Temperature: better to be cool and steady or warm and fluctuating?

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FishNiX

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Greetings!

I'm about to embark on my first dandelion wine (1g)... I'm currently letting the must rest after adding a campden tab and will be adding yeast (rehydrated but not a starter) today. :db

I live in New England and things have cooled off quite a bit around here.... I plan to brew in the basement... would it be better to ferment in the corner away from everything, near the mass of the wall where it will be cool but steady or near the furnace which will make the temperature fluctuate far more wildly (but be warmer)?

I'm using a champagne yeast and I'm guessing the avg temp in the basement is around 60. Once I start aging, I would expect the cooler area is better, but for fermentation I'm not sure. I could potentially ferment upstairs as well where the temp wouldn't fluctuate as much, but there would be more vibration, knocking into it, potential light exposure, etc -- almost no closets in our 1400 sqft 1938 cape cod...
 

Wade E

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I like to ferment my fruit and white wines at cooler temps such as lower 60's butif you are a novice I wouldnt do this until you have some experience to know when and what your fermentation is doing. I would keep this at around low to mid 70's until fermentation is done and you have degassed your wine. If you are going to use a fining agent then keep this wine in those temps until clear but if you are just going to let time clear your wine then cooler temps will let it clear faster.
 

FishNiX

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Thanks Wade -- You're pretty close by... I grew up in New Milford,.

So do you think putting this thing near the furnace is better? It will be off and on as most furnaces are but will be warmer on avg than the corner. Maybe it's better to find a space in the living area? Temps could still fluctuate but not so much.
 

Wade E

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I would keep this as close to mid 70's as I could if I were you. When you start to have more experience then you could start to vere from the instructions. I use brew belts during cooler times of the year. They state on the instructions not to use on carboys but many including I have been doing so for many many years, just done put 1 on a carboy that has just been in very cold conditions like in your fridge from cold stabilizing as the big temp change could cause the carboy to crack. this belt is designed to keep your wine at around 75*. http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=5008

Brewers belt.jpg
 

Wade E

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Anytime you want to come over and try out some wines shoot me a pm here and we'll set up a meeting. I also brew a lot of beer and have 3 kegs of beer on tap along with a sparkling wine on tap.
 

IQwine

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I could come over but I would have had to leave yesterday to get there today. :slp Google says it's a 19 hour drive....:db but your wines would be worth it :ib
 

FishNiX

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Thanks guys -
I have a strap ordered, but ended up putting it behind the furnace and holding the temp in the house instead of allowing the timer to raise and lower it by time of day. I have a recording thermometer and I'm seen temps between 70 and 78... a bit of fluctuation, but better than it would have been I think.

So far, the must is golden yellow color and smells really good (mostly like oranges) There's not much foam... is this normal? It smells like its yeast and fermenting.

Thanks!
 

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