Changing temps

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by 3DMan, Feb 10, 2016.

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  1. 3DMan

    3DMan Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2015 Michigan

    I asked a few people this and have never received a great answer on this: How do you make a small, precise temperature change during fermentation, in the 1-5 degree range? I guess I'm looking for some examples of methods I'd be able to apply myself. My living isn't the most temperature stable so this is an ongoing battle, but I'm not going to not brew dang it! So I guess the second part of the question is how do you then keep a stable temp if your environment isn't that stable?
     
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,564) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    The 'best' way to maintain precise fermentation temperatures is via a fermentation chamber that can cool and heat as needed. Place the temperature probe/sensor directly on the fermenter or even better yet use a thermowell.

    @3DMan, do you absolutely require precision temperature control?

    Cheers!
     
    jbakajust1 and GreenKrusty101 like this.
  3. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Temp controller and chest freezer (~$300...unless you can find used components)

    Ghetto swamp cooler (~$10 ...old wet t shirt, walmart tub, and maybe a fan)



    You may not need the first solution unless you are extremely anal and wear a lab coat. :slight_smile:
     
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  4. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,565) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    How big is the temp variation in your house/apartment, and where do you keep your fermentor? You probably have a spot somewhere that is mostly immune from the temp swings, and wrapping a blanket/sleeping bag, etc. around the fermentor will moderate the variations to be minimal and not detrimental to the fermentation process.
     
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  5. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Disciple (311) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    The simplest, least expensive way to keep your fermenter at a steady temperature in your living quarters is to use a "swamp cooler" (as mentioned in a previous response by GreenKrusty). This is a large container big enough to put your fermentor into. Partially fill it with water, and throw in an inexpensive aquarium heater. These usually come with a dial thermometer with a narrow temperature range which covers most fermentation ranges. Once at the right temperature, put your fermenter into it and the temperature should stay reasonably constant without having to adjust it further. This assumes that the fermentation temperature you want is at, or above the room temperature.
     
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  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,564) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I like your avatar. Where did you find it!?!:wink:

    Cheers!
     
  7. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Disciple (311) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    It comes from an article that talked about ancient Egyptian brewing in Tel Aviv, Israel 5,000 years ago. :-)
     
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  8. fuzzbalz

    fuzzbalz Disciple (340) Apr 13, 2002 Georgia

    I use a small fridge and just bought a Inkbird dual temp controller and a FermWrap heater off of Amazon to control ferm temps. I did use a thermowell for the probe but after much research went with attaching to the side of fermentor. I'm now looking for a reasonably price temp monitoring device that has a data logger capabilities.
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  9. 3DMan

    3DMan Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2015 Michigan

    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.
    @JackHorzempa: Not yet, really but I've seen some recipes where there's a temp change of small degree or a yeast that performs best at a specific temp, so I'm trying to step up the precision a bit if I'm going to attempt those recipes/use those yeasts.
    @Mothergoose03: I've been fermenting in front of a heater in my living room, doing a secondary in my closet. I think my closet is more stable temp-wise, slightly cool. My living room, and the rest of the place... probably fluctuates 10-15 degrees and I have no control over the thermostat. I live over a business and my landlord turns it on and off whenever. Pretty annoying but it's a big place and cheap, so...
    @GreenKrusty101 @OldBrewer @fuzzbalz: Good suggestions. I'm going to do a little research and pricing.
     
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  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,564) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    One aspect to keep in mind is that a 5 gallon volume of liquid has a fair bit of thermal mass and will tend to not fluctuate wildly. For example, while the ambient temperature will vary 10-15 degrees a 5 gallon batch of beer will not even come close to that variation of temperature.

    Cheers!
     
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  11. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (266) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    Something as simple as a card board box with some insulation against a wall should help control temps.
     
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  12. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Disciple (311) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    The picture itself is from a funery Stele from Amarna Egypt, about 1,350 BC. Currently in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin.
     
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,564) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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  14. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Disciple (311) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    #14 OldBrewer, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,564) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    As Arsenio Hall would like to say: “Things that make you go hmm?”:rolling_eyes:

    Cheers!
     
  16. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    To hop on the bandwagon here - you can increase your thermal mass using the swamp cooler method without the t-shirts and fans, and just keeping your fermenter in a keg bucket filled with water.
     
    JackHorzempa likes this.
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