Author Topic: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter  (Read 971 times)

Offline Hopspringseternal

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Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« on: July 15, 2020, 02:38:35 PM »
How warm is too warm for the ambient temperature for the primary fermenter?  I'm using Safale US-05 yeast.  The ambient temperature reads 77 (F).
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 02:46:54 PM »
The act of fermentation creates heat within the wort. Upwards of 10 degrees or more. Safale says the ideal fermentation temperature for US-05 is 64 to 82 degrees F. So if my ambient was 77 I would find a way to bring the temperature of your fermenter down. Something like a swamp cooler is probably the simplest and least expensive option.
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Offline denny

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2020, 03:26:25 PM »
How warm is too warm for the ambient temperature for the primary fermenter?  I'm using Safale US-05 yeast.  The ambient temperature reads 77 (F).

That's too warm...way too warm.  You want beer temp to be in low-mid 60s ideally, so the ambient would need to be 5-10F cooler.
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Offline Hopspringseternal

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2020, 02:15:47 AM »
Thanks, Denny and Kevin.  I've been keeping a towel, saturated with water, wrapped around the primary with a small box fan blowing on it.  I've added water to the towel about three times a day to keep it wet and the temp has dropped to between 67 and 70.  That's still not where I'd like it to be.  Since I only have a crawlspace to store my beer in during fermentation, I'm guessing that I'll need to confine my brewing to three seasons out of the year--i.e., not in the summer. 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 11:08:36 AM »
Consider making a simple box out of foam insulation and using frozen water bottles for cooling.  You can achieve cooler temperatures pretty easily just by swapping out the frozen bottles.
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2020, 12:55:12 PM »
Consider making a simple box out of foam insulation and using frozen water bottles for cooling.

I've been thinking about this type of setup A LOT in the past few weeks. Maybe a "swamp cooler" setup using an igloo cooler to put ice in. It would be super swell to have an output hose blowing swamp cooled air into an insulated box.

I'm using a wet shirt over my bucket right now with a fan blowing on it. It does keep temps lower than ambient, but that's only until the shirt dries out. It needs constant attention. Still better than nothing, but it's begging for improvement.

UPDATE: Added a 30GPH aquarium pump and a couple feet of 1/4" poly tubing to keep the shirt wet 👍
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 04:19:29 PM by Joe_Beer »

Offline Hopspringseternal

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2020, 05:19:54 PM »
What a great idea!  An insulated box, large enough for my 6.5 gallon primary, with enough room for some frozen water bottles.  I'll explore that construction project and, hopefully, with this new resource I'll be able to continue to brew in the summer.  "Why not brew some," indeed!
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Offline spurviance

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2020, 03:32:22 PM »
A bathtub that won't be used for a couple weeks always works.  The water absorbs a lot of the heat and adding ice or frozen water bottles to bring the temp down will stabilize the beer temp
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Offline denny

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2020, 03:33:41 PM »
A bathtub that won't be used for a couple weeks always works.  The water absorbs a lot of the heat and adding ice or frozen water bottles to bring the temp down will stabilize the beer temp

I did something like that for years, although using a large plastic muck bucket in a closet rather than a bath tub.  Works really well.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2020, 04:05:06 PM »
I still do the swamp cooler thing from time to time for ales in the summer when my basement is running hot. My fermentation keg fits neatly inside a 6.5 gallon brew bucket It's enough to keep the temperature from spiking during peak fermentation,  then I pull the fermenter out to let the beer finish after 3 or 4 days.

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Offline Hopspringseternal

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2020, 11:48:18 PM »
I appreciate all these great ideas. Looks like the simplest option would probably be a large plastic trash can filled with ice/ice water. But I'm also considering building a simple, insulated box (30" tall and 19" wide), with 1" polystyrene foam boards with foil backing. I thought I'd make a lid out of the same and then glue some bead board onto the foam board for the base (the bead board is to keep the fermenter bucket from denting into the insulation).  If I place four 2-liter plastic pop filled with frozen water in the corners of the box I'm hoping it will keep the temp in the low to mid 60s even when my crawlspace is in the mid to high 70s.  What do you think?
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2020, 01:05:12 AM »
Four frozen bottles will very likely get you to lager fermentation temperature.  Cheers!
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Offline Hopspringseternal

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2020, 02:07:35 PM »
Okay, thanks. I'll check the temperature for my ales frequently until I get this thing figured-out. With a primitive "ice box," like I'm building I guess I can adjust the temperature by removing frozen pop bottles as needed. But I hope you're right. I'd like to try brewing some lagers sometime!
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Offline Cliffs

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2020, 04:19:46 PM »
Thanks, Denny and Kevin.  I've been keeping a towel, saturated with water, wrapped around the primary with a small box fan blowing on it.  I've added water to the towel about three times a day to keep it wet and the temp has dropped to between 67 and 70.  That's still not where I'd like it to be.  Since I only have a crawlspace to store my beer in during fermentation, I'm guessing that I'll need to confine my brewing to three seasons out of the year--i.e., not in the summer.

you can also look into yeasts that perform better at higher temps

Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2020, 09:06:47 PM »
Thanks, Denny and Kevin.  I've been keeping a towel, saturated with water, wrapped around the primary with a small box fan blowing on it.  I've added water to the towel about three times a day to keep it wet and the temp has dropped to between 67 and 70.  That's still not where I'd like it to be.  Since I only have a crawlspace to store my beer in during fermentation, I'm guessing that I'll need to confine my brewing to three seasons out of the year--i.e., not in the summer.

you can also look into yeasts that perform better at higher temps

Agreed, selecting a yeast for the environment,
 is easier than changing the environment for the yeast.