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Brewing Temps

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famousguy

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I do a fair bit of reading here and there but am still a little confused at brewing temps. I gather it depends on what yeast you are using and the temperatures tht yeast can support. Generally speaking I understand that lager yeasts generally like the chilly weather but ale yeasts don't always.

As a realtive n00b to brewing I am still in the land of kit brewing, and more to the point so am still using yeast that comes with the kits. Now I have just put down a Morgan's Wheat Beer and am ever so slightly concerned about temperature. The yeast packet stated 22-30 degrees is the optimum range however my brew sat at around the 20 degree mark and this morning when I checked it it was 16 degrees! I will be checking it again after work (we don't all have a webcam like Doc :) )

Is 16 degrees getting to the stage where the yeast will not be as effective? should I wrap my fermenter in a towel/set up a desk lamp etc?? Or should I wait it out and see what happens?

I know brewing temps should be consistent so I guess that these warming practices should be best done at night then during the day it will get warm (sitting in corner of brick garage that receives a fair bit of sunlight during the day)??
 

therook

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Have a look at

www.howtobrew.com

I generally wrap my fermenters in an old sleeping bag to keep the temps up, or as some of the other blokes do here and that is stick it in a cupboard with a low wattage globe going.

Mark
 

GSRman

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my fermenter sits in about 4 " of water, with an aquarium heater in it.. (im lazy.. that way all the temp control is pretty much handled...)
 

Doc

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My general rule of thumb is 20 degC for ale yeasts and 12 degC for lager yeasts.
I use White Labs liquid yeasts, and always double check the recommended temps for each strain.
My other rule of thumb is to keep the fermenter temp with +/- 1 degC of the temps mentioned above during fermentation.

Cheers,
Doc
 

famousguy

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The hardest thing for me to do is maintain a constant temperature, at the moment the fermenter is sitting on a bench on my garage, I might have to look into getting a cupboard with a light (or build one) or an aquarium heater if I can't maintain a good temp.

Actually I quite like he idea of building a brew cupboard! I'll have to incorporate a cooling method in for the summer months though!

:chug:
 

Doc

Doctor's Orders Brewing
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Lagers I ferment in my temperature controlled fridge. I use a Johnson Controls temperature controller that I wired in to replace the fridge thermostat.
Ales I do in a cupboard, which is in my insulated shed.
The cupboards are cooler than the shed in summer, and hotter than the shed in winter.
To keep things cool in high summer 2-3 litre juice ice bricks keep things better.
In winter a 25w light bulb on during the day and a 40w light bulb on at night.
A bit of experimentation and I have the temp nice and constant.

My next investment will be a chest freezer though. Then I can do lagers in the fridge and ales in the chest freezer or vise versa.

Beers,
Doc
 

kbekus

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FWIW, I've got an older fridge I use as a brewing closet. I built a temperature controller using a Dallas Instruments 1620 chip that's mounted inside the fridge. It's connected to a relay driver IC and a pair of 240 V capable relays via a 1 meter CAT5 cable. When the 1620 senses that the temperature's below a user-controlled trigger point, it activates the heater relay which turns on a small blower heater inside the fridge. Also when the 1620 senses that the temperature's above a user-controlled triggerpoint it activates the fridge relay. It will keep the chamber at a pretty constant setting plus or minus a degree.
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
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kbekus

Sounds excellent.
Care to post the plans or better still make some.
I want something that i can use to control my fridge.
I also, want one that i can control my Urn.
Eg set temp on urn from 40 to 85 degrees...

Let me know if you are interrested and at what price or maybe we could barter....

Thanks
 

kbekus

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Yeah I'd love to sort something out to sell, but I think that devices to be plugged into a mains outlet need to be checked by the suitable authority which is more hassle than I'm willing to deal with. Also I'm not an electrical trades person so that might be another hurdle - also I don't want to electrocute people :eek: However I'm very happy to share knowledge. I'll take some photos when I get a chance and add them to this web site.

But in simple terms I bought two kits from www.ozitronics.com = the K134 and the K156. The 134 is overkill but gave me the information I needed, I will probably condense it down for you at some point. The 134 contains a Dallas 1620 chip which is excellent for this purpose, it's designed as a single chip thermostat. By connecting it to a PC you can set a low trigger and a high trigger.

Then the K156 comes in - it has two 240V relays on a circuit board. Each trigger from the 1620 connects to a seperate relay on the K156 which then controls power to the heater and fridge. So if the 1620 senses a temperature cooler than it's low-trigger, it turns on the heater. Conversely if the 1620 senses a temperature higher than the high-trigger, it turns on the fridge.

The 1620 chip is mounted on a 1 meter piece of cable and is stuck inside the fridge where it monitors the temperature. The rest of the circuitry sits in a box outside the fridge. I've got a PC connected so I can change the low and high triggers at any time but you don't need to do this, once you're happy with your set points the PC can be left off, or left on to record the temperature and plot graphs of temp versus time....

It's probably overkill but I'm a bit of a nerd I suppose :D As far as working with the urn goes, I don't think this circuit is suitable as the temperature sensor's not water proof. Perhaps this circuit's better for that purpose.... http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer/Thermo/

I'll put up a web page at some point if people are interested, with more pictures, a better explanation, and some circuit diagrams and code.
 
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