Author Topic: Let's make this into a competition!  (Read 3624 times)

Offline Wheat_Brewer

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2011, 05:51:32 PM »
You're not a serious homebrewer if you don't have beer stains on your ceiling.


Very true, that!!! ;D
I consider it part of the decor.

I'm thinking this might just be the sales pitch i use to explain to the wife why homebrewing is worth the effort and energy! 

To answer another question the yeast was pitched at 73F, i don't have a refrigerator for fermentation (hopefully Santa is reading), but with the AC on it's 70F, which i know is a little warm but i haven't had issues before.  The OG was super high though, .082, so with a good starter, high OG, and a smaller than should have been used carboy i had it coming  :-\

I hate to break it to you but that's gonna be way too warm. 70 degree ambient means the beer might be fermenting at 78. If you pitched at 73 the temp may have never dropped down to 70 and it may even be fermenting at 80. You can add 4-8 degrees to ambient temp. You never should pitch most ales over 70 degrees and you want to keep the temp of most ales at 68 (70-72 at the very highest!) which means you need a way to have the ambient temp in the low 60s.

I understand that you say you "haven't had a problem before" but I honestly think that if you tasted you beer fermented at cooler temps you would agree with me that there is an improvement. You may even be blown away at the improvment.

You don't have to have a refrigerator, a "swamp cooler" in which you immerse the fermenter in a water batch and cycle out frozen water bottles works very well. Be sure to stick a "Fermometer" or stick on thermo on your fermenter so that you have an idea what the actual temp of the fermenting beer is. Fermentation temp is one of the most critical aspects of brewing. It is essential to consistency!

Also, if you pitch a bit cooler, say around 64-66 and keep fermentation temp between 66 and 68 for most ales you will have less issues with blow offs.

Emailing this to Santa right now...
Homebrewing isn't my obsession, it's my life calling, there's a difference.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2011, 06:12:46 PM »
While I agree a temp controlled fridge or freezer is the best option there's no need to wait for Christmas. You probably have a bucket big enough to immerse your fermenter in now and frozen water bottles can't be hard to come by. You can start contrrolling fermentation temps on the very next batch.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2011, 09:17:18 AM »
While I agree a temp controlled fridge or freezer is the best option there's no need to wait for Christmas. You probably have a bucket big enough to immerse your fermenter in now and frozen water bottles can't be hard to come by. You can start contrrolling fermentation temps on the very next batch.

I tried the swamp cooler technique before I got a fermentation-dedicated chest freezer and found it to be a major PITA. That being said, I found the quality of my beers increase 100-fold as soon as I was able to manage fermentation temperatures. This was the single biggest improvement in my beer, bigger than yeast starters, or wort aeration, or even switching to all-grain.

And I have only had one big messy fermentation since - it was after I had transferred a big double red ale to secondary for dry hopping. I thought the beer was finished (in three weeks it had dropped from 1.070 to 1.018). Sure enough, the next morning, I found the breathable silicone bung on the floor of the closet I had moved the better bottle into, and the beer hd begun an active secondary fermentation. I cleaned and sanitized the bung, then put it back on - the beer had no signs of oxidation or other problems... I think the initial fermentation stall was due to a lack of wort aeration (I pitched a liter of brewpub-fresh WLP001), and I have since purchased a wine degasser to drill-aerate wort with.

Offline rjharper

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2011, 09:40:28 AM »
I use the guest bath tub.  Filled to the point of overflowing into the drain, with the carboys sat in it.  I have an hi/low indoor/outdoor thermometer with the probe sitting in the water.  I can dump ice from the ice-make into it in the morning, or put in a frozen bottle and keep temps at 65F, even when the house is 80 during the day.  The advantage of the water bath over a cooled airspace is the heat capacity of the water is more likely to keep the beer within a degree or two of the bath.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2011, 10:35:26 AM »
I tried the swamp cooler technique before I got a fermentation-dedicated chest freezer and found it to be a major PITA.

Really? I used to use it often during the summer in my basement when my fermentation fridge was full. I found it pretty easy, that said the temps were already in high 60s. Never tried to in warmer temps.
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Offline bo

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2011, 10:46:06 AM »
If your humidity is high, a swamp cooler won't help you much anyway. That's why it never worked well for me either. Get a cheap fridge of freezer off of craigslist.

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2011, 11:12:40 AM »
It's not technically a "swamp cooler" in that sense. You immerse the fermenter in water and cool the water down with frozen water bottles. I'd say the humididty in any homebrew "swamp cooler" is going to be pretty high - close to 100% ;)
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2011, 11:24:52 AM »
If your humidity is high, a swamp cooler won't help you much anyway. That's why it never worked well for me either. Get a cheap fridge of freezer off of craigslist.

depending on electric costs where you live it can become extremely expensive to use cheap/free appliances. The lack of efficiency is often what lands them on the free pile in the first place. but it is convenient to not have to change out ice packs.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2011, 11:25:23 AM »
I literally had beer raining in my kitchen, had to boil outside after that.
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Offline bo

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2011, 11:26:36 AM »
If your humidity is high, a swamp cooler won't help you much anyway. That's why it never worked well for me either. Get a cheap fridge of freezer off of craigslist.

depending on electric costs where you live it can become extremely expensive to use cheap/free appliances. The lack of efficiency is often what lands them on the free pile in the first place. but it is convenient to not have to change out ice packs.

Just keep in mind that the ice that you make (or buy) comes with a price as well.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2011, 11:27:32 AM »
If your humidity is high, a swamp cooler won't help you much anyway. That's why it never worked well for me either. Get a cheap fridge of freezer off of craigslist.

depending on electric costs where you live it can become extremely expensive to use cheap/free appliances. The lack of efficiency is often what lands them on the free pile in the first place. but it is convenient to not have to change out ice packs.

Just keep in mind that the ice that you make (or buy) comes with a price as well.

agreed, just saying that free fridges can come with problems.
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Offline bo

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2011, 11:28:05 AM »
I literally had beer raining in my kitchen, had to boil outside after that.

I once formed a cloud in my shop. I added ventilation shortly thereafter.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2011, 11:32:51 AM »
if freezing 8 or 10 water bottles breaks the bank you shouldn't even be drinking alcohol.
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Offline bo

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2011, 11:38:13 AM »
if freezing 8 or 10 water bottles breaks the bank you shouldn't even be drinking alcohol.

Energy is energy. Making ice isn't sneaking by.

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Re: Let's make this into a competition!
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2011, 11:50:27 AM »
Don't brew beer then because it is extremely energy intensive. Honestly, I don't know why this would even become an issue to debate. You want to make great beer, control the fermentation temp. I can honestly say I have never noticed a huge fluctuation in my energy bills by freezing a few water bottles.
Keith Y.

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