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I'm living in Singapore where the ambient temperature fluctuates between 28 and 33 C most days. In the back of my apartment where I keep my fermentor, the temperature should be pretty stable around 30.

I've tried brewing a couple of beers using ice packs to maintain a temperature around 20 degrees. For my next batch, I would like to try something that works naturally in these temperatures, rather than fighting my environment. I understand saisons and farmhouse ales are often brewed at higher temperatures, but I'm having trouble finding a recipe that calls for fermentation at 30 degrees.

Do you have examples of recipes that are designed to ferment at 30 degrees? Even better if they are extract recipes. Any other advice for tropical brewing appreciated.

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Research the Scandanavian yeast called Kveik. It ferments any style cleanly at high temperatures.

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    It ferments any beer cleanly at higher temps, but will not replicate the flavour of any yeast. A saison mash fermented with kveik will not taste like a saison necessarily. A pilsner mash fermented with kveik will definitely not taste like a pilsner. – Frazbro Apr 29 at 3:09
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    It's Norwegian yeast and it's spelled Kveik – farmersteve Apr 29 at 13:17
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    Norway is in Scandinavia – Frazbro Apr 29 at 22:27
  • Spelling fixed for her pleasure. – dmtaylor Apr 29 at 23:51
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Greetings fellow tropical brewer! I am also based in Singapore, and the high ambient temperatures are certainly a challenge.

The other answers focusing on selecting warm-fermenting styles are also providing great advice, and indeed it's very possible to ferment great Saison styles here. If you're into funky beers, you'll have no trouble.

As dmtaylor suggests, the Kveik strains are also generally very tolerant of high temperatures, and the local hombrew community has been having a great time with them lately. I have even heard of some guys deliberately heating their fermenters, to give you an idea of what's possible with these yeasts.

But what if you want to make a style that requires a specific yeast? Things like hefeweizen, or (whisper it) a lager?

What most folks here do is build a fermentation chamber using a chest freezer, or cheap bar fridge. You should be able to find these going cheap on the various second-hand classified pages (locally, Carousell seems to be the most popular). It's a straightforward task to wire up a temperature controller such as the popular STC-1000 to measure the temperature inside the chamber and switch it on and off automatically to maintain whatever setpoint you would prefer.

I even recommend this approach for higher temperatures. First up, your repeatability/consistency will likely improve if you control the temperature. You'll have the option to experiment with strategies such as ramping up temperatures towards the end of a batch to encourage full attenuation, or cold crashing your fermenter to encourage the yeast to flocculate. And finally, the fridge or freezer will keep your fermentation nicely contained should a blow-off occur. This is helpful when you find yourself integrating your homebrew activities into a small apartment -- garages and basements are few and far between on this island.

Good luck! I would also encourage you to search for your local homebrew club, and see what others in your situation are up to. If you haven't checked them out yet, both our local hombrew stores are also well worth a visit and should be happy to help you solve this: whether you're after a turn-key solution or just some friendly advice.

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Take a look at Omega Labs HotHead(Norwegian Style). Also, take a look at some Brett strains, B.Claussenni is happiest at 25C+. Therefore combinations of Saison, Kevik, Brett C, and/or Hothead, should allow you to have a fair amount of fun and experiment with a wide range of styles.

Do not be afraid to play with the proportions of yeasts you use in a given brew to get the ester profiles you are looking for from the yeasts. You can mix a very clean yeast like Hothead or a funky Brett C and an Britsh Ale Yeast to get the British Ale charchter, the British Ale yeast at higher temp will start to taste more Belgian in style, but many of the off flavours I find are 'cleaned up' by Hothead or Brett C.

...or, you can add the flavour profile yeast on day 2 or 3 of fermentation and ferment for the first couple of days with a very clean yeast, so you only get a smaller amount of esters from your 'flavour strain' this way it does not have time or enough sugars to produce too many off flavours and your clean strain will have done most of the heavy lifting so to speak.

~70% of your esters are created in the first 3 days of fermentation normally at 30C I would expect that to come down to 2 days.

I highly recommend getting a copy of Yeast by Chris White

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You''re definitely on the right track in terms of working with the temperatures you've got. I'd recommend looking into tropical stouts as well.

My go to saison recipe is pretty simple:

  • 30-70% Pilsner malt {I err closer to 70% pilsner generally}
  • Remainder pale wheat malt
  • ~30-40IBU from Sorachi Ace, with a heavy late boil addition, and a heavy dry hop as well (all sorachi)

I aim for an OG of about 16*P personally, but choose your poison. About halfway through fermentation I also add 1kg of dextrose in a strong solution. Ferment with any saison strain, my favourite is WY3711/Belle Saison. I usually pitch this at about 22*C and then allow it to get to whatever temperature it likes.

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I regularly brew a saison using WLP565 that ferments at 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit (30-35 in Celsius). The recipe is modeled after a beer brewed by the Dupont brewery in Belgium, as described in the volumen "Farmhouse Ales". It is 100% pilsner malt mashed at 148 for an hour. I use East Kent Golding hops to the tune of 24 IBUs for bittering at 60 minutes and an ounce of Styrian Golding for a flavor addition with 5 minutes left. Fermentation is done in a swamp cooler with an aquarium heater to get the temp up. Its not a clean beer by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a crowd favorite for friends and family.

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Saisons, farmhouse ales, etc, with high temperature fermentations, and higher ABV, with high levels of phenols and esters are your go-to style with that temperature range.

However, you can definitely ferment other styles in that range, you'll just get more phenols and esters that is typical.

However, I'm curious... What is your humidity level there? Could you use a swamp cooler effect, via a wet towel, spraying your fermenter with mist, etc...? When I lived in California, I fermented in my garage, and it got into the 90-100F range in the day time, which is about what you're working with there. I was able to drape a wet towel over my fermenter and put a fan blowing on it with a termocouple, and was able to keep the temperature around 70F due to the evaporative cooling effect.

You could add a heater wrap to your fermentation vessel, and also add a fan and a wet towel. When it gets too warm, turn on the fan, when it gets too cold, turn on the heater and turn off the fan. Any off-the-shelf digital temperature controller should work for this...

  • According to my research, swamp coolers are effective when the RH is below 50%, which happens here... never. :) – alwayssummer Apr 30 at 6:23
  • @alwayssummer even if the RH is above 70%, evaporative cooling will still actually work, you just need to ensure you have good air flow and exchange the air in the room. Sure, it won't work "like an AC", but, it will cool things down, for sure. Better than nothing. I assure you it works... the relative humidity in San Diego where I lived and used this technique averages around 70%, the relative humidity in Singapore... is around 70% too. – Gordo May 1 at 8:14

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