Author Topic: Cooling down fermentation  (Read 932 times)

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Cooling down fermentation
« on: June 17, 2016, 06:49:32 PM »
Hey all!

Im fairly new to brewing and I have a question about controlling ferm temps. I usually ferment my beers in a glass carboy, but since I live in FL, its hard to keep the beers down to the temps that they need to be. Usually I look for beers that can be in the mid 70's but I have heard of other ways to keep it cool. I don't have a lot of space to get a fridge/ freezer setup and I have heard people say on this forum tha tyou can just sit it in a bath tub with a couple 2 liters of ice, and replace those daily/ every 12 hours or so.

My question is, is this a good way of controlling the temps? Seems like there would be some variation in temp thru the day. Are there other cheap ways to control the ferm temps for a problem like this? Or will I need to keep doing higher temp ferms until I can get a chest freezer to control the temp better?

Thanks for any advice!

Offline erockrph

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2016, 06:57:01 PM »
Better to go lower and have a few degrees fluctuation than ferment anything in the 70's, in my opinion. Also, you can do the "swamp cooler" thing by putting a t-shirt over the carboy with the bottom submerged in the tub of water. Point a fan at it, and you will have some decent temp control due to evaporation.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2016, 06:58:37 PM »
Better to go lower and have a few degrees fluctuation than ferment anything in the 70's, in my opinion. Also, you can do the "swamp cooler" thing by putting a t-shirt over the carboy with the bottom submerged in the tub of water. Point a fan at it, and you will have some decent temp control due to evaporation.

now that's interesting. I kept seeing people talk about swamp coolers but I had no idea what they meant. is this method better or worse than the ice? Would a combo of both be a good option?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2016, 07:19:44 PM »
This works well too - cool the wort to 62-64F (or as close possible), place the fermenter in a plastic tub of water and add a couple frozen water bottles to the water. Swap out frozen bottles twice daily. Worked well for me for a few years before I got a fridge/temp controller.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 07:34:28 PM »
This works well too - cool the wort to 62-64F (or as close possible), place the fermenter in a plastic tub of water and add a couple frozen water bottles to the water. Swap out frozen bottles twice daily. Worked well for me for a few years before I got a fridge/temp controller.

Doing this, possibly mixed with the swamp cooler, is a stick on temp gauge still a good way to view temps? Is there a better way to monitor the temp?

Offline denny

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 07:38:25 PM »
This works well too - cool the wort to 62-64F (or as close possible), place the fermenter in a plastic tub of water and add a couple frozen water bottles to the water. Swap out frozen bottles twice daily. Worked well for me for a few years before I got a fridge/temp controller.

Same here....did it for 16 years
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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2016, 07:43:40 PM »
Take advantage of the weather and make saisons.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2016, 07:53:36 PM »
Take advantage of the weather and make saisons.

This is a little embarrassing to say, but I have never had a saison. O_O

There are several craft breweries around me that have them so ill have to try one. What temps do saisons tend to ferment at?

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2016, 07:55:23 PM »
This works well too - cool the wort to 62-64F (or as close possible), place the fermenter in a plastic tub of water and add a couple frozen water bottles to the water. Swap out frozen bottles twice daily. Worked well for me for a few years before I got a fridge/temp controller.

Same here....did it for 16 years

plastic tub like those storage container bins?

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2016, 08:01:21 PM »
Take advantage of the weather and make saisons.

This is a little embarrassing to say, but I have never had a saison. O_O

There are several craft breweries around me that have them so ill have to try one. What temps do saisons tend to ferment at?

The approach I take is to try and keep the temp around 20c for the first couple of days, and then just let it free rise to 28-30c.  I tend to use WLP565, mainly because I love Saison Dupont, and also because it's easier to get hold of than other saison yeasts
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2016, 08:06:40 PM »
Take advantage of the weather and make saisons.

This is a little embarrassing to say, but I have never had a saison. O_O

There are several craft breweries around me that have them so ill have to try one. What temps do saisons tend to ferment at?

The approach I take is to try and keep the temp around 20c for the first couple of days, and then just let it free rise to 28-30c.  I tend to use WLP565, mainly because I love Saison Dupont, and also because it's easier to get hold of than other saison yeasts

I have heard its VERY important for the first few days for the beer to keep at the appropriate temp in order to define the overall characteristic flavor that the yeast adds. Why is this? I see several people saying that they even purposefully increase the temp in the later stages of the fermentation. Does this increase yeast activity or something? If so, how does this not impart bad flavors?

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2016, 08:09:43 PM »
Take advantage of the weather and make saisons.

This is a little embarrassing to say, but I have never had a saison. O_O

There are several craft breweries around me that have them so ill have to try one. What temps do saisons tend to ferment at?

The approach I take is to try and keep the temp around 20c for the first couple of days, and then just let it free rise to 28-30c.  I tend to use WLP565, mainly because I love Saison Dupont, and also because it's easier to get hold of than other saison yeasts

I have heard its VERY important for the first few days for the beer to keep at the appropriate temp in order to define the overall characteristic flavor that the yeast adds. Why is this? I see several people saying that they even purposefully increase the temp in the later stages of the fermentation. Does this increase yeast activity or something? If so, how does this not impart bad flavors?

I think that the idea is that high temps in the first 2-3 days risks creating fusel alcohols, though why this is, and through what mechanism, I couldn't tell you.  I'm sure someone on the forum will be able to though.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2016, 08:20:54 PM »
I have heard its VERY important for the first few days for the beer to keep at the appropriate temp in order to define the overall characteristic flavor that the yeast adds. Why is this? I see several people saying that they even purposefully increase the temp in the later stages of the fermentation. Does this increase yeast activity or something? If so, how does this not impart bad flavors?
[/quote]

I think that the idea is that high temps in the first 2-3 days risks creating fusel alcohols, though why this is, and through what mechanism, I couldn't tell you.  I'm sure someone on the forum will be able to though.
[/quote]

Interesting. Yeast are weird little creatures!

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 09:03:13 PM »
Cooler temperatures suppress yeast activity, so in turn it suppresses by-products of yeast activity.  Two such suppressed by-products are esters and fusel alcohols (for some yeast, anyway).  I have found that cooler temperatures encourage phenols - so a Hefeweizen started at low 60's will be more phenolic (clovey) and less estery (fruity - banana) than one fermented at higher temperatures.  You just have to inquire (see the yeast manufacturer's recommendations and try different things and develop your process from that).

Saisons are somewhat an exception, because they are usually phenolic regardless of temperatures and many guys start low and allow them to free rise and even heat assist them to coax full fermentation to a very dry level.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Cooling down fermentation
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2016, 12:58:37 AM »
This works well too - cool the wort to 62-64F (or as close possible), place the fermenter in a plastic tub of water and add a couple frozen water bottles to the water. Swap out frozen bottles twice daily. Worked well for me for a few years before I got a fridge/temp controller.

Same here....did it for 16 years

plastic tub like those storage container bins?



Yep
Jon H.