Author Topic: Temp Control  (Read 1334 times)

Offline Bill H

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Temp Control
« on: December 25, 2016, 05:26:31 PM »
Ok this is my third damn try at this post!

I have been homebrewing for a year now, and really enjoying the fruits of my labor! I've made some improvements in my Brewing gear since starting out. First was a purchase of a Mega Pot 10 gallon Brew Kettle, with a temp gauge and a SS 90 degree ball discharge valve built in. (much better than the 4 gallon stock pot started with.) For Christmas My wife bought me a Outdoor Burner. Found out on my first kettle Use how no longer was my kitchen Stove up to par!

At the last meeting of my local Home Brewing group, 4 people advised my next purchase should be fermentation temperature control. Mind You I dont have the space to buy and house a extra fridge or freezer to convert. I seen this in the Adventures of homebrewing website.

http://www.homebrewing.org/Cool-Brew_p_2909.html. It's $65.00, folds up compact, insulated bag   that can hold a 6 gallon carboy. Thoughts anyone?
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2016, 06:27:07 PM »
I have used one. They do work. They work best if you can cool the wort to pitch temp before adding to the bag.

I used for about 1 year then switched to chest freezer. I travel for work and the cool brewing bag needs you to be in town to change frozen water bottles.

Offline BrewBama

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Temp Control
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2016, 08:44:03 PM »
If you don't have room for a dedicated fermentation chamber I'd say go for it. Besides sanitation, fermentation temp control is probably the most important thing you can do for your beer IMHO.


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« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 08:01:36 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline bucknut

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2016, 04:54:24 PM »
Do you have room for a compact refrigerator? I also don't have much room so space was a big concern, and I don't think a compact fridge would be much bigger than the insulated bag, although you just can't fold it up and put it away. I use mine for all kinds of other things though, from grain storage, to yeast starters.



Offline lindak

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2016, 02:05:47 AM »
I regularly use a cool brewing bag in the summer.  I use one liter and two liter bottles of frozen water.  I typically check the temp of my brew in the morning and late afternoon and swap out bottles as required.  I can keep the temp of my brew fairly stable.  Depending on the ambient temps, I may need a couple of two liter bottles during active fermentation and maybe a couple on one liters after 5 or six days.  It may not be perfect, but I is very workable.  I actually have a sour in one right now with a small heat wrap and a temp controller in my cold basement. 

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2016, 04:34:41 PM »
What I have been doing is a low cost alternative to this that requires a little attention twice a day.

I partially fill a Rubbermaid tub with water/ ice and put my carboy in that. then I put an old tshirt on the carboy, and have a fan blowing on the tshirt to make the water that gets sucked up into the tee evaporate, keeping it cooler. Its a method I learned about on here... costs just your water and the cost of a Rubbermaid tub... keeps the beer at proper temps for me for about 12 hours at a time. I can get it to about as low as 58 with this method if I replace the ice more regularly.

Offline dilluh98

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 04:40:21 PM »
I've used the rubbermaid/water and brewbag methods. They both work, depending on your tolerance for temperature swings. The PITA is that you need to be around to change out the ice and you have to do it twice a day, I found, to keep a steady temperature. If you forget, as I have, for whole days to change ice, well, you'll always be wondering if that 5 F spike in temperature for 24 hours is what made your APA a little off.

I used brewbags for a year of brewing before switching over to a dedicated mini-fridge for temp control. I wish I would've switched sooner for both the ease factor and the control factor. Oh, also, you'll have a tough time doing lagers with rubbermaid or brewbag methods - that was the other big driver for me switching to a fridge setup.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 05:46:42 PM »
I've done the rubbermaid tub, filled with water and frozen 1 liter bottles.  I cap it with pink rigid insulation and also have put insulation on the sides.  The bottom sits on the cold concrete floor of my basement.  I've been able to maintain decent lager temps with this method.

You can also get an aquarium heater to raise the temp of the water bath if your ambient is too cold in the winter.

