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Old 02-08-2005, 03:18 PM   #11
GPBurdell
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Thanks for the advice. The bread taste is settling out, replaced by a nice malty sweetness as it ages. My fermenters are usually a little warmer than those you described....would that have anything to do with the shorter fermenting time?
Absolutely. The higher the temp the faster the burn. Steam beer casues some confusion because it uses lager yeast at ale temperatures. However, I've found it best to ferment at the temperature range between lager and ale. I start the ferment at 65F and then lower to about 55F. I'll adjust the temp depending upon the rate of fermentation. If it's going too fast, I'll lower the temp to say 52F, if too slow perhaps to 58F. Lager yeast seems to do best over a a 20 to 24 day ferment so that all of the complex flavors come through.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by GPBurdell
Absolutely. The higher the temp the faster the burn. Steam beer casues some confusion because it uses lager yeast at ale temperatures. However, I've found it best to ferment at the temperature range between lager and ale. I start the ferment at 65F and then lower to about 55F. I'll adjust the temp depending upon the rate of fermentation. If it's going too fast, I'll lower the temp to say 52F, if too slow perhaps to 58F. Lager yeast seems to do best over a a 20 to 24 day ferment so that all of the complex flavors come through.
When you say "start the ferment at 65F" does that mean that you pitch your yeast at that temp? I was going to do a steam beer soon, and noticed that the Wyeast california lager says to pitch at 70F, the same as any other yeast. I'm using a wort chiller, so I could get it down to 65 from the get go if I wanted to, but not sure what would reduce the ferment lag time the most. Also, I have access to a basement that is currently hovering in the mid to upper 50's, which sounds like the optimal temps for steam. Is it worth it to haul the brew down there? What specific taste differences do you get from a cooler ferment (I have heard that estery tastes come from warmer temps - are some of those flavors part of the steam bear style?). I'd love to see some peoples recipes for steam beer!!!
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Old 03-21-2005, 02:03 PM   #13
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When you say "start the ferment at 65F" does that mean that you pitch your yeast at that temp? I was going to do a steam beer soon, and noticed that the Wyeast california lager says to pitch at 70F, the same as any other yeast. I'm using a wort chiller, so I could get it down to 65 from the get go if I wanted to, but not sure what would reduce the ferment lag time the most. Also, I have access to a basement that is currently hovering in the mid to upper 50's, which sounds like the optimal temps for steam. Is it worth it to haul the brew down there? What specific taste differences do you get from a cooler ferment (I have heard that estery tastes come from warmer temps - are some of those flavors part of the steam bear style?). I'd love to see some peoples recipes for steam beer!!!
I used White Labs San Francisco Lager Yeast, which lists a pitch temp of 65F. I don't know if Wyeast uses a different yeast profile, but I would follow the manufacturers suggestions. But you can certainly do your fermentation at the mid to upper 50's. Be aware that the fermentation takes longer (10 days in primary, 14 in secondary, 21 in bottles), but I think that it yields a cleaner, more complex taste.
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