It’s starting to get really hot out there (unless you’re in Florida like me, where it’s been hot for what seems like months now), so there’s two inexpensive purchases you need to think about for your home brewing go smoother and taste a lot better during the hotter months. However, thermometers are something that can help out your home brewing year round.
There’s two kinds of thermometers that you’re going to need for home brewing. The first one is for your wort, to make sure that it’s the right temperature while it’s on the stove and that it’s cooled to the correct temp before you pitch your yeast into it. The second is for your fermenting bucket or carboy to make sure that your beer is fermenting at the right temperature.
If you’re beer is too cold, it can slow down the yeast or even put them to sleep so that your wort will never fully transform into beer. If it’s too hot when you’re brewing your wort or fermenting, it can produces off tastes and flavors. (If you want to know what’s the optimal temperatures you need to have your wort, it varies depending on your ingredients and yeast so check your recipe and yeast packaging.)
For the wort, you’ll need a thermometer that you can put into liquid. You can buy a floating one or with a probe that looks like a scary needle. Just be careful and make sure that it reads temperatures from 30 degrees Fahrenheit to 225 degrees. In your brewing career, you’ll be probably brewing all over the temperature spectrum so the bigger the range of your thermometer the better. Don’t just pick one at random at the grocery store. There’s a good chance that I did this when I was starting out.
For the fermenting bucket or carboy, most home brew shops sell one that looks like a black strip that you can stick on directly to the plastic or glass.
For less than twenty bucks, you can usually get a good quality thermometer for both purpose and do a whole lot to improve the quality of your beer.
Photo by * Cati Kaoe *.