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Fermentation temp control in winter

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Muz

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Just wondering if anyone controls temp in winter with just a temp controller (MKII, Inkbird etc.) and a heat belt? In other words can you allow the ambient temperature to cool things down.

I'm in Melbourne and my garage is pretty cold around the clock. I'm thinking the temp never gets above 14 degrees. Is this enough for cooling and then I use a heat belt and temp controller for heating. Or does the temp generated during early/peak fermention take to temp too high without a fridge/freezer/glycol chiller etc.

Cheers,
 

dkril

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Do you mean in a fridge/similar fermentation chamber but without active cooling (i.e. fridge unplugged); or just sitting the fermenter on the garage floor/table with the heat belt?
 

Moad

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Fermentation is exothermic meaning the process itself generates heat. So it can ramp up past the temperature of the air outside which is why it is still a good idea to ferment in a temp controlled environment.

If you don't have temp control, I am sure you will be fine it just isn't ideal
 

eggs82

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Sorry for the noob question... Is it possible to just use an old fridge with a thermostat to control the cooling. No need for any heating element? Obviously in summer it'll be fine, but just thinking when my garage is 14 and below in winter. Do you being inside a fridge would help control that even without a heating element.
 

JasonS

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I also use an old fridge as a fermentation chamber and tried disconnecting the cooling on the fridge as my initial temperature was about 14 degrees and I wanted to ferment at 18 degrees. Big mistake, within 24 hours, temperature had shot up to 24 degrees. Admittedly, I did have 2 cornies going simultaneously for my fermentation vessels, so between that and the fridge's insulation, things got hot very quickly.
 

Garfield

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Yes it's possible. It will generate its own heat depending on fermentation vigor. I've observed ten degrees above ambient through exothermic mass.

If you struggle with low temp, consider switching to lager yeast strains which ferment nicely at 12c
 

ABG

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It depends on the yeast strains that you're using. You could easily use just cooling in winter if you're using a lager yeast. The results will be very disappointing if you're using a saison or abbey yeast. What are you trying to brew and what yeast are you thinking of using?
 

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