How to Keep Your Fermenter Cool During Summer
It’s officially summer! With that comes the heat and unfortunately it might make it difficult to brew with that heat. We have firsthand experience with this being in Tucson, Arizona. We have a few months with temperatures over 100 degrees! That’s why we wanted to share our best ideas at keeping your fermenter cool for summer.
So first let’s set the ideal temperature range you want to be at. For all our refills and most of our recipes you will want to be brewing at a temperature range of 68-78 degrees.
This is where we have found the best results for brewing with Mr. Beer and what we recommend. If you are unsure of the proper range always check the website for the latest instructions for what you are brewing, and you can always reach out to us whenever you have questions.
That temperature range we specify is for the fermenter, so you will want the ambient air temperature to be about 1-2 degrees cooler than that. Our brew room is set to be at 70 so all our brews no matter what the yeast, except for lagers of course, are brewed at a fermenter temperature of 71-72 degrees depending on how vigorous the fermentation is. We always hold a constant air temperature of 70 degrees in our brew room for all brews.
So, depending on how your house is set up and what you feel comfortable doing there are a few different ways to keep your fermenter in the proper range when brewing in the summer.
The first way would be like what we do in the office. If you have a dedicated room or space for fermenting with its own thermostat or window ac unit that you can maintain a constant temperature. You can set the thermostat to always be at 70. Then you just put your fermenters in there and let them do there thing. This is exactly how we do it in our brew room.
The second would be to use a chest cooler like an Igloo cooler. Put your fermenter in that and freeze some 1-liter soda bottles and put them in there with the fermenter or you can also use ice packs. I would suggest putting a stick-on thermometer on the fermenter and one on the side of the cooler, so you can track the temperatures to make sure you are always in the right range and holding a constant temperature.
Doing it this way will require a little extra effort on your part. First will be figuring out how many frozen bottles or ice packs you need to put into the cooler. This depends on the size of the cooler and where you have it stored at. Once you get that right you will also need to change out the bottles or ice packs as they start to melt and replace them with new frozen ones. Usually this is done every 2 or 3 days, but again it depends on your cooler and its location.
The next way would be to use a spare refrigerator or even a mini fridge. As long as your fermenter or fermenters can fit you are good. With this you will want to get a temperature control unit. On our site we sell the Inkbird digital temperature controller outlet thermostat. We use this in the office for our lager fridge and it works great! Basically, you just plug your fridge into the thermostat and put the temperature sensor in your fridge and it will maintain your fridge temperature to what you set it to. This is a method where you can also just set it and not have to worry about it.
These were some of our favorite tips and ways to keep your fermenter cool for summer brewing. Now there really is no excuse to keep the beer flowing all year long, Cheers!