As a homebrewer on a shoe-string budget, I was used to racking my beer into the primary fermenter then making a sacrifice to the all-mighty climate gods that the ambient temperature in my non-climate controlled (read: no air-conditioning) apartment stayed somewhere within the optimal zone that the yeast preferred. Cue heat wave.
If you have a little more advanced set-up than I had back in the day, or are looking for an excuse to take your hobby to the next level, check out the BrewBit, a Kickstarter project that can help you control the temperature of your fermenting beer electronically.
The basic unit of the model-T, as it is styled by the creators, includes everything you need to control the fermentation temperature of a single homebrew. Utilizing a temperature probe and an easy to read and program interface you can set the optimal temperature that your beer needs at a particular stage. Using one of the built in outlets, plug in your heating belt or refrigerator and let the sensor monitor the temperature and keep the unit within the predetermined zone. Have multiple brews going at once? For a few dollars more, you can get a BrewBit with an additional temperature probe.
NorthernBrewer offers a similar one probed device for about half of what the backing of this product will cost you (feel free to donate a couple of bucks for a t-shirt). But besides the advertised ease of use, the other feature being touted on this temp probe is WiFi connectivity. If you can’t leave home without knowing the temperature of your lager, or have a timed diacetyl rest during your vacation, you can monitor and update the settings remotely via the BrewBit website. You can also receive a complete graph of your fermentation schedule from start to finish, and for extra nerdy brewers (read: Rob) the software is open-source so you can code your own additional features should you so desire.
The project has 11 days to go, and while the initial early adopter units are sold out, you can still get in at $160 or upgrade significantly for a private dinner with the creators. No word on who is doing the cooking.