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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through January 09, 2007 * Where to store fermenter < Previous Next >

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Patrick Theobald
New Member
Username: Patheobald

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 02:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I will soon brew my first batch but I don't know where to store my fermenter. I don't have a garage or basement and I'm worried about the fermenting odor filling my house. Is the odor very strong? Will a hidden corner in the bedroom or den be ok? Any suggestions?
 

michael atkins
Intermediate Member
Username: Mga

Post Number: 496
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 71.214.16.127
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 03:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Patrick - Welcome to the board. You will get a lot of good advice here.

You may check the temperature in various locations around the house, and consider the fermentation temperature that you will need. Ales for instance can be fermented from approximately 64 - 73d. Some brewers, myself included like to ferment at the lower end of the range because the yeast will heat up during the most active stage of the fermentation.

Sometimes a north wall in a closet works best if you have no basement. Keeping the fermenter out of the light is a good idea also. As for the oder - Don't worry - it's usually not objectionable at all.
Love This Hobby!

http://msnusers.com/micksbrewery
 

David Lewinnek
Intermediate Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 290
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 209.6.23.54
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 03:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Patrick, welcome to this hobby.

I vote for a hidden corner of the den. I don't like putting fermenters in my bedroom because the sound of the bubbling airlock keeps me up at night thinking about the wonderful beer to come. Many different spots will work, though. The most important things about the location of the fermenter are shielding it from light (especially sunlight) and keeping the temperature in the range where the yeasties will be happy.

As for the fermentation scent, there may be a yeasty or bready smell for a couple of days. I find the scent of fermentation to be MUCH milder than the scent of brewing beer, but I enjoy both.

Of course, this all depends on what kind of beer you're making. Have you chosen a style? If you don't already have the ingredients for your first batch, I recommend starting out with a relatively clean ale, something like a pale ale (think Bass Ale) or a brown ale (think Newcastle).
 

Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 614
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 71.204.15.75
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 04:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Patrick,

Welcome.

I assume you are brewing an ale. The biggest concern should be temperature consistency. There will be some odor, but I find it rather pleasing. Do you have a spouse or room-mates that will object?

The reason I mention temperature consistency is because many people use digital thermostats in their house during the winter to save on heating costs. If they program them to shut off while they are at work, and turn on when they get home, you will have dramatic temperature swings. Yeast does not like to go on a roller-coaster ride temperature wise, you may get off-flavors with temperature swings. I recommend setting your temperature to a comfortable setting and leave it there.

In my house, I have a closet that is almost smack-dab in the middle of the house, and I like to use it when I ferment my ales. The idea being that it will take longer for any temperature fluctuation to affect the interior of that closet.

Good luck, and I wouldn't worry about the smell.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 2055
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 68.64.185.27
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 04:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Patrick,
I second the closet suggestion. Before I built my fermentation chamber al of my fermentations were done in the closet. That said I did find that the fermentation drove up the temperature of the closet which lead to my building of a temperature controled chamber.

Smell was not an issue, it was light at best outside the closet and somewhat strong in the closet.

-Doug
 

Chris Fahrenbräu
Junior Member
Username: Newerbrewer

Post Number: 47
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.180.70.115
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 05:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'I second the closet suggestion' - me three

I keep my thermostat at 66deg (continuously) and have a dark closet in close proximity. Just make sure you start off on the cool side because as previously mentioned the temp will rise.
 

Patrick Theobald
New Member
Username: Patheobald

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2006
Posted From: 4.226.180.224
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 02:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for all the advice. I haven't really chosen a type just yet but it will be an ale of some sort - most likely a dark one. It's my wife who I am concerned not likeing the odor. She doesn't like beer at all and works at home with a day care. My den is on the north side and stays around 70-72d so keeping the fermenter inside of a light blocking box light blocking container may be the best thing for me to do.
 

jeff wright
Member
Username: Barly

Post Number: 171
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 67.165.101.162
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 01:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Patrick,
I understand your dilemma with your wife. Although mine did not like beer at all either she now loves my housebrew, a mildly hopped dark ale. We often now share a pint with dinner, and she is now one of my strongest supporters in this hobby.
If you're brewing inside (on the kitchen stove) I'd send her out shopping til you're done. We found out my wife is sensitve to hops during the boil and has an allergic reaction to them. Another reason to brew outside.
Good luck and welcome to the board.

Brew on,
jeff

(Message edited by barly on December 24, 2006)
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1928
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.4.202.69
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 03:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Patrick. Welcome, this is a great place for information. The choice of a dark ale is a good one. Ales are much easier to make than lagers and the flavors from the dark grains can hide defects. Thinking back about 8 years when I brewed my first batch I can say this....don't rush it. Plan on about a month before you can enjoy your first, bottled, carbonated beer! Then use that month to brew a second batch.
 

Yam
Member
Username: Yam

Post Number: 149
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 75.128.80.124
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you like the style, I would suggest a porter to start with. They are pretty forgiving.
 

