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Keeping wort cool during fermintation

So i’ve brewed 3 batches now, two I haven’t bottled yet, one I have. The one I bottle a Chocolate stout came out pretty good. I am getting concerned however that the temp i am fermenting at is to high. I live in GA, and frankly this time of year it’s a version of hell heat wise. I can keep my basement around 70 degree but that is still probably to warm for fermentation. I’ve noticed all 3 of my batches only ferment for about 24-48 hours at the most then stop. My Caribou Slobber that is in secondary now for 3 week has yeast floats (I assume i did something wrong)…

What can i do to keep the temps down in the warm Atlanta summer. I can’t exactly set my AC to 60 :wink:

Google swamp cooler. My basement stays 68-70 year round. I put my fermenters in a swamp cooler and cool with frozen water bottles. I’m able to ferment in the low 60s could probably get to mid to upper 50s easily.

Wet t-shirt and fan, in the basement. Place your fermenter in a small tub of some sort about 2 inches deep with water, with a soaking wet t-shirt over the whole fermenter and a fan blowing on it. This should get your temperature down about 5 degrees, or in your case, 65 F. As the water evaporates, it cools the fermenter and more water wicks up from the tub. Every couple of days, add a little more water to the tub to keep a couple inches for wicking. It’s a miracle. If the t-shirt ever dries out completely, reduce the fan speed, soak the t-shirt again, and start over.

This is very similar and perhaps a little simpler than the famed swamp cooler method, but just as effective.

I’m in GA also, and it can be a pain.

It’s much easier to heat the fermenter than cool, so I only brew from September to April. My brew store guy has been trying to talk me into making wine during the “off season” but I’m not going for it.

A pal at work used that blue insulation board to build a small phone booth type affair in his basement. He stuck a tiny window A/C unit in through a hole, and that seems to work for him. When you’re only trying to drop the temp 8-10 degrees on a very small volume like that it gets much easier and cheaper than cooling the entire basement.

GA basements already have enough trouble with mold and mildew. I’m not so keen on the idea of the “swamp cooler”.

Good luck !

I also live in GA and have a basement. I put the fermenter in one of those large party tubs, trap two frozen bottles of water between the wall of the tub and the fermenter, and cover with towels. I place the bottles opposite the fermometer. I do not use any water nor a t-shirt. In the summer, I can keep the temperature in the 62-66 degree range during active fermentation.

Absolutely right, it is MUCH easier to heat than to cool. I built a Styrofoam box in my outdoor shed, and heat inside the box during the cold months. Around here, that is every month except July (we had a brief snow fall a couple weeks ago).

The brew store guy is probably just trying to sell you more stuff, but his logic is sound. When you use the right strains of yeast, red wines benefit from higher fermentation temperatures. It is not at all uncommon to want the temp of the fermenting must to get up in the high 70s or even low 80s. White wines are a different story, and those you typically want to keep in a range somewhere between 55 and 65.

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