Keeping Your Fermentor Cool

from theweeklybrew

heat20exhaustion202

Note to Oregon homebrewers. Tomorrow is your last day to turn in entries for the Oregon State Fair Homebrew Compitition.

Temperature is something many begining homebrewers don’t think to worry about, yet it is perhaps the most powerful beer destroying force out there. Many brewers who have been meticulous about things such as sanitation have found their beers end with a funky bubbel gum, butter, or other nasty off flavors. The sad thing about this is that fermentation temperatures aren’t that hard to control. With the hot August nights upon us though it seems appropriate to cover basic strategies. The first thing to keep in mind when considering your options however is that the fermentation temperature of your primary will be slightly higher then the ambient temperature of the room.

AC – One of the easiest and most expensive methods of controlling fermentation temperatures is to drop the AC to a temp of around 65° F. For most people this is a little silly. Most of us can not afford to keep our homes this cold throughout the summer. Some people however have a separate fermentation room with it’s own separate AC unit so that they don’t have to keep the whole house cold. If you have a spare room with a window and a window mounted AC unit then this option is much more affordable. Even with the separate room though this can be an expensive option.

Water Bucket– I can’t think of the actual name of this method. What it consists of is a large bucket that your primary will fit in, an old tshirt, and a floating thermometer. There’s not much to making this one. You just place your fermentor in the bucket and fill with enough water to reach halfway up the side of the fermentor. Then dress your fermentor with your tshirt or wrap in a towl. The towel or tshirt will wick water from the bucket to the top of the fermentor. Just place the thermometer in the water and use small amounts of ice to maintain a cool constant temperature in the bucket.

Refrigerator– If you happen to have a spare fridge then you can always stash your fermentor in there. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the fridge and adjust as needed.

Son of Fermentation – This is perhaps the most infamous of the DIY fermentation chambers, and the most cost effective of all the options. Here is a video from brewyourown4life where he guides you through his setup and mods he’s made.

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