A Conversation for Homebrewing

keep it cool

Post 1

Researcher Ragnaschlock

I remember the second time I tried homebrewing. I live in Southern California, so there is no such thing as a nice, cool place to stash the fermenting froth. I used a 30-gallon plastic garbage bin, put the BIG bottle of beer in it, added cool water all around. I had also filled plastic soda bottles with water, frozen them, and added enough to the water around the bottle to keep the temp constant.

When it was time to let the individual bottles set, I put them in my dishwasher (it's insulated) and used the frozen soda bottles again to regulate temperature.

(the first time I homebrewed, I didn't keep the first fermenting container cool enough and it blew stout all over my bathroom walls, ceiling, floor, windows...

keep it cool

Post 2

Satellite Cowboy

Yes, unfortunately some of us have to become "seasonal" homebrewers. Here in Kansas I have found that I can make homebrew during all of the months, except for June, July and August. It gets far too hot and the yeast goes bezerk or simply burns itself out before its time.

If you keep busy during your good months of constant temps and make a lot of homebrew in those months, you will find that you can spend the rest of your year drinking your homebrew!

keep it cool

Post 3


I was lucky enough to 'inherit' a used refrigerator. With an external thermostatic controller, I was able to keep the temp around 50F (10C) for lagering.
For ales, though, I find that evaporative cooling works well. Carboy in a water bath, with towel (YES! Yet another use for The Towel...) wrapped around the shoulder/neck of the carboy, kept wet by the surrounding water and (optional) a fan blowing air across. This'll keep the high-temp esters down, and I've never experienced stalled fermentation. Central Valley, CA, summers get warmish...
I keep the carboy covered anyway, so the precious brew doesn't get lightstruck.



keep it cool

Post 4


I think it should be mentioned that stiring the cooled substance (wort), as suggested in this article, is not a good idea as it can lead to oxidation (oxygen bonds with the compounds in the wort) and give the beer a bad taste. best to leave sediment at the bottom (as a lot of the trub is waste products from the yeast, which are undesirable in the finished product). smiley - ale

keep it cool

Post 5


To clarify: Oxidation is only an issue *after* fermentation is complete. Prior too, extra O2 in the wort is actually prefearable as the yeast need it! After however, any O2 introduced into the solution has the potential to cause flavors to degrade.

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keep it cool

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