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rrgarvey

Best Wife Ever

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Well after feeling a lil low thinking I couldn't buy any mr beer refills for a while my wife surprised for my birthday with the Seasonal 4 Pack, including this years Dobblebock!


Couldn't have come at a better time as I just brewed last years Spring White IPA and now I will have 2 great spring beers.


My question is what would be a better way for the Dobblebock to be fermented in? I have a small beer fridge that may fit the LBK and as far as I know will probably go as low as 50, or should I do an ice water bath in a Rubbermaid or cooler?


any ideas?

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I think the fridge will work just fine, it will let you keep a constant temperature, and you wont have to be changing out ice packs all the time in the cooler

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rrgarvey said:

Nice, now to just figure out how to get it set at 55 degrees F

In short, you likely can't.  Refrigerators, unless they are wine coolers, are designed to operate around 37 degrees.  You can make them a few degrees colder, or a few degrees warmer.  50 is unlikely.  That's why people make, or buy, controllers that you plug the frig or freezer into, set it on it's coldest setting, and let the controller turn the unit on and off as needed.  Sometimes a bulb inside a metal paint can in the unit is used to add warmth if needed.  There are lots of threads on this and other forums about this, including a current one here.

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Ya I just checked the highest temp setting has my water bottle reading at about 45 F. Would it be ok for the first couple of days to be in fridge since it is usually 5 to 10 degrees higher in temp?


Im concerned now as how to keep it at 50? My basement temp keeps water at 60F


Would just placing the LBK in a water bath inside a Rubbermaid be efficient at keeping it cool?

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rrgarvey said:

Ya I just checked the highest temp setting has my water bottle reading at about 45 F. Would it be ok for the first couple of days to be in fridge since it is usually 5 to 10 degrees higher in temp?

Im concerned now as how to keep it at 50? My basement temp keeps water at 60F

Would just placing the LBK in a water bath inside a Rubbermaid be efficient at keeping it cool?

Not really.  45 will have the yeast be asleep, and they'll likely never kick in.  

If you're making a lager, you need to have it at the temps that it has to be at.  A water bath won't cut it.  In a cooler, with frozen bottles, changed like every 12 hours, and closely monitored, is how many do it.  If you don't do it right, you don't get the result you're supposed to.  

Having the LBK sit in water also leads to the possiblity that water gets into the spigot along with bad things and you don't want that.  What's your plan, pick it up, dump the water, add more cold water, and then keep repeating?

I've never bought a lager yeast for that very reason.  

If you can't maintain the temps that are required, put it to the side and do a different one for now.

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Well I jut checked some water sitting on cold basement floor and it is at about 55F according to meat thermo. I was thinking the fridge the first couple days bc if my fridge is 45 wouldn't it mean its fermenting in LBK at 55?



My main worry is just the first few days fermentation temps always go high for me the first couple days and0 then assume it would settle down to 55 (what my water sits at in basement) for the remainder of the fermentation.


I don't have a cooler big enough for the LBK plus water bottles around it. but I do have a Rubbermaid large enough. You think the Rubbermaid alone would be enough insolation to keep temp inside it?

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Gratz on the wife coming through for you! As far as trying to keep the fridge as a set temp do a web search on STC-1000 for fermenting fridge. I did and ordered one that I should have tomorrow. You will have to build the control box and instructions are on the web but it will do the job for cooling and heating. I also just built a light bulb heater for the fridge out of a new paint can and from everything I have read both should work very well. Soon to try it out.

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I don't think a Rubbermaid tub will work nor the refrigerator without a controller. 

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well I was just gonna use Rubbermaid as a cooler/ice box or whatever u guys call em.


I do not have extra money to buy a fridge ect. One of the main reasons Im into home brewing now is that its cheaper than store bought beer (Remember Im in Canada where a SIX pack (not 12 this is an edit) of 12oz bottles is usually $13.99) .


I was just curious if the Rubbermaid tub (maybe with a blanket wrapped around for extra insolation) would be enough to keep the LBK cool while surrounded by frozen water bottles, or ould u need a real cooler/ice box?

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I do have a cooler big enough to fit LBK but just barely and there would only be room for one maybe 2 frozen water bottles beside the nozzle end


 

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As I said prior, No, I don't think a Rubbermaid tub will function like a cooler in keeping the LBK at suitable temperatures with frozen water bottles.  WITH a cooler, people report multiple bottles, changed at least every 12 hours, is suitable to keep an ALE from getting too warm in hot climates.  

You'd want to do research and find examples of people fermenting LAGERS (note that probably 99% of Mr. Beer products use ALE yeast, not LAGER yeast) and keeping the temperatures in the required range.  Too cold (a regular refrigerator without a controller) and the yeast goes to sleep.  Too warm, and while you may get beer you'll likely not get the result that the lager recipe is striving for.  

I'd suggest you fill an LBK with water, put it in your proposed environment, and monitor the temps to see if you can even hold them for a few days at the required level without yeast going to town inside.  I think you'll find that you can't make it work with a Rubbermaid tub and a blanket.

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Not sure where you are located as your avatar looks like it is a pretty warm region, but perhaps you could put everything in the garage and heat it up (kicking myself as "why didnt I think of that earlier???).  It might make sense to put the LBK in a 40 degree garage and heat up with a heating pad or paint can heater than try to get things cool in a 70 degree house.

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lol only warm in the summer and even then not so much, I live in Ontario and that is Lake Huron in the pic. Well I think bc its still cold enough (-18 Celsius) and its a constant 60 degrees I may try the cooler method or Rubbermaid way lol, I just have to acquire some temp stickers than can go below 62 F so I at least know what temp I got the whole time.


but first I will try as rick suggested with a dummy batch of water first to get a baseline. Glad I bought another 2 LBKs n have one not in use yet lol


I like the garage idea and it would be great but I don't have a garage lol


 

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well tonight Im doing a dummy batch with just water in the LBK and doing the water bottle method in my rubbermaid. Im going to check temp in morning with meat thermo, and continue for a few days to see if this is a viable way to do it.

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