When it comes to creating a tasty beer to enjoy on a warm summer’s day, beginner brewers often fail to realise the importance of home brew temperature control. Proper temperature control is vital for producing the best quality home brew beer and neglecting it can be disastrous on the end result.
Your home brew recipe or packet of yeast should give you the temperature you need to keep your brew at during various phases of the brewing process including fermentation, storage etc. Not only does your temperature need to be in the correct range for the particular yeast you are using, it needs to stay at around the same temperature. Too hot, too cold or too much fluctuation in temperature can all ruin your batch.
With fluctuating temperatures during our Australian seasons, how does one keep a batch at the same temperature? Luckily there is a few handy items of equipment that can help with this problem.
How to Control Home Brew Temperature
For cool climates there’s the option to use a heat pad, placed under your brew, it warms from below. Heat pads are designed to take the weight of a fermenter (including the wort) so about 25-30kg so if you are using a 60 litre fermenter to do a double brew then it may not be the best bet for you.
A heat belt works to warm your brew in a similar way to the heat pad only it is wrapped around the fermenter, instead of under it. This can work better if you are using a larger fermenter or doing a double brew. You may also find it a better option if you have a stainless steel fermenter with a plastic base. You can also have more control over the temperature with a heat belt as you can move it to the top or bottom of the fermenter.
For a warm climate where you want to keep your brew cool, a good option is a temperature controlling bag (like an esky). You place your fermenter into the insulated bag with some bottles of frozen water prepared overnight to keep your brew at the right temperature and avoid over-heating. Simply replace the bottles every 24-48 hours depending on the desired temperature. A bag can also be used to keep some of the coolness out on a cold winters night.
Another option is to use a temperature controller. This is a device that you plug into a fridge – that is housing your brew, and set it to a certain temperature. The controller will turn with fridge on and off to keep the inside at the temperature you desire.
We hope these tips will help you to create a delicious home brew beer for yourself, no matter what the season. Checkout all our home brew temperature control products on our online store HERE.
Checkout our first tip in this series about cleaning and sanitising home brew equipment.