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Old 11-10-2008, 04:45 PM   #1
robklein
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Default Ale fermentation temperature ~57

My basement, which is by far the best place to brew my beer, will be around 57F. IS that too low of a temp to brew an ale at? My room mates and i are too cheap to turn the heat on very much and our house is old ,so it doesn't hold much heat anyways. Any ideas on how i could keep my fermenter at a target temperature? Is 57 too warm for lagering?

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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you should do a bastard lager-- like a steam beer or something. Its a little low for a traditional Ale, and a little high for most lagers, and definately too high for lagering.

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
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I'm in a similar situation as you. My wife and I prefer our house on the cooler side (60-64) so certain regions of the house can range from 55-67. I would suggest fermenting your beer in one of the warmer parts of the house.

The problem will be that your ale yeast will eventually ferment the beer, but it will go really slow....ferments that typically take a 48-72hours will take 2-2.5 weeks and then you might never get the FG down to where you want it.

Some people have come up with ways of using lightbulbs or electric blankets to modulate temps....is that an option?

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:14 PM   #4
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California Common (Steam) yeast and German Ale yeast will ferment beautifully at that temp. You can certainly make some wonderful beers like that. You can even make some pseudo lagers at that temp too. You probably couldn't pull off a pilsner, but I bet you could make a bock with a German Ale yeast at that temp.

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:23 PM   #5
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+1 for the German ale yeast! It produces a clean, lager-like ale when fermented at the cool end of its temp range. Be sure to pitch plenty of yeast; it's a very slow starter, and the cooler temps will stress the yeast a little bit.

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:28 PM   #6
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All this depends on your yeast strain. You can always select yeast for your anticipated fermentation temp. Check out White Labs Cry Havoc strain. Charlie's strain that has a real wide fermentation temp range. Burton Ale yeast can also do well at lower temps. Take a look at the White Labs site or the Wyeast site. They have temp ranges and breakdowns for all their stuff.

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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Any other techniques that might be available to me? Electric blanket is viable how ever, i like my electric blanket for use in my bed becuase because it is so damn cold.

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:09 PM   #8
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They make carboy/bucket heating pads for situations like this. Never used one so I don't know how well they work or if they're worth it though.

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:16 PM   #9
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nottingham, san francisco lager yeast, cream ale yeast, and more will make perfect beer at that temperature. hell, you could even make a great hefeweizen at that temp, although you may need to rouse the yeast and it may take longer.

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:21 PM   #10
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nottingham seems like a good ale yeast at this temperature according to austin homebrew supply. would nottingham make for a good stout, brown ale, or esp?

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