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Thread: Homebrew temperature control

  1. #1
    Member kimjon's Avatar
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    Homebrew temperature control

    As homebrew357 would attest too, things can get hot in the brewing world. And any woman will also tell you that when yeast get to much heat...it's not a good thing.

    So to prevent my beer from developing an out of control yeast infection that creates weird flavors like skunks arse, or bananas that have been up a skunks arse...this nifty setup will be used from now on:



    It holds two 23L beer fermenters, and I can set it to hold my beer at a given temp (18c for ales, colder for lagers).

    After the little yeasties have been well fed on sugar, I can then cold crash them into submission by lowering the temp to 4c so they settle on the bottom. The resulting beer should be nice and clear with less sediment.

    Well....there's only one way to find out if all my "internet knowledge" is for real. I'll tell you after drinking the next batch

    Kj
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  2. #2
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    You're onto it @kimjon. STC1000 controller? Some suggest its better to control the refrigeration via a probe in the beer (active fermentation does have a bit of heat) 'rather than air temperatures but, I have not had too much issue with controlling on air temperature. Cold crashing really cleans up your beer and if you're keen you will find your yeast cake compacts down well for harvesting. Another trick for really clean beer is fining with geletine fine with geletine. Are you kegging? If so you can add to the keg. If bottling you can add it to the fermenter a couple days before you bottle.
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  3. #3
    Member kimjon's Avatar
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    Thanks kiwijames, I'll look into the finings a bit more. I've read about it. My beer (ales) were coming out clean as. But over winter I made my first true lagers, however they were cloudy. Fining them may be what's required.

    It's all a steep learning curve for me, so just plodding along learning one step at a time.

    The controller is a STC-200, I don't know much about them, but it's holding 18c air temp. I figure that mass of water in that sealed fridge must be close enough without getting too anal about it.

    How's your brewing going, have you found a rhythm to it all?

    Kj

  4. #4
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjon View Post
    Thanks kiwijames, I'll look into the finings a bit more. I've read about it. My beer (ales) were coming out clean as. But over winter I made my first true lagers, however they were cloudy. Fining them may be what's required.

    It's all a steep learning curve for me, so just plodding along learning one step at a time.

    The controller is a STC-200, I don't know much about them, but it's holding 18c air temp. I figure that mass of water in that sealed fridge must be close enough without getting too anal about it.

    How's your brewing going, have you found a rhythm to it all?

    Kj
    I hope I have started to fine tune things a bit now. The last beer was a real lazy hefeweizen. No finings at all and all came out well. Its the smaller details are the hardest now to get right for the subtleties that makes a good beer great. Yeast control and proper quantities I find is the most important. Its the heart of the beer. Any good grain/hop combo will come out OK.
    I have yet to have the patience to do a proper larger. There are a few demands on the yeast and it is strongly suggest to do a lager right you really want to rack to a secondary fermenter after the primary ferment. You also require about 2 times more yeast than an ale with the lagers. How long have you let the lager ferment run? IIRC its going to need at least 3 weeks at about 4C to do right. The secondary will clean up the beer and being off the yeast cake will give it a good bright and crisp flavour. There are a few cheats for no-lager lagers I have read about but does require some regular attention. Im lazy and too time poor for this level of detail.
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  5. #5
    P38
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    @kimjon

    Awesome work

    Brewing is very similar to reloading, both are a fascinating process and both are highly addictive.

    And as with Reloading the more anal you get the better the end result will be.

    Cheers
    Pete
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    isinglas finings are even more effective
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  7. #7
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonetropo View Post
    isinglas finings are even more effective
    Any more effective and it would strip the beer from the water
    Id rather put horse hooves in my beer than fish bladders any day, plus Isinglass has a shelf life of 2 months at best.
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  8. #8
    P38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwijames View Post
    Any more effective and it would strip the beer from the water
    Id rather put horse hooves in my beer than fish bladders any day, plus Isinglass has a shelf life of 2 months at best.
    @kiwijames

    The things we do for beer.

    That gelatin may also have originated from the bones and/or the organs of pigs, horses and cattle.

