Quantcast

Ferment temperature questions

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

olusteebus

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
2,291
Reaction score
1,244
I have made a good bit of wine over the years but I have not made any in two years as life has gotten in the way. I have a new winery and the room is very well insulated. With the air conditioner I have now, I doubt that I could get a temperature down to 60 to 65 degrees and 70 in the summer may be tough.

I really don't want to build a cold room. I don't plan on having more than three batches fermenting at onet time. I am thinking of getting a large freezer and I could control the temp with a remote thermostat. Would that be reasonable during the ferment process.?
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,354
Reaction score
1,840
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Why would you want the temperature below 60-70 degrees? It's my understanding that fermentation works just fine (Has for me at least) in temps between 60-75. AFTER fermentation, for aging, I agree between 50-60 degrees is best. Are you doing only white wines?
 

olusteebus

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
2,291
Reaction score
1,244
I was not really thinking below 60. I will be doing white and reds.
 

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,885
Reaction score
3,608
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
December/January issue of winemaker mag has a great article on fermentation temps for both red and white. It was pretty detailed and I found it very helpful.
 

olusteebus

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
2,291
Reaction score
1,244
I live in north Florida and it can get too cold and too hot without airconditioning. My winery is well insulated. I have a small air conditioner that will not heat it much at all but I think it will keep it in the mid to low 70's.

Given that, I have decided to get a chest freezer and set it at the proper degrees for white wine ferment (two or three carboys at a time) and I will make use of a oil filled space heater for the reds. If necessary, I will enclose my red ferment area for heat if I need to.

Any opinions on those options?
 

Scooter68

Fruit "Wine" Maker
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
3,354
Reaction score
1,840
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Are you going to have the chest freezer lid open? Chest freezers only have different levels of freezing no setting above that. You'd be better off investing ins a better/bigger window A/C that can heat and cool the room better.

Per the article 40 degrees is the bottom limit for Whites and 50 degrees is the bottom for Reds. BUT you also have to take into account the particular yeast in use. Some just won't work in temps as cold as 40-50 degrees. In my experience, I've had difficulty starting ferments in the lower 60s but if I warm a room up to about 70-72 the start fine and then I lowered the temp.

Neither Fridges and Freezers or freezers have settings for the ranges you need. Leaving a door open on one will cause the unit to work too hard and burn out. Again that's where a window or wall A/C would be far better for you. Oversize it (One rated for 1000 sq feet in a 500 sq feet room would be an example of even greater oversize. And of course get one with digital settings so you know where you have it set instead of guessing.

Guess I'm saying make sure you are using the right equipment for the job. A little $150.00 chest freezer is going to have a very short life if you try to cool an entire room with it and it will certainly freeze anything inside it if it's turned on at any setting.
 
Last edited:

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
3,998
Reaction score
2,615
Location
Centerville, Northern Virginia
Are you going to have the chest freezer lid open? Chest freezers only have different levels of freezing no setting above that. You'd be better off investing ins a better/bigger window A/C that can heat and cool the room better.

Per the article 40 degrees is the bottom limit for Whites and 5 degrees is the bottom for Reds. BUT you also have to take into account the particular yeast in use. Some just won't work in temps as cold as 40-50 degrees. In my experience, I've had difficulty starting ferments in the lower 60s but if I warm a room up to about 70-72 the start fine and then I lowered the temp.

Neither Fridges and Freezers or freezers have settings for the ranges you need. Leaving a door open on one will cause the unit to work too hard and burn out. Again that's where a window or wall A/C would be far better for you. Oversize it (One rated for 1000 sq feet in a 500 sq feet room would be an example of even greater oversize. And of course get one with digital settings so you know where you have it set instead of guessing.

Guess I'm saying make sure you are using the right equipment for the job. A little $150.00 chest freezer is going to have a very short life if you try to cool an entire room with it and it will certainly freeze anything inside it if it's turned on at any setting.
I assume they are going to use an external controller. I have one as do many on the forum. They work great.
 

olusteebus

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
2,291
Reaction score
1,244
Yes, I will use an external thermostat. I am guessing that the freezer will only come on a few times a day.

Do you use one with a freezer? How does it work out for you?
 

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
3,998
Reaction score
2,615
Location
Centerville, Northern Virginia
Yes, I will use an external thermostat. I am guessing that the freezer will only come on a few times a day.

Do you use one with a freezer? How does it work out for you?
I do and one for my walk-in. I use the chest freezer for cold stabilization, for an extended maceration and to stop fermentation if I want to maintain a certain amount of residual sugar. The only issue I have is it's only a 5 cf and only holds one carboy. If I don't find a good deal on a 7 I'm going to raise the lid even though that will only get me 2 carboys.
 

tshank

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
34
Reaction score
11
A large chest freezer will work fine, use a ranco or Johnson controls external temp control, make sure you set the temp differential at 3 degrees to prevent short cycling of the compressor and submerge the temp probe in a bottle of IP. I also live in Florida and this method has served me well for both beer and wine making.
 

Latest posts

Top