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Hot ferment?

Hello all,

I just began primary on my first ever batch of beer (caribou slobber). After pitching, I checked just a couple hours later and I already have pretty good bubbling on the airlock, but I’m worried because I don’t have any place that I can keep temperatures significantly low. It is winter but I live in Texas so it’s not quite cold enough to store at the recommended temp. Right now the air temp in my house is about 70. That being said, I’m worried the fermentation might be going too fast/hot. The fermenter has a slight warmth to the touch, just barely noticeable, but I’m worried about harsh alcohol production. Should I maybe put some ice packs around it wrapped in paper towels, or do you think it’d be okay to just let it run its course?

Thank you!

Put it in a tub of water with some ice packs try to keep temps in the mid 60’s

Make a swamp cooler. Place your fermenter in a vessel with a couple inches of water. Cover your fermenter with a t-shirt. Wet the shirt and put the bottom of the shirt in the water. Point a fan at your shirt. The shirt will wick up the water and cool the fermenter by evaporative cooling.

Great advice above. One thing to remember is that fermentation produces heat. This heat drives the yeast into becoming overactive, which results in additional heat.

When discussing ferm temps its important to think of ambient v. actual. I have seen ferm temps 5° higher then ambient on average, and up to 10° on bigger beers (like RIS, BW, etc). So if your ambient temps are 70° you are likely fermenting at 75°.

I had the same problem with my first Slobber, brewed it in the Summer. It came out OK had what I would call a sour taste, my dad liked it and put it inline with German Beers he used to drink when stationed over there (they drink beer warm). Also NB is great and replaced it free of charge so I could try again. I will tell you the best investment I made is right after that batch and was buying a chest freezer and temp controller. Yes you will be out $200+ on average but it’s been well worth if for the last 8 batches I made since then. If you calculate the cost of the materials and the cost of the fermentation chamber divided by an average of 40+ bottles per batch you are still cheaper than buying generic commercial beer and way less than craft beer.

Thanks so much for the information, everyone! I got the temp down now and the airlock is bubbling nicely, slow and steady. I will try to invest in a cooler for my next batch, but hopefully this one is under control and will turn out fine.

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