fermenting feed in winter

Innerchix

Hatching
Nov 17, 2018
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I haven't been able to find the answer to this in my fermenting research. I have been keeping a bucket of fermenting food in our bathroom tub, which is perfectly ok with me. The rest of the family finds it stinky and gross. So, I am wondering if I can keep the bucket outside in a cooler to keep it warm-ish but the feed still alive and fermenting. We are in the Pacific Northwest where temps are generally in the 40's to low 50's in the winter and down to the 30's at night. Ideal temps for fermenting are 70's and above I think, but I am wondering if the fermentation will still happen, albeit slower, if bucket is in a cooler spot. I'm assuming I won't be able to keep the bucket and feed at 70's temp outside in a cooler--and I don't want to have to do a lot to heat it. Thank you for any help and or ideas!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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I haven't been able to find the answer to this in my fermenting research. I have been keeping a bucket of fermenting food in our bathroom tub, which is perfectly ok with me. The rest of the family finds it stinky and gross. So, I am wondering if I can keep the bucket outside in a cooler to keep it warm-ish but the feed still alive and fermenting. We are in the Pacific Northwest where temps are generally in the 40's to low 50's in the winter and down to the 30's at night. Ideal temps for fermenting are 70's and above I think, but I am wondering if the fermentation will still happen, albeit slower, if bucket is in a cooler spot. I'm assuming I won't be able to keep the bucket and feed at 70's temp outside in a cooler--and I don't want to have to do a lot to heat it. Thank you for any help and or ideas!

I would think that those temperatures would slow the ferment down quite a bit.
Do you have a less used room in the house where you could set it up?
I ferment in my kitchen pantry! But I only have 12 birds so I don't use a bucket. I keep lids with tiny holes in them on my containers. I don't even notice the smell until I open one to drain.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Jul 23, 2018
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I’ll let others answer as well. May get various answers but I do not ferment outside. I ferment in my laundry room which stays pretty warm. I mix with warm water as it cools sitting out because the recommended water temp should be 90 degrees when first mixed. I’m with the family, I probably wouldn’t be doing this in the bathroom. A shed, garage, or laundry room would probably be ok. The lower the temperature the slower the process. I just go by look with bubbles on top, consistency, and smell. Past 3-4 days it tends to mold here so I do small batches and feed one while other is fermenting.
 

rosemarythyme

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I ferment in my coffee bar... kinda weird I guess since it's just sitting there in the open, but there's a handy sink and cabinets so that's how it ended up there. It really slows down by the time you're down in the 60s so you're probably not going to get any actual fermenting done outside in the 30.
 

VyeFye

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Nov 7, 2018
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Do you have an outside vent anywhere you could put it near? Dryer vent, etc. As long as it is in a warmer spot during the day it shouldn't matter that it is cold at night. It will just take longer to ferment.
 

VyeFye

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Nov 7, 2018
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My husband has researched using an old nonworking refrigerator to control the temp for his beer fermentation. Something that is insulated may also work in a sunny spot.
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
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I’m having a similar problem... I was doing a lot of kombucha, Kimchi, and sauerkraut before I moved to the farm, so I figured fermenting chicken feed would be no problem... my 2 1/2 week old chicks and their feed have been kicked out of the borrowed heated space and into pretty much unheated garage.

I tried the laundry room, turns out it is actually colder than the garage because the large walk in freezer vents into said garage. My feed went moldy within a day of being moved. Even worse, my mother (who does the morning feed and water check because she lives in a building near where the chicks are being housed) fed them the moldy feed twice before I found out, then again after I told her not to! I had to go into town for the day to get some more feed and supplies.

So far everyone looks fine, but I’ve given up fermenting their feed until my house is built or the temperatures are more favorable...
 

VyeFye

Songster
Nov 7, 2018
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Lancaster, CA
https://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/
I found this on here last night and read. She talks about how as long as your ferment is started strong, then you can move it an "backslop" and it will let you ferment in freezing temps because the feed stays warm.
It also talks about how fuzzy yeast scoby growth can grow and can be confused with mold. She has good pictures for reference.
Definitely worth the read, even if you aren't doing it until the weather is better.
ps. @Kris5902 walk in freezer!!!! AMAZING!
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
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I’ve never seen a fuzzy scoby in my ten years of fermenting kombucha and sauerkraut. I was going well and backslopping into my next batch. Thanks for the info and I’ll give it a good read tonight!
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
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This was on my sauerkraut, but looks just like the mold that was on my feed...
 

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