Temperature Controlled Fermentation

An exciting weekend at Sevenoaks Brewery with a double brew completed and both our temperature controlled fermentation fridges and the conical fermenter coming online…!

Unable to decide what to brew we decided to go for it and churn out both a wheat beer and what is possibly best described as a chilled ale (basically normal beer but served cold).

We were also able to use both our new fridges (well new to us anyway) and our temperature controllers. The set up basically involves a simple digital temperature controller and a temperature probe within the fridge. When the temperature probe records a temperature that is ‘too hot’ relative to the temperature set on the controller, it turns on the fridge.   When the temperature is ‘too cold’ a simple mounted 60W incandescent bulb placed within the base of the fridge comes on and gently heats the fridge.  With everything set up we were able to maintain a constant 19 degrees for the wheat beer and 18 degrees for the ale. Magic.

The other thing we were able to do was ‘cold crash’ the ale. After 10 days at 18 degrees we basically reduced the temperature to 0 degrees for 4 days and then bottled, kegged and casked prior to storing at 6 degrees.  The wheat beer also had the privilege of being the first brew in the conical fermenter.

BEER UPDATE

The good news is the chilled ale is absolutely fantastic, golden, crystal clear and a really nice balanced flavour.  It has more than achieved its summer session ale objective.  Definitely one to repeat.  The Wheat beer?  Well lets just say we haven’t really touched a drop.  We don’t think anything actually went wrong (eg infection) but with hindsight it appears that a liquid yeast as opposed to dried (Safale WB-06) is the way forward.

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