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Fermenting Temperature

Good evening everyone!

I’ve been brewing beer through my Mr. Beer kit for a few years now and just recently upgraded to the NB kit. I received my starter kit today along with my first set of ingredients for the Irish Red. Two questions:

(1) I live in South Carolina where it’s constantly hot, and keep my house at a temperature around 80 degrees F. The directions on the Irish Red indicate that the fermenting temperature must be much lower than that. Can I still ferment at 80 degrees? If not, what are some suggestions, and what temp should I be aiming for.

(2) I’m a true hop head. As a result I purchased an additional 1 oz of organic UK fuggle hops. When, based upon your experience, should I add these hops? The kit came with 2 additions - a 60 min and a 30 min.

I apologize if these are questions that have already been answered. Thanks in advance for the replies!

-David

See the link in my signature line for temp control ideas.

About the hops. Depending on what you are looking for to satisfy your hop addiction. Add in the beginning for the bitter qualities. Add at/near the end for the flavor/aroma.

Not if you want the beer to taste good. 65-68F is an ideal range for most ales. At 80F the yeast is going to produce a lot of nasty tasting and smelly esters, fusels and assorted unwanted byproducts. Find the coolest spot available and then get the temp down to a proper fermentation range. Search “swamp cooler” to see how to rig a simple system to get the temps down.

Your beer will improve greatly and your brewing future will be much happier if you arm yourself with some basic information about techniques. The basic on-line version of Palmer’s “How to Brew” is a good place to start. :cheers:

Temp control and an old fridge for a fermentation chamber. I do it and love it.

I purchased a decent old fridge off of Craigslist for $40 and then bought a two-stage temp controller and a fermwrap (heater). Best $200 EVER spent on improving my beer! You don’t have to do it all at once, but remember that controlling a good fermentation is the single most important aspect of brewing (assuming you are clean and sanitized).

For $25 you can buy a storage bin large enough to hold a carboy. Add water and frozen water bottles to get temps down into the 60’s with ease.

:cheers:

Everything above +1.

You CAN ferment at 80, but you don’t WANT to ferment at 80. If you want consistently good beer, you have to find strategies to ferment in the 60’s. No way around it. You will be highly rewarded though - your beer will be sooooooo much better for whatever investment of time or money you put into temp. control.

Thanks to all those that replied!

Quick update-

I brewed on Saturday with little to no complications. In the future I will buy a bag of ice to chill the wort faster. Ended up adding the 3rd addition of hops (fuggles) in 2 increments, .5 oz at 15 min and .5 while chilling. As far as the temp to ferment is concerned, I purchased a 40 gallon pale at lowes and have been controllIng the temP via 1 liter frozen bottles. Beer is currently fermenting in the low 60s ----- a success! Thanks again everyone!

-David

[quote=“holaday1185”]Thanks to all those that replied!

Quick update-

I brewed on Saturday with little to no complications. In the future I will buy a bag of ice to chill the wort faster. Ended up adding the 3rd addition of hops (fuggles) in 2 increments, .5 oz at 15 min and .5 while chilling. As far as the temp to ferment is concerned, I purchased a 40 gallon pale at lowes and have been controllIng the temP via 1 liter frozen bottles. Beer is currently fermenting in the low 60s ----- a success! Thanks again everyone!

-David[/quote]
Great to hear you’re having success. Instead of spending money on ice every brewday, I’ve started cooling wort in my fermenting bin using frozen bottles around it. Essentially use the bin as you would during fermentation except replace the fermenter with the boil kettle. IMO a bit more sanitary than tossing ice into the wort to cool it.

:cheers:

What part of South Carolina do you live?

I am in Charleson and I use a chest freezer with a johnson digital controller and I couldn’t be any more a happy.

But prior I did have luck with the use of a swamp cooler.

I live in Charleston too — more towards the Summerville area. Yeah, I’ve been looking for chest freezers on Craigslist. Nothing in my price range right now. Another question - I’m thinking of growing hops next spring. Have you had any luck with it?

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