The honey wheat ale that I brewed on Sunday has been fermenting away in the coolest place in my house: my basement.  Although the air temperature down there is around 70 degrees, I have had a hard time keeping my fermentation temps down within the recommended range for the yeast (68-73F).

I put my bucket in a styrofoam box and filled it 1/3 of the way up with water.  I put ice packs in there to keep things cool.

Things must have been steamy in there since my thermometer strip kept registering around 78F.  After the first day, I was able to get it down to 76F and now it’s down to about 72F.

Some notes:

With a lower water to grain ratio (about 1.25 quarts per pound of grain) mash and these fairly high fermentation temperatures, I am wondering how this beer is going to taste.

Is it gonna be too sweet and estery?  Part of the reason for brewing this batch is to get a good understanding of honey malt.  This recipe is a showcase for it.

I just don’t like it when other factors like high fermentation temps, that I didn’t plan for, have a chance to alter the results.

I did pitch a good starter, and the yeast ferments clean…so I have that going for me.

Now that the fermentation is winding down, I am probably going to take the bucket out of the box and just let it mellow for the next week.

Here’s a couple of photos:

Swamp Cooler Light Temperature Strip

If you would like to follow along with this brew session, check out these links:

Honey Wheat Ale Recipe

Honey Wheat Ale Ingredients

Honey Wheat Ale Plans

Honey Water Solution

Honey Wheat Ale Bottling Day