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Old 03-22-2006, 03:19 AM   #1
captaineriv
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Default Attenuation and Temperature

If the optimal temp for my yeast strain was 64°-75°, would being at the very lower end of that temp range, or even slightly lower affect attenuation? My EPA is done fermenting, and I calculated my attenuation to be 67.3% when the attenuation range for the strain I used is 68-72. Generally, this time of year is warm in SC, but we had an unexpected cold snap causing the temp inside to drop about 7 degrees (bottomed out around 60) toward the last day and a half of primary ferm. I know other factors also affect attenuation but I wanted to see how much temp does. By the way, looks like I might have an under-estery brew this time...

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Old 03-22-2006, 03:39 AM   #2
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I have yet to understand how the attenuation for yeast is measured, but the main factor for attenuation is wort composition (fermentable/unfermentable ratio). Temperature affects fermentation speed but shouldn't affect attenuation.

I usually do force ferment test for my lagers. This means fermenting a portion of the wort at room temp. The advantage is that I will be able to measure the FG of the wort after ~5 days and know when to expect the main fermentaion to be done.

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Old 03-22-2006, 03:53 AM   #3
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Well then. I guess I had less fermentables than I thought. Wouldn't think so though. My recipe was 10 lbs. Maris Otter and 1 lb. Crystal, mashed at 154 (dropping to around 150 at the end of 90 minutes). Who knows. I'm still new to AG. The reason for the high FG could have been anything. Definitely wasn't aeration or underpitching though. I aerated with a pump and stone for 20 minutes and used a starter. Had bubbling in under 4 hours.

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Old 03-22-2006, 01:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captaineriv
mashed at 154 (dropping to around 150 at the end of 90 minutes).
Yep, I would not have expected this attenuation for this mash schedule. You should have been left with a quite low FG. Even the 1 lb of Crystal should not have affected this that much.

Does it still tase sweet?

I recently did a APA with 10lb Brewers and 1 lb Crystal @ 152F for 60min and the attenuation was 77%. This was with WY1056 @ 68...70F

You cound try to raise the temp and see if it starts going again. And check your thermometer in ice water and boiling water. maybe it is off.

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Old 03-22-2006, 03:28 PM   #5
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Maybe the fermentation stalled at the very end because of the low temperature. Most of the vigorous bubbling had stopped by the time it got cold anyway. Plus, it was a pretty big drop in just about 12 hours time. Who knows, it could have gotten as low as 59 in that room. That area in my house is open and hard to heat when it's cold, but it's also the most practical place to ferment as far as ease of bottling, racking, sanitizing, etc, so it's kind of a catch 22. It just caught me off guard because it usually does not get that cold this late in the year here. The beer tasted relatively normal (at least like it should at this stage). I'm not too worried about it this time around. The strain (1099) is a lower attenuation strain (68-72%) and I was barely under 68%. I was just trying to prevent this sort of thing in the future.

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Old 03-22-2006, 03:33 PM   #6
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I have something similar happening with my Maibock. It is hovering around 6.25P at the moment (after more than 3 weeks). But only because I did a fast ferment test with this wort and the yeast used, I know that it's actual FG will should be 4.5P. Right now I just wait. I have other batches to drink and obsess about. I just wish I could put it into cold lagering already.

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Old 03-22-2006, 03:43 PM   #7
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I have other batches to drink and obsess about.

Kai
Amen to that. I don't let it get to me too much. Then it wouldn't be fun anymore. All else being equal, this batch should be just fine (maybe a little less estery because of the low temps). I just like to make improvements where I can. I'm pretty sure this was more a function of temp than anything else just because I wouldn't think yeast would perform that well at 59-60 when their ideal is 65-74 degrees. Especially, after such a rapid drop. I will however check my thermometer and make sure it is accurate.

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Old 03-22-2006, 03:47 PM   #8
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I'd be willing to guess that it was the swings in temperature that stalled out the yeast. Although there is the possibility that the mashing temperature was perhaps a tad higher then measured, which would lead to less fermentable wort, combined with the lower attenuating yeast.

Anywho, if it tastes all right, no harm to foul (or something)

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Old 03-22-2006, 03:53 PM   #9
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It tasted as good as hot, flat, unconditioned beer should. The mash thermometer could be off. I'll check the temp in an ice bath and then check it against my spare thermometer and see what's going on. Next year, until I'm sure warm weather is here to stay, I'll brew steam beer during the colder months or invest in a brew belt since that room is so unfriendly to fermenting beer.

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Old 03-23-2006, 05:02 AM   #10
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When I took the hydro reading yesterday, all activity in the airlock had been completely ceased for about a day and the floating piece was no longer rasied. Absolutely no activity in the airlock. Well, apparently the yeast warmed up and got hungry again. It's been over 24 hours since I took the SG and sealed it back up, and now I'm getting a bubble once every 5 seconds or so. I had planned to leave well enough alone, but if it wants to start fermenting some more, I won't complain.

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