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Damn I'm gonna miss the kids

Originally this post was to ask for solutions/feedback on warming my fermentation in these cold winter months up here in Vermont. But, alas, after speaking with my wife regarding this issue, she has graciously offered up the perfect solution: “Why don’t you start only brewing your beers in the summer, when the house is nice and warm?”
So now I’m asking for feedback on how to get the whole divorce process going:wink:…

All kidding aside, I was wondering what method some of you use for getting those warmer target temps for fermenting and bottle conditioning. I’ve seen all sorts of heating apparatus and control systems out there, and have been visualizing the construction of this elaborate heated chest contraption, but feel like I might be overthinking it a bit…what are some of the more simple, cost-effective solutions you guys/gals have used and had good results with?
Thanks

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At least for bottle conditioning, stuff will still ferment cool. It just takes longer. So if your beer storage room is 62 degrees, well, just give it a couple of extra weeks.

As for fermentation temperature, hunt around your house for a warm corner, and consider different yeasts. Most of the ale yeasts I use are happy in the low to mid sixties, so I use a room in my basement that stays right around there. If you have an upstairs closet that stays a little warmer, maybe use that. How warm do you keep your house, anyway?

Also, maybe you want to get into lagers… if you have a garage that stays cool, but above freezing.

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I’m sure you have boot warmers. I used to wrap my fermenters with a blanket and the boot warmers inside. Also a stem thermometer. I would monitor it manually and unplug occasionally but was able to ferment ales in my 50 degree basement no problem. Then I just started doing lagers in the winter which is what I recommend you do in VT.

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A few quick ideas which can be improved on:

A tub of water with a temperature controlled aquarium heater. Very simple leaves air lock accessible.

A large cardboard box with a trouble light. 20 to 40 watt bulb. $10.00 indoor/outdoor wireless thermometer taped to the side of the fermentor and insulated from the ambient air temp. Fermentor shielded from light with a black garbage bag.

Fermentor kept under the dining room table.

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All great ideas. And I second(or third) the comment about lagering. Time for a BOCK!

Warming things up should be easier and cheaper than cooling things down(in most cases).

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If you’re considering a chest freezer/temp controller for the summer months, then a heating pad in the freezer does wonders during the winter. I still use one from CVS, but lizard heaters from pet stores, and seedling leaders from garden suppliers may work better. You need a controller though…

Hey dd71,
I’m in Maine, and rely on environmental temps plus swamp coolers.
So, partially I brew based on the season- Kolsch and Altbiers in the Fall, Lagers in the Winter. I do regular ales predominantly in the Spring and early summer, and stop in July and August.
But, I do have to say that I can maintain temperatures exactly where I want them with the swamp cooler. In the winter, I don’t even have to use frozen water bottles. The key is to take the temp of the water bath several times daily and adjust accordingly. Occasionally I do need to raise the temp. and add an aquarium heater to the bath. But mostly it’s adding frozen 1/2 gallon bottles. Of course it helps that my groundwater runs from 45-50.

You could use a heating jacket. Or brew lagers during the wintermonths. Haha wish i had. A colder climate. Me more busy keeping the brews cold. Yes. My wife are you brewing. Again. Yes. And next week again

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It’s true. It’s alot easier brewing in the northern climes. You guys in the warmer areas should be making wine.

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I’ve been putting my primary in a water bath (inside a large Rubbermaid container) and using my Anova sous vide wand to keep the temp at the ideal point. Works really well and doesn’t use much electricity at all.

I repurposed my wife’s heating pad for warming the fermenter. Strap it on with a belt and set it for high, medium or low then check it every couple hours till you find the sweet spot.

I’ll second the aquarium heater. Get a cheap Rubbermaid bin, put you brew bucket in, add water to the Rubbermaid around the bucket and let 'er rip! Does great in a MN basement and has saved me from a mess more than once on an over-active brew.

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