jeeps_beagles_and_beer

Got my Mr Beer Kit today

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If you close the lid on it while fermenting just be careful it does not overheat in there - especially the first week. Those are wonderfully insulated.

A $10 digital aquarium thermometer will work well if taped to LBK You can monitor from outside if you run the sensor cord into the cooler.

You do have room to put some freezer ice packs in there if you need to keep it cool - or water frozen in 2/3 (3/4?)  full soda bottles.

Too hot and you may get cidery flavors.

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1 hour ago, Nickfixit said:

If you close the lid on it while fermenting just be careful it does not overheat in there - especially the first week. Those are wonderfully insulated.

A $10 digital aquarium thermometer will work well if taped to LBK You can monitor from outside if you run the sensor cord into the cooler.

You do have room to put some freezer ice packs in there if you need to keep it cool - or water frozen in 2/3 (3/4?)  full soda bottles.

Too hot and you may get cidery flavors.

 

I was planning on using the cooler to control the temperature. It's still in the mid 90s outside here in AZ, and I keep the temperature at 78-80 inside, so I figured I'd have to use ice packs or frozen water bottles to get the temp down about 10-15 degrees. The cooler is also a safety measure in case it gets too  warm and pops the top it'll be easier to clean up.

I like the wireless thermometer idea. I was wondering what the easiest way to monitor the temp would be without having to open the cooler... I'll pick one up this weekend 

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Just a note as to ambient air temperatures.  I keep my cooling chamber at about 60 degrees to maintain a 63 to 64 degree wort temperature during peak fermentation.  Sometimes with a very vigorous fermentation, I have to go below 60 for ambient temps.

 

Ice packs will work to maintain these temperatures but it will take some time to get it right for your setup.  You are on the right track, but don't get discouraged on this first batch if it gets too warm on occasion.  Also, I let the temperature slowly rise after 4 days to get to about 68 or 70 by day 7 so that fermentation can complete.  Another tip is to precool your cooler, put a couple of icepacks in several hours ahead of time and then use fresh packs when you add your LBK.

hotrod3539, Brian N., C-ya and 1 other like this

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22 hours ago, jeeps_beagles_and_beer said:

 

I was planning on using the cooler to control the temperature. It's still in the mid 90s outside here in AZ, and I keep the temperature at 78-80 inside, so I figured I'd have to use ice packs or frozen water bottles to get the temp down about 10-15 degrees. The cooler is also a safety measure in case it gets too  warm and pops the top it'll be easier to clean up.

I like the wireless thermometer idea. I was wondering what the easiest way to monitor the temp would be without having to open the cooler... I'll pick one up this weekend 

Actually the one I use is wired, my cooler has a drain hole so I run the wire through there and tape the sensor under a folded paper towel wad onto the LBK with Duck tape.  like this one. at $5.99 - it actually might be the same , looking at my pic :-D.

https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-digital-thermometer/dp/154874

 

cooler temp 20150629_215653.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Wort is made and in the cooler (aka fermentation chamber), with a couple frozen water bottles. The plan is to swap out the frozen water bottles every morning before work. Got my thermometer set up with the wire in the cooler, and the cooler sitting in the bottom of my pantry out of the way. Temperature should stay in the low 60’s that way. 

So what’s the rule of thumb again? 3-4-3? I gotta set a reminder on my phone for bottling day :-)

Edited by jeeps_beagles_and_beer
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19 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

Yes,  3-4-3 and the 4 is a minimum, some beers do not get really nice until many months, but those are mainly the strong ones.

It is horrible waiting on your first batch, but so good when you crack one open :lol:

 

Yeah it’s gonna be tough for sure, but the wait will be worth it!

A few questions:

It’s Bewitched Amber Ale and it says I’m the instructions 68-76 degrees for two weeks in the LBK. My fermentation chamber is staying exactly at 60 degrees. Should I let it warm up a little? I seem to remember reading on here low 60’s being ideal? I’m definitely going the full three weeks before bottling, I want the best possible results. Then I’ll bottle it for the full four weeks. Should the bottles sit at the same temperature as the wort? Thanks everyone!

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I would see what the daily temperature spread is if you are changing the ice once a day.

Also if the thermometer sensor is on the LBK and covered with insulation it will be reading LBK internal temp which is what you want. 

I would not get it below 60 or above 70. If you can do this and average 65 I think you will be good. A smaller range might be better, but it takes a lot of work to do that using bottles I think, mainly because of the time taken for the temp to change - after you change the icing.  A heater/cooler and thermostat control is more accurate  (See the Inkbird controller but you still need heater and/or cooler. )

You may find after the first flurry of activity it takes less ice and less frequent change out to maintain the temp.

