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Do I need a heat pad?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by mozzie, 17/7/19.

 

  1. mozzie

    New Member

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    Posted 17/7/19
    So I've only brewed Ginger beer in the summer before now, but I put one down yesterday, pitching the yeast at 25 celsius. Thankfully the airlock was finally bubbling this morning when I checked it. I use the cupboard under stairs for brewing and the ambient temp in the cupboard has stayed around 16-18 degrees (I'm a little north of Newcastle - Port Stephens area) while the fermenter has dropped to about 22 (from 25ish).

    So I'm wondering if I should rush out to my LHBS and pick up a heat pad for 50 bucks for when the fermentation is less vigorous after five days or so (they're closed Sun to Tues, right when I might be needing it).
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. philrob

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 23/7/19
    Mozzie, I'm in Port Stephens, Corlette, too as it happens. Never used a heat belt in the 5 years I've been here. Ambient temps in winter ferment my beers just fine in my garage, in summer the brew fridge controls it. I would just let it take its course, particularly as it seems to have done fine for the last 5 days or so. You would expect the fermentation to slow down by then anyway. I imagine ginger beer would follow much the same path as beer.
    I know there is a brewshop in Taylors Beach behind Bunnings, but I get all my stuff from site sponsor Brewman.
     
    Brewman_ and lost at sea like this.
  3. JDW81

    I make wort, the yeast make it beer.

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    Posted 23/7/19
    You can safely ignore the temperature guidelines on most of the kit yeasts you buy. The ideal fermentation temperature for most kits yeasts (unless you're using lager yeast) is around 18C. When you start to get around 25C you'll notice that "homebrew" flavour, which is the yeast producing undesirable compounds.

    If you're fermenter is under the stairs, and the temp is fairly stable then fermentation will carry on just fine and complete itself without needing a heater.

    After 5 days, the fermentation should be less vigorous as the process should be nearing it's end so if you're using an airlock, the bubbling will slow down (although airlock's aren't that reliable - there's plenty of discussion on here about the merits of the old airlock so won't go into it today).

    FWIW, I only use a heating belt in winter as I ferment in the garage in a fridge in Geelong, so need a little extra help. I'd wager you'll be fine without a heater in port stephens for the vast majority of your brewing (although you may need a fermenting fridge in summer).

    JD
     
  4. Garfield

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    Posted 31/7/19
    Agreed.

    Yeast will keep producing alcohol down to very low temperatures. As low as 13c for ale strains and even 5c for lager strains.

    Ignore how "vigorous" it looks. This will naturally slow after a few days anyway. For flavour sake, be patient and keep it cool. Frankly 22c is a little high. Get it under 20
     

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