It’s been pretty cold lately, which means the house is pretty chilly, despite the thermostat setting (and I’m not about to crank it because bits and pieces of the house don’t get heat). The carboy is set up near an interior wall in the dining room, which has one heat vent across the room, under the window. The only other heat vent in this part of the house is in the living room, also under a window.
The must should be in a temperature range of 15C – 20C. We don’t have a temperature strip, but thanks to a gift from a thoughtful friend, I am still able to get a reading.
16.7C This is encouraging. It’s at least in the range is should be, if on the low side.
This was the ambient temperature of the room, taken right after I checked the must.
The room is only 14.6C
This means the must is generating some of its own heat, and the towel wrapped around it as a sweater is helping keep that heat in.
The fermentation activity is slowing down faster than I am comfortable with, though. Watching the airlock, the “burp” of CO2 went from about every 6 seconds (which was already slow for this early in the ferment, based on what I’ve been reading) to about 8 1/2 seconds, at the time I took these temperature readings.
I’ve read a number of suggestions on how to keep things warm enough, and I’ve already implemented one of them. I took a scrap piece of rigid insulation (that stuff is coming in so handy!!!) to put under the carboy. This way, it won’t lose warmth into the table top, and we don’t have to try and keep the towel bunched under it, making it more stable.
I’m also thinking of running a towel through the dryer when we’re doing laundry, and then switching towels while it is still warm. We don’t need to do laundry all that often, though. Another recommendation that is practical for us is to use the little electric heating pad I recently picked up for my daughter, since our two old ones are no longer working. There are actually special versions of these, made specifically to wrap around carboys, but we’re not at a point to invest in anything like that right now. What we have will do. It has a low temperature setting, and turns itself off after two hours. We wouldn’t wrap it directly around the carboy, but around the towel, so as not to warm it too much or too quickly. We’ll have to move the carboy to somewhere we can plug it in.
Ooh. I think I just thought of a place, too!