Controlling the Fermentation Temperature
Depending on where and when you're making your beer, you'll need either to bring the temperature up or keep it down. If you're brewing an ale, you'll want the fermentation temperature to be within 60 to 70 degrees F (16-21 degrees C), while lagers call for around 45 degrees F (7 degrees C) [source: Singh].
If you're brewing in the summer, that means cooling it. If you don't have a fermentation refrigerator, you can wrap your fermenter in wet towels under a fan [source: Smith]. You should pick a cool, dry spot -- basements can work well. With this method, however, you will need to keep re-wetting the towels, generally about twice a day. If you're brewing in the winter, you may need to raise your fermentation temperature with some regularity. One solution is using a simple radiator or space heater set to a low temperature [source: Blagger].
You should always have a good thermometer to make sure all the temperatures are within proper levels for both the best-tasting and safest beer. This will help with not only the fermentation temperature, but also in checking your wort temperature if you are cooling it in a sink as explained on the previous page.
What's the top tip for home beer making? Continue reading to find out.