Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fermentation Friday June 2009

The dudes over at brew-dudes are hosting Fermentation Friday this month and their chosen topic is...


How do you beat the heat of summer time brewing?

For me, the warm weather means brewing out on the back deck, which I think makes the process all the more enjoyable. I'm not a big fan of slaving over a hot stove or hanging out in a dusty garage for hours on end when I have a nice back yard and deck as a more cheery alternative. One of the best gifts I've received in recent years was the turkey cooker my wife got me for brewing beer. I'm really looking forward to brewing outside with my Dad at the end of the month when he visits. Something about a bunch of buddies hanging out around an open fire, even a propane powered one, outdoors enjoying a beverage and some good conversation, should be fun!

Now fermentation temps is a different matter all together. I'm fortunate to have a finished basement that stays relatively cool all year round. At least it stays withing appropriate temps for most ales. We did have a few spells last Summer where it got so hot, some of my brews were in jeopardy, but I haven't had too many issues. Unless you count the now infamous Frankenbeer, which used an ale yeast that still required cooler temps than the others I have previously used.

In that case, I kept the carboy upstairs in my office, with the door shut and the window air conditioning unit running 24/7. The added cost to my electric bill really wasn't worth it, the beer wasn't so great. (Although it did improve considerably with age...)

Over all nice weather trumps using snow banks for wort chilling any day...

3 comments:

  1. One really easy way to keep your fermentation temperature consistent is to use a digital controller. The easiest, I think, is to put an old refrigerator in the garage, plug the frig into a digital controller, and let the controller keep the temperature right at your desired degree. I also recommend taping the controller probe to the side of the carboy, and covering the probe with a piece of styrofoam, so that you get the temperature of the beer inside the carboy rather than the ambient frig temperature.

    In the winter, you can use the same frig, but instead of plugging the controller into the frig, just plug into a low-level heat source, like a dehydrator unit, which you have placed inside the frig. Works really well.

    The really cool thing about this setup, is that you can adjust the temp anytime you want, so if you want to raise the temp after a few days to drive off diacetyl, it's easy. Or alternatively, crash the temp to clear the beer or lager for a month.

    You can usually get old refrigerators for free or next to nothing on Craigslist. Digital controllers are around $100.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great tip! But I'd need to wait until we clear out our garage... We're quickly running out of space now that we have child... But this summer's tag sale should help with that...

    Have you posted a how-to on this set up to you web site?

    ReplyDelete
  3. the Easiest way to avoid heat use to spend most of the time in offices or malls or visit to coolest places.

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    ReplyDelete

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