How to keep fermenting homemade beer at the correct temperature

Written by jodie toohey
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How to keep fermenting homemade beer at the correct temperature
The proper temperature can help ensure a refreshing product. (Bottle with beer on a white reflecting surface image by Alexander Oshvintsev from Fotolia.com)

Brewing homemade beer can be a fun and rewarding hobby. With a recipe, a few basic ingredients and time, you can enjoy a fresh-from-the-brewing-process beer all your own. Once you master the basics, you can get creative and make beer as unique as you like. Yeast, one of the fundamental beer ingredients, requires a consistent temperature to live, grow and ferment to make the brewing substance beer. The type of climate you live in, time of year, and numerous conditions in your home can make maintaining the temperature challenging. Luckily, there are a few simple techniques you can use to help.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Thermometer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a thermometer in various places in each room in your home where you are thinking of placing your beer to ferment to determine the ambient room temperature, if you are brewing an ale or stout. The basement, an upstairs bedroom, on top of a refrigerator or on a floor may work depending on the size of the batch you are brewing, your climate and time of year. If you are brewing a lager, place a thermometer in your refrigerator and adjust the settings until the temperature registers what is recommended in your lager recipe, generally between 7.22 and 12.7 degrees C.

  2. 2

    Place your fermenting beer in the room or refrigerator that has a temperature as close to that recommended in your homemade beer recipe as possible. Ales and stouts generally require a fermenting temperature close to typical room temperature, between 18.3 and 23.8 degrees C.

  3. 3

    Keep a thermometer near your fermenting beer or use a thermometer tape such as that used on fish tanks to monitor the temperature, which may fluctuate due to varying mechanical heating and cooling cycles and the weather outside. Tightly covering your fermenting beer in a blanket (leaving the airlock on top uncovered) will help insulate it and keep it at a more consistent temperature.

  4. 4

    Consider purchasing a warming belt or wrap heater if you find it difficult to keep the temperature of the fermenting beer elevated to its required temperature pursuant to your recipe, particularly in the winter months in colder climates. A warming belt or wrap heater is applied around the circumference of your fermenting container, plugs in to an electrical socket and can help elevate the fermenting beer 5 to 20 degrees above the room temperature.

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