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BeerofHrod

Fermenting and Bottling

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I live in southern California and it'ts been warming up after a few weeks of chilly weather. I had thought I found a nice usable cupboard to ferment my three lbks, the temperature has been steady at 66-69. Today when I checked the temperature it was close to 80 degrees Fahrenheit  ambient temp in the cupboard. 

I know that temp range is no bueno so I moved everything but my hard cider to a large cooler I use for fishing. I dumped a gallon of starsan in the cooler and sprayed the interior down with more. I set all three inside with these foam refreezable flat packs and a thermometer taped to the side. I also put a T-shirt to wick some water up onto the lbk and closed the lid.

Is air circulation important, I'm sure I can get the temps under control but oxygen circulation bothers me. 0d9dbe4d-228d-4fac-9d8d-685bee642ed9.jpg

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Air circulation is not that crucial. If you are wicking the water up over the LBK's you will have a good deal of evaporational cooling if you leave the cooler open

The cooler will do the bulk of the work once you get the temp down.

Most important is to make sure you change your cold packs out on a regular schedule.

Try freezing some 12 or 16 oz water bottles to put in the voids between the LBKs.

Check every 6-8 hours until you establish a schedule of how often you need to change your ice packs out.

I would try the water bottles and leave the cooler closed once you get your temps under control.

Good Luck!

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the cooler and ice packs worked, i think it worked too well, the temp of the starsan sitting on the bottom of the cooler is between 50 and 60 Fahrenheit. Is that healthy temps for fermentation? The keg sits in a water level that barely reached the trub level on the bottom of the lbk. the floor of the cooler is convex so as to bulge and raise the lbks a hair below the water line. I'm going to use 1 ice pack plus the t shirt wicking technique until tomorrow. 

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There's a lot of good info on the forums, including discussions about fermentation temps.  Low to mid 60s is good.  If the beer is in the 50s you're likely not fermenting and need to raise the temp.

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the three lbk have sat for 48-56 hours in a temp range of 49-55. I drained all my ice water and put about a gallon of hot water around the bottom of the cooler until the fermometer read 64 a few hours later. I drained everything again then shut the lid. hopefully tonight it'll still be around 60's.

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Beer has been fermenting at a good temperature in a cooler. I bottled my first batch in pet and a couple glass bottles. Today I cleaned a bunch glass, I soaked bottles in a mixture of water and baking soda overnight to knock off the labels. Then hit them with pbw with a brush and scouring pad. It worked really well and I almost have enough bottles for several gallons. e49902f5-d67b-4d13-b7e6-15fa94a32c75.jpg

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Use Oxiclean Free, soak them in a hot solution for an hour or so.  No scouring needed.

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rrgarvey said:Oxiclean will work similar to a no rinse solution?

No.  Oxiclean is a cleaner, NOT a sanitizer.  It needs to be THOROUGHLY rinsed, and if it soaks too long can leave a film.  It's very good at removing stubborn stuff from the LBK or bottles, especially on PET items that can't be scoured.  

It works very well for labels, in a hot water solution.  When I need to clean bottles I make up a few gallons, soak a dozen bottles or so for maybe 30 minutes and labels float off.  Use a scouring sponge to remove glue, then rinse with jet bottle washer.  If I'm doing a lot of bottles (to me I'd rather do a bunch at once), I reheat the solution in our spaghetti pot (plastic) in the microwave, and use it for the entire batch.  I have to do some in the next month, and have 61 bottles to go through the process.

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