Author Topic: Uncontrollable Room Temps  (Read 595 times)

Offline Bevel

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Uncontrollable Room Temps
« on: January 11, 2021, 03:48:48 AM »
Hey everyone,

I brew in my apartment where although I have thermostats, it’s generally too warm even with the heat turned off... average I’d say 70-74 degrees F. We live on the top floor so it tends to be warmer up here not matter what.  Has anyone had the same problem and/or does anyone have any tips to on where to keep my fermenting beer in order to *hopefully* have the best chance at keeping cool enough?  Right now I typically keep them (one gallons) on a shelf in a closet that seems to be the balance of a relatively cooler spot and consistent temperature but it still averages too high...beers are still decent but I’d like to be in the acceptable fermentation temp range more often. Thought about keeping them near the sliding door but not sure if it’s consistent enough.

Anyway, hoping for some tips or similar experiences.

Offline inbituinthebrew

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 03:56:46 AM »
I'm assuming 70-74 ambient? Tubs of water can hold a consistent ambient temp for something that small. I've also used a fan + a wet towel or shirt over the fermenter.

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Offline Bevel

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 04:01:50 AM »
I'm assuming 70-74 ambient? Tubs of water can hold a consistent ambient temp for something that small. I've also used a fan + a wet towel or shirt over the fermenter.

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Yup ambient. Cool I’ll try that since I usually have a fan going somewhere in the apt. Thanks!

Offline Oiscout

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 04:50:11 AM »
If you can get a little cash together you can't go wrong with a 5-7cuft chest freezer and a temp controller. We have one for my gfs baked goods and it has a tiny foot print and with the temp controller won't be on all the time.

And if your doing very small batches you can probably throw 3-4 gallons in or one 5 gallon fermentation bucket.

I also looked into kveik yeast when I was having temp swings in ky brewing closet in summer time

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 11:50:43 AM »
   A tub or water or an insulated cooler large enough to submerge you fermenter works well if you rotate frozen water bottles in and out of the water. A cheap floating aquarium thermometer will tell you the temp of the water. The stick on "Fermometers" will tell you the temp of the fermenting beer (below beer level but not submerged in water). As long as you can maintain proper fermentation temps for about 72-96 hours after fermentation has started the temperature won't matter has much and you won't have to be as diligent maintaining it (and you can let the temp raise but don't want it to drop). Exothermic activity also drops off after about 72 hours.

   As warm as your apartment is the wet towel and fan probably won't work. Keep in mind that the exothermic activity of the beer will mean your fermentation temp will be 6°F over the ambient temp of the room (or even higher).For most ale strains you need to keep the fermentation temp of the beer under 68°F (for the first 72 hours) if possible. That means the room temp would need to be 62°F.

   The chest freezer or fridge with external temp controller is easily the best way to go if you have room and budget. 

   The other option is to consider a yeast strain that actually works well in those temps like Kveik which can ferment well up to 100°F.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 02:17:15 PM by majorvices »

Offline BrewBama

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Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 02:13:37 PM »
+1. Use yeast that fits your conditions until you can chg your conditions. That change could be from a tub of water, towels, and fan, to a mini fridge, all the way to glycol chiller.

Here’s a video on glycol and water chiller: https://youtu.be/9mX7Nb-SqYk

There are internet sites and videos that describe apartment brewing with some fairly ingenious tips. Here’s one: https://theapthomebrewer.com/ There are more.

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« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 02:40:19 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline Richard

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 03:25:30 PM »
The BrewJacket (https://brewjacket.com/) is a good solution for small spaces, but the cooling element is too big for 1 gallon jugs. For small batches you might be able to use a thermoelectric cooler like this one: https://www.amazon.com/K-Box-Electric-Cooler-Warmer-Home/dp/B07F8XVHH1/ref=sr_1_26?crid=1H9VY7ZNKHSP&dchild=1&keywords=thermoelectric+cooler&qid=1610381141&sprefix=thermoelect%2Caps%2C242&sr=8-26

There are many more like that available in different sizes.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 04:08:53 PM by Richard »
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Offline Bevel

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 09:36:42 PM »
Thanks everyone these are great ideas. I appreciate the input from those more experienced!

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2021, 11:22:59 PM »
Adventures in Homebrewing is still selling the BrewJacket Immersion Pro for $150, which is half of the original price.

https://www.homebrewing.org/BrewJacket-Immersion-Pro_p_6152.html

Online ynotbrusum

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 08:26:33 PM »
Here's what I use:

http://www.gotta-brew.com/categories/cool-zone-kits/cooling-jacket.html

It works really well with a dedicated minifridge with a coolant tub in it.  I only need it in the summer season, though....
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Offline spurviance

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2021, 07:34:24 PM »
Until you get some sort of controlled fermentation setup complete you might try kveik yeast and let it go at ambient room temp and not even worry about the heat generated by fermentation.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2021, 10:18:47 PM »
One other thing to consider- does the beer taste good?  If so, then don't sweat it right now.  Yes there are a zillion ways to fix a "problem" that you just might not really have.  I wouldn't rush into buying stuff until I know if there really is an issue, and if there is if temp control will solve it.

Offline Bevel

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2021, 01:31:11 AM »
One other thing to consider- does the beer taste good?  If so, then don't sweat it right now.  Yes there are a zillion ways to fix a "problem" that you just might not really have.  I wouldn't rush into buying stuff until I know if there really is an issue, and if there is if temp control will solve it.
Good point. My other beers tasted fine but moving to all grain, seem to be fermenting a little quick. I’ll have to taste test before making any major moves. Thanks


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Offline Bevel

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2021, 01:33:26 AM »
Until you get some sort of controlled fermentation setup complete you might try kveik yeast and let it go at ambient room temp and not even worry about the heat generated by fermentation.
Question: does kveik year have an absolute minimum temp to work? I looked around online and no solid answers. Wondering if I tried it and it wasn’t warm enough ambient temp if it would be the opposite issue I have now. May try some anyway out of curiosity.


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Offline spurviance

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Re: Uncontrollable Room Temps
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2021, 06:32:09 AM »
Until you get some sort of controlled fermentation setup complete you might try kveik yeast and let it go at ambient room temp and not even worry about the heat generated by fermentation.
Question: does kveik year have an absolute minimum temp to work? I looked around online and no solid answers. Wondering if I tried it and it wasn’t warm enough ambient temp if it would be the opposite issue I have now. May try some anyway out of curiosity.


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I've seen published temperature range of 65-100F, 18-38C.  Should be no issues starting fermentation in the low to mid 70's and as the temp increases during fermentation you wouldn't worry about any off flavors should temps reach into the low 80's.  This strain supposedly is really clean even as fermentation temps creep into the 90's.  If you're after more of the characters that an ale yeast provides in your finished beer then using the other mentioned technique that works for you makes more sense.  Sounds like an issue of how you want your beer to taste and what effort are you willing to put in to achieve that. 
On tap,  Vienna Lager, Doppelbock, Dortmunder Export, Pale Ale, Porter, Saison

Fermenting, Saison