You normally don’t worry about fixing something that just ain’t broke… and when it comes to brewing beer at home, worrying about improving your brewing process is usually not a concern until you try other brews that are better than yours…

When, I first showed up to my first few local home brew club meetings and met brewers who had won competitions with both all-grain and extract brews, I realized that my brewing was just not up to par…

So I asked about their brewing process and 9 out of 10 said that the best advice they could give me was to clean and sanitize…

Well, I call bullshit on that…

I tried all kinds of cleaners from oxiclean to PBW… I sanitized with all kinds of sanitizers from bleach to iodophor… you name it I’ve probably tried it…

But no amount of cleaning was making my brews as good as theirs…

I even got a few recipes and tried brewing the same beers, but still no luck…

And you know what it boiled down to?… brewing process…

Throughout the brewing process there is a lot of things you can do to improve the flavor, aroma and mouthfeel of your beers, but the thing that got me up to par and brewing some of the best beers is temperature control…

When you have the ability to control the temperature of your beers, you can tailor your brew to come out cleaner or estery depending on style and preference…

You can attenuate your beers better and prevent stuck fermentations…

… and you can use different fermenting techniques to improve your brewing…

Now, it wasn’t that my fellow home brewers didn’t want to tell me that fermentation temperature control was the most important thing I should worry about next to cleaning and sanitizing… it’s just that it was too obvious to them and they thought I was doing that already…

I have been since writing down everything that I do and have created a brewing method that combines dozens of techniques to brew better tasting beer.

I didn’t think many home brewers would want to learn them, but it turns out many were asking me for a copy so I decided to turn it into a home brew training program so that others can learn how to improve their brewing… you can check it out if you want to learn how to improve your brewing, but for now let me show you one cheap way to control your temperature…

Cheap Fermentation Chamber
Cheap Fermentation Chamber

One way to protect your brew from swings in temperature is to increase the mass of it… The cheapest way that I know of is by placing your bucket/carboy in a water bath… Some brewers do this in a spare bathtub and then they add frozen water bottles to keep temperature down…

If your problem is having ambient temperature be too cold, then you may have to constantly replace the cold water with hot water or invest in a warming belt…

The drawback to this method is the amount of attention needed… you need to constantly add or remove frozen water bottles to keep temperature steady… but even if this is all you can do for now, it is well worth the time…

The best way to control temperature is whatever is most accurate… personally I use a Magic Chef wine cooler with a Johnson Controls temperature controller… it’s not 100% accurate, but it’s not more than 1 or 2 degrees off…

I picked up the fridge for $150 (on clearance) and the controller for $79… I am happy with both…

What do you use?

***7 Day Free Trial Is No Longer Available… Instead I Offer A Full 60 Day Money-Back Guarantee… That Gives You Time To Actually Brew A Few Batches And Make a Smart Decision On Getting My Home Brew Training Program… Click Here To Learn More or Scroll Down To The Bottom Of The Page To Get Started***

Cheers


    6 replies to "Home Brew Temperature Control"

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    • Frank Friel

      Hey Jorge I love the fact you obviously had knocked back a couple of those homebrews before making the segment on temperature control. Can't trust a sober brewer I tell ya!

    • Nosybear

      What they didn’t tell you is that sanitation is the FIRST cause of bad brews! If your sanitation is good, then process is likely the cause. The ingredients, if bought from a reputable supplier and stored correctly will likely be good. The recipe could be a factor but if you’re using one that has already brewed to a winner (assuming you’re not looking at an outlier), process is about the only thing left. So calling “bullshit” on sanitation is not exactly right, it’s just the first problem to eliminate. Statistically the most common cause is the most likely and the one to address or eliminate first.

      • Jorge

        @Nosybear – Like I said, I asked about brewing process not just what makes beers better and they said cleaning and sanitation… and I agree it is the first cause of bad brews. I just feel it gets too much attention when other things like temperature control are by far more important provided you have cleaning and sanitation handled of course 🙂

        Cheers!

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