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Fermentation Temp

All,

How important is fermentation temp on Ale yeast? I have always just pitched in the low 70 - high 60’s range and then just let it ferment at room temperature. Typically my thermostat in the house is set at 74-76 range. I am just wondering since I don’t do much lagering if it is worth it to buy a temp controller for my frig.

Thanks!

TB

Over the years I found that my ales were improved by fermenting between 65-68 deg. I have a small beverage cooler and a digital temp controller for my carboys so I can maintain those temps. Many ale yeast strains show those temps for their optimum temp ranges. Also that kind of set up works for cranking down the temp for lagers any time of the year. You can buy used frigs/freezers relatively cheap if you have the space. The controller is about $80. That’s what works for me. Others may say different.

Fermentation temp is one of the keys to making really good beer. For most ales, I try to stay at 62-65 for the majority of fermentation. I chill to a little below that temp and let the heat created by fermentation bring it up. It’s entirely possible for the beer to be 6-10F more than room temp as it ferments. That can lead to high levels of esters and fusels, which are pretty undesirable. I think most homebrewers will tell you that the single biggest improvement they’ve made to their beers came from controlling fermentation temp.

I agree with the others. Cool low to mid 60s is best. Never exceed 70 F if possible, unless you are using Belgian yeasts, and even then, you’ll make the best beer if the fermentation starts in the 60s for a couple of days before it moves up to the 70s.

If you need to reduce temperature, a wet t-shirt with a fan blowing on it can reduce fermentation temperature by about 5 degrees as compared to ambient. Works great. Add an ice water bath for even cooler effect, although changing the ice bricks 3-4 times per day is kind of a pain.

I recommend buying a bung with a thermowell to measure the heart of your wort. You would be rather surprised temp difference… Inside while fermenting compared to out side temp. As Denny said 5 to 10 degree difference. A little extra cost but well worth the buy.

I agree with Denny… I went from making drinkable beer to good beer by controlling fermentation temps… :cheers:

Yup. Controlling fermentation dynamics, which includes oxygenation, pitch rate and ESPECIALLY temperature, is the difference between good beer and great beer.

Ok well thanks for the info…will have to look at some deals on Temp controllers…

Here’s a deal from Homebrew finds. You have to wire it up with an outlet to plug the fridge in to but if you’re handy you can save a few bucks.

http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2014/08/si ... w+Finds%29

Ferm temps are important, but so is the water when it comes to lighter beers like IPA’s, I just recently got a ferm chamber and I bottled my first ferm chamber beer last week. I will know in a few weeks if it was worth it or not.

Well Looks like I tracked down a Dorm frig for 25 bucks. I plan on getting a RANCO ETC-111000 Digital Cold Temperature Controler and just building a box around it.

Does anyone see a problem with skipping the plywood on the outside and just basically building “A Son of a Fermenter” around the frig? Once I have it done I will post some pics.

Tim

[attachment=0]IMAG0054.jpg[/attachment] Well here is what I came up with. Not sure there is a square cut but I think it will function just fine. Waiting on the controller for temp but other than just wiring that up I should be good to go. I am just friction fitting the “door” on the side for easy access.

A full cock tube of liquid nail and I think we are set.

TB :blah:

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