Either way works just fine and is pretty inexpensive.
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 06:23:23 PM »
I've done the rubbermaid tub, filled with water and frozen 1 liter bottles.  I cap it with pink rigid insulation and also have put insulation on the sides.  The bottom sits on the cold concrete floor of my basement.  I've been able to maintain decent lager temps with this method.

You can also get an aquarium heater to raise the temp of the water bath if your ambient is too cold in the winter.

Either way works just fine and is pretty inexpensive.

Good call but this is also dependent on where you live. Our house never gets below 70, typically, and many people (myself included) don't have basements due to the limestone shelf. Thus I was never able to get to lager temps with these methods.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 08:12:07 PM »
I like this bag and I use it in my basement in the summer and use 2 liter frozen water bottles swapped every morning and night to keep things cool during the first 72 hours of fermentation; after that, I rarely care to keep it as cool, but will use a 2 liter frozen water bottle and swap them out daily through the end of primary fermentation (a week at most).  I prefer that process to a swamp cooler, but will use both occasionally.  If going swamp cooler route, I use some bleach in the water to keep the nasties from forming during the first week.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 08:20:42 PM »
I've done the rubbermaid tub, filled with water and frozen 1 liter bottles.  I cap it with pink rigid insulation and also have put insulation on the sides.  The bottom sits on the cold concrete floor of my basement.  I've been able to maintain decent lager temps with this method.

You can also get an aquarium heater to raise the temp of the water bath if your ambient is too cold in the winter.

Either way works just fine and is pretty inexpensive.

Good call but this is also dependent on where you live. Our house never gets below 70, typically, and many people (myself included) don't have basements due to the limestone shelf. Thus I was never able to get to lager temps with these methods.

You are 100% correct. Regional temp differences will impact the effectiveness of this method.  In a warmer clime, maybe you insulate the bottom as well and need to pay more attention to frequent ice bottle changes.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline BREWERMANNBART

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2016, 01:19:36 AM »
Ok this is my third damn try at this post!

I have been homebrewing for a year now, and really enjoying the fruits of my labor! I've made some improvements in my Brewing gear since starting out. First was a purchase of a Mega Pot 10 gallon Brew Kettle, with a temp gauge and a SS 90 degree ball discharge valve built in. (much better than the 4 gallon stock pot started with.) For Christmas My wife bought me a Outdoor Burner. Found out on my first kettle Use how no longer was my kitchen Stove up to par!

At the last meeting of my local Home Brewing group, 4 people advised my next purchase should be fermentation temperature control. Mind You I dont have the space to buy and house a extra fridge or freezer to convert. I seen this in the Adventures of homebrewing website.

http://www.homebrewing.org/Cool-Brew_p_2909.html. It's $65.00, folds up compact, insulated bag   that can hold a 6 gallon carboy. Thoughts anyone?
I would look at the brewjacket. But they are not cheap. I use a cold water bath in my garage. I use a chest cooler with the lid removed. Works great for ales. I add aquarium heater with Inkbird temp controller.

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Offline 802Chris

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2017, 08:20:40 PM »
One thing nobody has mentioned is you could also look into some different yeast strains that are more temperature tolerant. Check out brulosphy, he did some pretty wild experiments involving temperature that showed you can get away with more than you think.

That said, I went with a swamp cooler for years and you can definitely make some great beer that way.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 12:34:47 PM by 802Chris »

Offline charles1968

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2017, 10:23:53 PM »
You don't need to spend $65 on the cool brewing bag - just use a 4 season sleeping bag. The insulation is better, which means fewer ice changes. Need a large sleeping bag as the body-hugging style won't hold a fermenter + ice bottles.

Importance of temperature control is possibly overstated. People who've invested in gear such as brew fridges tend to exaggerate its benefits. I've yet to see empirical evidence that constant temp produces better beer. Having said that, I always take steps to stop temp rising too high in summer as that can produce fusel alcohols. Or so I've read.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 10:25:52 PM by charles1968 »

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Temp Control
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2017, 08:50:57 PM »
I used a brewjacket immersion system, and it works although they are quite pricey.  About $300, but they don't take up much space.
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