Patrick Theobald
New Member
Username: Patheobald

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2006
Posted From: 4.227.47.98
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So...any recommended recipes for a first time dark ale? When I first began looking into this I was thinking a brew kit but now I don't know.

As far as brewing outside; wouldn't that increase the chance of contamination? Wouldn't a clean kitchen be a much better choice for brewing?
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3855
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 07:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When I used to brew at the house during the winter, I would cover a basement window with a blanket and drape the fermenter under it for lagers. The cold air would bathe the fermenter.

Dan

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jeff wright
Member
Username: Barly

Post Number: 173
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 67.165.101.162
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 08:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Patrick,
A lot of us brew outside or in a garage, with the door open, using turkey fryers. A stove has a pretty hard time bringing 5 gallons to the boil. Of course, most of us started out in the kitchen and on the stove. That's how we found out my wife had reactions to the hop vapors.
If you are looking for a kit, the Brewer's Best English brown ale is a great one to start with. I'm sure others will have suggestions also.
Oh, and BTW to your original question...I just love the scent of fermenting beer (I should qualify ales, as some lagers give off a sulfer odor that isn't too good ((morning breeze)).

Again, you'll do fine and it will be beer.

Brew on,
jeff
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3857
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 05:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Double post, sorry.

(Message edited by listermann on December 25, 2006)

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Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3858
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 05:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Of course, most of us started out in the kitchen and on the stove. That's how we found out my wife had reactions to the hop vapors."

This is incredibly common. Why is it so? My theory is that women, generally, have an aversion to new or odd aromas and default to objecting to it.

Dan

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Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 617
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 71.204.15.75
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 - 06:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"My theory is that women, generally, have an aversion to new or odd aromas and default to objecting to it."

I see now!... I always wondered why my wife gets mad at me when I ruffle the sheets after I fart in bed.


Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Jonathan Koehler
Junior Member
Username: Santium

Post Number: 52
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.137.159.55
Posted on Friday, December 29, 2006 - 02:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Patrick-

Brewing indoors is a good option for the first couple of batches. If you like the hobby and can justify the expense, a propane-fired turkey cooker makes a great outdoor setup. The thing to remember is that making good beer is really separated into two steps: brewing (hot) and fermenting (room temps for ales). You should be extra careful about all steps that involve fermentation, but brewing is fairly forgiving as far as contamination from airborne coodies.

I've been brewing outdoors since my second batch and it's great. The boiling wort pretty much kills anything that would be blowing around, and as long as you have a lid for your brewpot, you can seal the system. A brewpot with a spigot is key for this, so if you see yourself brewing awhile, get one.

As for your original question, I agree with the others that the fermentation smell is minor and can even be pleasant. It's not even noticable in the summer when the windows are open.
 

David Beckerdite
Intermediate Member
Username: Darkislandfan

Post Number: 299
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 12.201.31.176
Posted on Friday, December 29, 2006 - 05:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My wife thought that my first boil over smelled alot like marshmallows burned on a stick over a camp fire.
It was a baltic porter 7%abv
Each Day brings a new beginning....Thank God for beer!
David B
 

Drew Pattison
Member
Username: Droopy

Post Number: 179
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 143.115.159.53
Posted on Friday, December 29, 2006 - 02:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So...any recommended recipes for a first time dark ale? When I first began looking into this I was thinking a brew kit but now I don't know.

If you're doing extract I'd look for a kit that includes fresh extract, whole leaf or hop pellets, and fresh yeast - avoid the pre-hopped cans of extract. Check out what your local homebrew store has. Also check out the larger e-tailers (morebeer.com, northernbrewer.com, etc) for comparison as they have large selections of kits. I can't vouch for the quality of the kits from the online stores but I imagine they do a pretty good job.

Good luck and welcome to the board and the hobby!
 

Tim Wi
Advanced Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 681
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 170.141.68.2
Posted on Friday, December 29, 2006 - 05:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One other thing...

Fermentations can be vigorous, plan for spills over the side and the sudden violent expulsion of beer foam/chunks upwards from your fermentor.

If you have never blown off an air-lock, you haven't been brewing very long. I usually blow an airlock in about 1 in 10 ales.

Carpet, wood floors and painted walls ... not compatible with products of fermentation and continued tranquility in the home.



Tim
 

Jim DeShields
Junior Member
Username: Niquejim

Post Number: 30
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 71.3.166.10
Posted on Friday, December 29, 2006 - 10:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim, I must be lucky (I know I just jinxed myself) because after 21 batches I've yet to have a blowoff, and being in south Florida I'm constantly battleling the heat. Of course I've not brewed one of those giant beers everyone on here makes.
Patrick I had good luck and responses with my first brews which where Listerman kits.
 

Brewzz
Intermediate Member
Username: Brewzz

Post Number: 297
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 67.94.59.58
Posted on Friday, December 29, 2006 - 11:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Also Patrick,If this is your first brew,watch the beginning of the boil.Have a spray bottle of water handy.You'll see what I mean.
Good Luck!
Cheers,Brewzz

Cascade Brewery and Rum Works