 

In the bottle, for carbonation, room temp low 70's is fine. 78-80's - not sure about that. Maybe you can just find your coolest place.

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I’ve been checking it a lot and it’s staying right at 60 degrees air temperature in the cooler. I’m not sure what to do to get it up 5 degrees. Maybe tomorrow I’ll put one frozen bottle in and keep an eye on it throughout the day. 

 

Once I bottle it’ll be a new challenge to keep the temp at 70... maybe in the cooler with half a bottle of frozen water. I’ll figure it out and share it here :-)

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A couple of things.

 

1) Checking the air temp is a waste of time.

 

2) Checking the temp of an LBK full of water is a waste of time.  Wort generates heat during fermentation, which is what you are trying to control.  Water does not.

 

3) You want the wort temp to be mid 60s.  That means during peak fermentation you will need more ice bottles than later in fermentation.  How many, how big they are, how often they change is subject to your conditions.

 

4) After you bottle, you want 70 or higher.  No need for a cooler unless you're worried about a bottle bomb or you cannot maintain 70 or higher.  Even high 60s is fine, it will just take longer.

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

A couple of things.

 

1) Checking the air temp is a waste of time.

 

2) Checking the temp of an LBK full of water is a waste of time.  Wort generates heat during fermentation, which is what you are trying to control.  Water does not.

 

3) You want the wort temp to be mid 60s.  That means during peak fermentation you will need more ice bottles than later in fermentation.  How many, how big they are, how often they change is subject to your conditions.

 

4) After you bottle, you want 70 or higher.  No need for a cooler unless you're worried about a bottle bomb or you cannot maintain 70 or higher.  Even high 60s is fine, it will just take longer.

Yes, what he said.

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you can tape your aquarium probe to the outside of the lbk below the water line, then tape a small piece of reflectix insulation over that and you will get a ballpark idea of wort temp.  those thermometers (the yellow one above) are not 100% accurate but close enough. I use them.  my lazy man's guide for temp control is if my cooler ambient air temp stays around 62f then my wort temp should be ok for most ales.  62f is good on its own. peak fermentation would mean wort would be around 72 max probably...which is a little high but still ok for most ales. . at least for me.  ive only had apple esters on one or two batches. one was because I used us04 in a stout and let temps get way too high. imo stouts and apple esters are a major no no. if I wanted fruit in my beer I would dump a can of it into my glass.

 

 

here's a thought. if you were confident about sanitation you could probably soak your probe and about a foot of lead wire in starsan for a bit... then run the probe directly into your lbk but how would you screw the lid down I wonder?  or you could take a meat thermometer , sanitize the probe end and poke it through your lid into the wort... but then you would have a hole in the lid. I don't worry about it. I just shoot for ambient of 62f.

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7 hours ago, zorak1066 said:

you can tape your aquarium probe to the outside of the lbk below the water line, then tape a small piece of reflectix insulation over that and you will get a ballpark idea of wort temp.  those thermometers (the yellow one above) are not 100% accurate but close enough. I use them.  my lazy man's guide for temp control is if my cooler ambient air temp stays around 62f then my wort temp should be ok for most ales.  62f is good on its own. peak fermentation would mean wort would be around 72 max probably...which is a little high but still ok for most ales. . at least for me.  ive only had apple esters on one or two batches. one was because I used us04 in a stout and let temps get way too high. imo stouts and apple esters are a major no no. if I wanted fruit in my beer I would dump a can of it into my glass.

 

 

here's a thought. if you were confident about sanitation you could probably soak your probe and about a foot of lead wire in starsan for a bit... then run the probe directly into your lbk but how would you screw the lid down I wonder?  or you could take a meat thermometer , sanitize the probe end and poke it through your lid into the wort... but then you would have a hole in the lid. I don't worry about it. I just shoot for ambient of 62f.

 

I'm positive that someone on here does exactly that.  They posted a picture of their set-up.  They had a small hole in the lid through which they could insert the sanitized temperature probe down into the wort itself.  I can't remember who, though; it was many months ago.

 

 

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I think I remember that, but I thought I remembered a fixed thermometer glued into the lid? like the meat thermometer length so the sensor goes into the liquid.

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This is the one that I use

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/AcuRite-Digital-Meat-Thermometer-00641W/14913168

 

Basically a tiny hole in the lid and slide the thermometer in.  It goes into the wort by about 1.5 inches .  I don't remember the size of the drill bit, but it is a fit snug enough to prevent almost any air from getting through.  A bit pricy, but it works perfectly well.

 

Note.  I keep the thermometer in the lid at all times.  When I wash/sanitize the LBK, the probe gets washed/sanitized at the same time.

 

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