    Seaweed (irish moss) is another agent that can be used to reduce the haze of beer.

    Just saying.

    Cheers
    Pete
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  9. #9
    Member kimjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwijames View Post
    I hope I have started to fine tune things a bit now. The last beer was a real lazy hefeweizen. No finings at all and all came out well. Its the smaller details are the hardest now to get right for the subtleties that makes a good beer great. Yeast control and proper quantities I find is the most important. Its the heart of the beer. Any good grain/hop combo will come out OK.
    I have yet to have the patience to do a proper larger. There are a few demands on the yeast and it is strongly suggest to do a lager right you really want to rack to a secondary fermenter after the primary ferment. You also require about 2 times more yeast than an ale with the lagers. How long have you let the lager ferment run? IIRC its going to need at least 3 weeks at about 4C to do right. The secondary will clean up the beer and being off the yeast cake will give it a good bright and crisp flavour. There are a few cheats for no-lager lagers I have read about but does require some regular attention. Im lazy and too time poor for this level of detail.
    The larger took three weeks to ferment in the coldest part of our house during winter. The temp did get a bit high, but I had to just roll with it and hope for the best.

    After a week I racked to secondary, then loaded up the empty fermenter with another batch. It was a gamble as I could have ended up with 50L of rubbish. but winter doesn't last long and I needed the cold temps.

    I gave it 2 more weeks in secondary, then bottled. The recipe called for 15 weeks in the bottle. I couldn't help but try a cheeky one each 3 to 4 weeks. But yes, the time was needed as those early ones were disappointing. But after about 12 weeks it came good, and its a nice beer. Slightly cloudy...but not to bad for something made by someone who really is just winging it with primitive equipment all brought on the cheap in bits and bobs off trademe.
    @P38 yes, your right...Very addictive, or maybe it's just the alcohol I like...hmmmm????
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  10. #10
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P38 View Post
    @kiwijames

    The things we do for beer.

    That gelatin may also have originated from the bones and/or the organs of pigs, horses and cattle.

    Seaweed (irish moss) is another agent that can be used to reduce the haze of beer.

    Just saying.

    Cheers
    Pete
    Supposedly carrageenan (Irish Moss) is no good for you. I still use it as Koppafloc in the boil. Ive never seen it used outside there.
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  11. #11
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjon View Post
    The larger took three weeks to ferment in the coldest part of our house during winter. The temp did get a bit high, but I had to just roll with it and hope for the best.

    After a week I racked to secondary, then loaded up the empty fermenter with another batch. It was a gamble as I could have ended up with 50L of rubbish. but winter doesn't last long and I needed the cold temps.

    I gave it 2 more weeks in secondary, then bottled. The recipe called for 15 weeks in the bottle. I couldn't help but try a cheeky one each 3 to 4 weeks. But yes, the time was needed as those early ones were disappointing. But after about 12 weeks it came good, and its a nice beer. Slightly cloudy...but not to bad for something made by someone who really is just winging it with primitive equipment all brought on the cheap in bits and bobs off trademe.
    @P38 yes, your right...Very addictive, or maybe it's just the alcohol I like...hmmmm????
    Waiting 4 months to have a beer just isn't cricket
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  12. #12
    Member Scouser's Avatar
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    Watching with great interest as ive been hankering to give it a bash...homebrewing, that it
    kimjon likes this.
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  13. #13
    Member kimjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwijames View Post
    Waiting 4 months to have a beer just isn't cricket
    Don't worry, I didn't go without.
    WallyR likes this.

  14. #14
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    I use Irish moss in the last 15 mins of the boil, to get rid of haze you need to go from boil to cool as fast as possible, I use a huge copper coil with the hose attached for about 30 mins, also give the wort a good stir every 10 mins or so.

  15. #15
    P38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwijames View Post
    Supposedly carrageenan (Irish Moss) is no good for you. I still use it as Koppafloc in the boil. Ive never seen it used outside there.
    @kiwijames

    It appears that everything is no good for you these days ........... However that only serves to make you want it even more.

    Cheers
    Pete
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