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[WIKI] Fermentation Temperature Control Methods

So far I've made about 3 different batches of beer. Two came out good, one, not so good. I think it had to do with the fact that it was winter and I let it get too cold. I was wondering if there are any tips on how to maintain a constant temperature. I was thinking of trying to insulate it in some way. Living in Kansas, we tend to have extremes in weather, last weekend it was 80 degrees, this weekend we had snow. Thus the temperature inside the house changes quite a bit during the fermenting phase.

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marked as duplicate by Brewer2011, brewchez, Hopwise, JackSmith, Mark McDonald Mar 31 '11 at 14:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
This is possibly a duplicate of homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/1117/… or –  JackSmith Mar 30 '11 at 16:24
    
@JackSmith Yep, exact duplicate, I didn't see it when I typed it up. Can or should duplicate questions be deleted? Does op delete their own posts? Questions for meta probably. –  xecaps12 Mar 30 '11 at 16:33
    
Vote to close the question. –  JackSmith Mar 31 '11 at 13:56

2 Answers 2

The deluxe method is to use a refrigerator or freezer with a temperature controller. Although you can find old fridges and freezers cheap, their lack of energy efficiency means that you might spend the equivalent of a new fridge to run them over a year or 2. I use the Cheap'n'Easy method. I put the fermenter in a large tub of water. The added mass of the water helps to buffer thermal swings. To warm it up, I put a 200 watt aquarium heater on a timer in the water. By manipulating the aquarium thermostat and the timer, I can maintain a steady temp. To cool the beer down, I add ice packs to the water once or twice a day. A bit more work, but less expensive and it doesn't take up as much room as a dedicated fridge. If you put the tub if water in a closet with only inside walls, it helps to buffer the temps even more.

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Just saw the question and wanted to add the same answer. I use this method for homebrewing kombucha which works very well (Images). It should work the same way for beer and wine. There is is even easier because you don't need the big opening for air access like kombucha needs. –  Martin Scharrer Mar 30 '11 at 20:35
    
I like the idea of the aquarium heater. I think my sister in law has an old one she's not using. –  xecaps12 Mar 31 '11 at 2:41

Put the fermenter in a shallow pan, and fill the pan with a few inches of water. Get an old t-shirt wet and put it over the top of the fermenter, with the neck sticking out the head hole and the bottom of the shirt hanging down in the water filled pan. The t-shirt will wick up the water from the pan and cool the fermenter through evaporation. In my experience, this will keep the fermenter about 5 degrees cooler than the surrounding room temp.

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