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JLScar

First Batch - Temp Control Question

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I am preparing to brew my first batch of homemade beer and I have been testing my cooler that I will be fermenting in. I have an Igloo Max Cold cooler. I have mounted s 2 x 4 to the bottom of the cooler and sealed it with silicone to raise the LBK off the bottom.

About 40 mins ago, I placed the probe of a digital meat thermometer in the cooler along with 2 bottles of water that I have frozen. The temp is reading 64 degrees now.

I am going to be brewing the Czech Pilsner HME that came with the kit. The instruction say to maintain a temp of 68 - 76.

How many degrees will the fermentation raise the temperature when the process begins?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Welcome aboard.
I just brewed yesterday, the fermenter (LBK) is in the Igloo 52 qt cooler. Before brewing I lowered the temp in it to 56 with half a gallon bag of ice cubes and one first aid ice pack. My basement is about 75. I chilled the hot wort in the pot by putting the whole pot, lid on, into a bigger pot half full of ice water. That cooled the boiled wort down to about 90. Mixing with 68 degree tapwater brought it down to 76. Putting it in the cooler lowered it to 66. I have been changing ice about every 8 hours. Your Czech Pilsner will raise the temp maybe 5 degrees. The first few days are the most important for temperature control.

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I've found the temp increase during early fermentation varies greatly from batch to batch. I've had some with no increase, and some up to 8 degree increase.

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It was 70 when I put it in and raised to 74 in about 30 mins. I have re-inserted the frozen bottles and it has settle at 72 for about the past hour.

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JLScar:

Welcome to "THE ADDICTION" and the borg.

I would recommend you to bring it down a little further in temp range near 65*-68* during peak fermentation (wort temp) if possible..then try to maintain it near 65* for total of 3 weeks ferment time. You will be pleased at how good this will taste once carb & conditioning is finished. Good luck and brew on.

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thanks for the greeting ... from browsing the forums this seems like a great community. I am looking forwzrd to being an active and contributing member.

I am understanding that staying on the low end, even few degrees below 68, isn't the end of the world?

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Nope, keeping it below 68F is usually a good thing! Generally, the higher it is over 70F the more off flavors that will develop. It can taste cidery, etc.

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"TimeTraveler" post=383064 said:

Nope, keeping it below 68F is usually a good thing! Generally, the higher it is over 70F the more off flavors that will develop. It can taste cidery, etc.

+1. I've run ferment temps using Mr. Beer ale yeast in the 63-64*F range (measured on the fermenter) for the first week and then allowed it to come up to 68*F to finish. That sort of temp profile gives a nice clean fermentation. Just what you're looking for in a Czech Pils.

The only fermentation I'll let get over 70*F is when using WLP530 Belgian Abbey Ale yeast which you start at 64*F and raise 2*F each day until you reach 74*F.

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Of course it will vary from case to case depending on the room temperature your cooler with LBK is sitting in, the size and insulation qualities of your cooler, and the volume of your wort as well as the size of the frozen bottles you're using. But for example, I have three LBK's right now in 48 quart coolers, each with one frozen pint bottle in there along with them. The hanging thermometer in each cooler reads 60 degrees pretty steady while the stick on thermometer on each LBK reads 66 degrees pretty steady, as I change out the bottles roughly every 12 hours. The coolers are sitting in a room with a pretty steady 70 to 72 degree temp. Just one example to give you an idea of how they tend to act. BTW, this is day 7 for two of them and day 4 for the other one. The first 2 or 3 days were pretty furious, and I had 2 bottles in each cooler for those 3 days.

Update/Correction: Must apologize. I got lazy and just didn't check more closely the past day or so. The air temp and LBK temp have stabilized and moved much closer together now. The air temp is at 64 and the LBK temp is at 66 now. Probably after next week I'll just stop using the bottles and let the temp creep back up to near 70 for the final week.

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***UPDATE**

Today is Day 9 of my first batch (Czech Pilsner) and I think I have done a reasonably good job at controlling the temp. I was keeping the ambient temp in the cooler down around 60 for the first 5 days. I went out of town for the 4th and came back to find the ambient temp at 72. I replaced the frozen bottles and the temp dropped right back down to the lower 60s by yesterday evening. Saturday will be day 14 of fermentation. I have read some posts about letting the temp rise steadily over the last week, is this true?

Should I allow the temp to raise naturally for the last few days or should I continue to regulate the temp as best I can?

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Up a bit is good....let it finish in the high 60's to low 70's. (wort temp)

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