controller plug the aquarium into it and set it. This works perfectly for me in a cold N. Wisconsin basement.

Offline Stonecutter

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2015, 06:41:54 PM »
I have a similar issue, and I think the aquarium heater will probably work well during the winter (I'm in Southern Maine), but I'm not sure what to do in the summer to reliably keep the fermenter temperature from rising when the indoor temp gets to 75-80 F. Is a chest freezer the best option at that point? Can anyone provide links to specific product models?
Beer is a lot like Porn. It's a sensual experience best enjoyed in moderation, with something for everyone's unique palate, and even though it's easy enough to buy it, it's considerably more fun to make your own.

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3448
    • View Profile
Re: Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2015, 06:53:06 PM »
I have a similar issue, and I think the aquarium heater will probably work well during the winter (I'm in Southern Maine), but I'm not sure what to do in the summer to reliably keep the fermenter temperature from rising when the indoor temp gets to 75-80 F. Is a chest freezer the best option at that point? Can anyone provide links to specific product models?

If you are looking to do it on the cheap, an ice bath works surprisingly well although you have to babysit it and change out ice often.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19470
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Need Strategy to Keep Fermentation Temp in Basement
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2015, 06:55:31 PM »
If you are looking to do it on the cheap, an ice bath works surprisingly well although you have to babysit it and change out ice often.

I did that for nearly 15 years and it was very effective, if a bit fiddly.  I got a chest freezer about a year ago.  Obviously much more expensive, but easy and precise.  But the water bucket/ice pack method does work very well.
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

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell