Although we all appreciate a great summer, it can cause huge issues if you are fermenting. Most fermentations require temperatures in the range of 12 - 22c so most of us will need to cool in the hot weather.

Obviously your choice of location is important and shaded garages and basements work well but what if your only choice is somewhere warmer?

In an ideal world you will have a temperature controlled brew fridge. This will allow perfect fermentation temperature in all weathers.  If you don’t have one fear not, there are some diy methods to keep the temperature down.

The first and easiest method is to place your fermenter in a shallow tray of water. Ideally at least  ¼ of the fermenter will be below the water line. Soak a towel in the water then drape over the fermenter allowing the bottom of the towel to sit in the water. As the water evaporates from the towel it will cool the fermentation. The towel will continue to draw up water and therefore provide continual cooling.

If this does not still not lower the temp enough you use a fan to blow on the towel which will speed up the cooling process and reduce the temperature.

In even more extreme cases adding ice to the water will reduce the temperature further. A cheap way of creating lots of ice is to get some empty plastic bottles, fill them with water then freeze them. You can them use them on a rotation replacing thawed ones with frozen and refreezing to provide a constant source of ice. This method should provide enough cooling capacity even in the hottest of days and only requires changing the bottles a couple of times per day. If can also be used to ferment at lower temperatures. Ideal for lagers and this method is quite controllable with a decent thermometer and little practice.

Also be aware that in warmer weather there is more airborne bacteria so you need to be even extra careful with your cleaning and sanitising routines.

Another option could be to use a yeast which is more tolerant of high temp like  hothead from Omega labs or brew something like a saison which will benefit from higher fermentation temp.

So don’t give up brewing in the summer. Keep a constant supply of your home brewed products all year round!