fermenting in hot climates

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burch

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Just wondering what everone is doing about ferminting in the heat. I live in Florida and it`s looking like my new wine making area is going to be the garage.

Burch
 

myakkagldwngr

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Hi Burch from a neighbor across the State. I'm near Bradenton & Sarasota.
What do you mean hot? My biggest problem for the past few months was COLD! :)
I was doing my wine making inside my office, but carrying the buckets and carboys up and down the stairs was getting to be too much for my old back.
Now I'm on my back porch and yeah, it's hot. Right now it's not terrible, except for the fluctuation up and down. Now in another month or two, the heat will be up there and be a problem.
 

WhineMaker

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I've used a wet towel wrapped around the primary with a fan blowing on it to keep it cool.. I reloaded the wet towel twice a day...
 

burch

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I`ve seen the carboy covers they sell on the supply sites. They look like the aluminum dash covers you buy to keep the heat out of your car or maybe an emergency blanket you can get cheap at wally world. Just pondering a thought.
 

burch

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Hi Burch from a neighbor across the State. I'm near Bradenton & Sarasota.
What do you mean hot? My biggest problem for the past few months was COLD! :)
I was doing my wine making inside my office, but carrying the buckets and carboys up and down the stairs was getting to be too much for my old back.
Now I'm on my back porch and yeah, it's hot. Right now it's not terrible, except for the fluctuation up and down. Now in another month or two, the heat will be up there and be a problem.
I hear ya, this has definatly been a cold one for Fl. The hunting has accually been worth while this year.
 

burch

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I've used a wet towel wrapped around the primary with a fan blowing on it to keep it cool.. I reloaded the wet towel twice a day...

Theirs gotta be a better way. Maybe someone with the same problem will chime in and help us all out.
 

WhineMaker

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I would think that would keep it too warm.. During fermentation, heat is created and if you wrap it in that I think it would make it worse.. Maybe if you put some ice packs inside that cover??
 

djrockinsteve

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During late Sept. and early Oct. here in PA my wine cellar got pretty warm. I put an Air Cond. in the window to keep it cool.

We plan on having whole house air this year installed. Last year I had a new furnace put in and I had the gut put in the chiller on top. All I need now is the compressor and the lines to the furnace.

You could also use a dehumidifier to cool off the room a bit. What we do for our wine.
 

ashappar

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it can be an effort, but if you like to tinker check out what some other brewers are doing with spare refrigerators or deep freezes. You bypass the built in controls, hook up a controller with a better range. Then you can control the compressor at a constant 72F if you like.

for keeping temp up, I've even seen people rig up a temp probe through the carboy bung and use a controller to kick a brewbelt/fermwrap on and off to control the temp of the liquid inside the carboy.

the other ideas presented previously are used often as well - evaporation for cooling and also water/ice baths and various wraps to slow the temp change based on fluctuation in ambient temp.

cheers
 

robie

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If you have room, I'd go for the old refrigerator idea. It's a cheap alternative. You could possibly rig a baseboard thermostat to the frig and keep the temp pretty much where you want.
 

gregmg

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Room temp in Arizona is typically 78 degrees, at least that's what I keep my thermostat set to. This is perfect for fermenting reds. I have even tried moving the primary to a room with the A/C shut off in an attempt to push the temperature up a bit higher.

For whites, I either place the primary in a sink and put ice water around it, or I place the primary in a freezer with an external thermostat set to 65 degrees.
 

TheTooth

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I have a couple of old refrigerators in the garage with external temp controls set to them. They allow me to ferment wines, ciders, lagers, ales, etc... at whatever temps I want. When the weather gets cold, I just unplug the fridge and plug in a really small space heater to the temp controller to keep it warm enough inside.
 

BettyJ

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This is my cross to bear in Belize with no air conditioning!

I use large size coolers (4 or them hold 3 carboys each, so I can manage up to 12 batches at any time). They don't completely close, but I use plastic and cloth covers to protect from light and ice packs to manage the temps to keep the temps around 76-78 F. The primary fermentations need a close watch as they tend to generate a lot of heat. Right now I am able to add the ice packs just in the morning so it can keep the wine cooler during the hottest part of the day, as our nights are still cool.

Knock on wood - after > 2.5 yrs and 23 batches, this has worked for me :)
 
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