The fermentation process in beer is arguably the most delicate part of home brewing. Most amateur brewmasters simply do not possess the correct equipment to maintain a stable temperature through the weeks of a fermentation process. During this time, if the temperature of the beer rises too high or too low, the beer will turn out with an overly fruity or harsh alcohol flavour. With a little planning, it is possible to keep fermenting home brewed beer at 18.3 degrees C.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- 20 gallon (or larger) tub or basin of water
- Cotton fabric or large T-shirt
Place thermometers around your house to find the ambient temperature of your rooms. You may find that the basement is more consistently in the 65 degree range and is the best place for storing your beer during fermentation. If you have a place that is consistently in the 65 degree range, you should still place a thermometer in the room near the beer and check it at least twice a day. If you notice any changes in the temperature reading, adjust your central heating and air conditioning system to maintain a constant temperature.
Fill a refrigerator with your fermenting beer. Ales and stouts generally require the 65 to 75 degree range for fermentation. Some brewmasters will have an extra fridge in their garage for storing fermenting beer. Again, it is necessary to monitor the internal temperature of the refrigerator with a thermometer. Check the thermometer at least twice a day. Most refrigerators have a temperature control dial on the inside of the cooler. Adjust this accordingly.
Use evaporation to keep fermenting beer cool. This process has the ability to keep the beer between -15.0 and -9.44 degrees C cooler than the surrounding air temperature, so it will only work if you store the beer in an area that is between 70 and 80 degrees. Place the beer in a large tub or basin of water and cover with cotton fabric (an old T-shirt works well). The cotton fabric will wick the water out of the pan and cool the beer to the correct temperature. Duct tape a thermometer to one bottle of the fermenting beer to measure the temperature throughout this process. Check it at least twice a day.
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