Author Topic: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question  (Read 1076 times)

Offline gogreen437

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Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« on: May 31, 2011, 11:24:30 AM »
I'm sure this question gets asked a lot in various ways, but I'm taking steps to improve my process and wanted some feedback.  I've been brewing ales for a number of years now and when it comes to primary fermentation I use my basement, where ambient temps are typically in the low to mid 60s.  I know that fermentation can raise the temp of the beer by 5 degrees (give or take a few degrees) but I've never seen the temp strips on my fermentors above 71 at the highest and most often it's in the 60s.  So  I'm hesitant to go looking for a spare fridge and shelling out 50 to 100 bucks for a temp regulator for my fermentations.  But, it seems like temp control is the most universally pushed "improvement" a homebrewer can add to their process.  Should I be looking at temp control, regardless of basement good fortune? 

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 11:30:00 AM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation, but...... even if I wasn't, I couldn't see shelling out any dough at all for a temperature controlled system if I was happy with the ales I was making in my basement in the low 60s.

Which I am.  And which, it seems, you are, too.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline gogreen437

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 11:40:28 AM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation, but...... even if I wasn't, I couldn't see shelling out any dough at all for a temperature controlled system if I was happy with the ales I was making in my basement in the low 60s.

Which I am.  And which, it seems, you are, too.

I am, and appreciate the perspective since I'm not looking to shell out cash without need.  I've just read so much about the importance of temp control in fermentation recently that I wanted to make sure I'm not missing the boat. 

Offline bluesman

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 11:43:30 AM »
I ferment most of my ales on my cellar floor which ranges in the 60's throughout the fall/winter/spring months without temp control. The temp varies +/-1 degree on any given week. I have been very pleased with the quality of my beer. I think the most important thing to keep in mind is the taste of your beer as percieved by you. If you are happy with your beer then I wouldn't look into improving your fermentation temp control. If you can consistently keep your ale fermentations in the 60's +/- a couple of degrees then I wouldn't change the process.
Ron Price

Offline smizak

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 11:50:28 AM »
I like to brew any and all styles whenever I want. I don't want to have to wait till summer to brew a saison or winter for a lager. So it was worth the hundred bucks or so it cost to build the Son-of-Fermentation chiller box. I've outfitted mine to do heating as well, so I'm all set.

Offline denny

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 12:49:01 PM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation

I'd be willing to challenge ya for that title, Dave!
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

Offline bluesman

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 01:11:48 PM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation

I'd be willing to challenge ya for that title, Dave!

You guys should start a new thread. "Show us your ghetto brewery"  ;D
Ron Price

Offline jeffy

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 02:07:13 PM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation

I'd be willing to challenge ya for that title, Dave!

You guys should start a new thread. "Show us your ghetto brewery"  ;D
[/quote

I particularly like the fact that denny's not embarrassed to show us his rusty old hose clamps.  Every time I see a picture of his set-up I think I need to send him a new clamp or two.  Maybe some new hoses.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline denny

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 02:47:19 PM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation

I'd be willing to challenge ya for that title, Dave!

You guys should start a new thread. "Show us your ghetto brewery"  ;D

I particularly like the fact that denny's not embarrassed to show us his rusty old hose clamps.  Every time I see a picture of his set-up I think I need to send him a new clamp or two.  Maybe some new hoses.

I've changed those out since the pic was taken, Jeff.  But still, your point is well made!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 07:54:48 PM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation

I'd be willing to challenge ya for that title, Dave!

Denny, do you boil on your stovetop?  Do you ferment solely in plastic buckets?  Use the winter weather for lagering vs. a fermentation fridge?  ;)
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline denny

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 08:40:55 AM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation

I'd be willing to challenge ya for that title, Dave!

Denny, do you boil on your stovetop?  Do you ferment solely in plastic buckets?  Use the winter weather for lagering vs. a fermentation fridge?  ;)

No to the first one, yes to the other 2!
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

Offline bluesman

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 09:29:46 AM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation

I'd be willing to challenge ya for that title, Dave!

Denny, do you boil on your stovetop?  Do you ferment solely in plastic buckets?  Use the winter weather for lagering vs. a fermentation fridge?  ;)

No to the first one, yes to the other 2!

Looks like Dave's winning so far.  :)
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 09:39:15 AM »
I'm most likely the cheapest, most ghetto brewer in the entire nation

I'd be willing to challenge ya for that title, Dave!

Denny, do you boil on your stovetop?  Do you ferment solely in plastic buckets?  Use the winter weather for lagering vs. a fermentation fridge?  ;)

No to the first one, yes to the other 2!

Looks like Dave's winning so far.  :)
I was thinking it was a wash.  I guess it depends on how you look at it.  It's not pragmatic to try to boil 10 gallons on a stove top.

Let's talk mills - Denny, you've got a JSP right?  What about you Dave? :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 09:44:42 AM »
I was thinking it was a wash.  I guess it depends on how you look at it.  It's not pragmatic to try to boil 10 gallons on a stove top.

Let's talk mills - Denny, you've got a JSP right?  What about you Dave? :)

12 year old JSP adjustable, co-owned and co-used with a friend.  Powered by an old drill.

Guess I'd better post a pic of the old, beaten up, rusted pizza pan I use as a kettle lid!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Basic Fermentation Temperature Question
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 09:48:10 AM »
Mill?  I thought you just used two rocks and an oversized right arm.   ;)
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong