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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Ale Yeasts for Cold Temps
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Ale Yeasts for Cold Temps

Howdy,

I recently acquired a new fridge and put the old one in the garage. I'm using it for brewing. I don't have the ability to customize and fiddle with it. It does exactly what it does.

My experiments with it on the first batch indicate I can keep things between 40-50 degrees in there, only, and any attempts to get up to 55 degrees only succeeded in switching the whole thing off for a day, and the temperature ramped up to almost 90. (yikes!)

I prefer ales, not lagers so much.

What ale yeasts can take the 40-50 F range without too much trouble?

It's okay if fermentation takes a little longer. I'm concerned about off-flavors, and failure to ferment in dormancy.

Thanks,

Badducky

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Old 09-26-2013, 11:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badducky
Howdy, I recently acquired a new fridge and put the old one in the garage. I'm using it for brewing. I don't have the ability to customize and fiddle with it. It does exactly what it does. My experiments with it on the first batch indicate I can keep things between 40-50 degrees in there, only, and any attempts to get up to 55 degrees only succeeded in switching the whole thing off for a day, and the temperature ramped up to almost 90. (yikes!) I prefer ales, not lagers so much. What ale yeasts can take the 40-50 F range without too much trouble? It's okay if fermentation takes a little longer. I'm concerned about off-flavors, and failure to ferment in dormancy. Thanks, Badducky
None that I know of....

Get an external temp controller or google how to build one like the STC or a Johnson

You will be happy you got one
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:34 PM   #3
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There are only a few that will ferment in the mid 50's. none that will work below that. I second the temp controller.

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Old 09-26-2013, 11:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badducky View Post
Howdy,

I recently acquired a new fridge and put the old one in the garage. I'm using it for brewing. I don't have the ability to customize and fiddle with it. It does exactly what it does.

My experiments with it on the first batch indicate I can keep things between 40-50 degrees in there, only, and any attempts to get up to 55 degrees only succeeded in switching the whole thing off for a day, and the temperature ramped up to almost 90. (yikes!)

I prefer ales, not lagers so much.

What ale yeasts can take the 40-50 F range without too much trouble?

It's okay if fermentation takes a little longer. I'm concerned about off-flavors, and failure to ferment in dormancy.

Thanks,

Badducky
There are no ale yeasts that will be successful in the 40-50F range, they will all be dormant. Either find a lager yeast you like or raise the temp. Frankly in that 40-50F range even many lager yeasts will be sluggish. 48-55F is a probably a better temp range for primary lager ferments with most strains.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:54 PM   #5
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+1 for a temp controller. about $70 or less, depending on exactly how you do it, and you can control your temps to +/- 1 degree.

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Old 09-27-2013, 02:24 AM   #6
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What are the yeast strains that can handle low 50s?

Wyeast Koelsch, Nottingham, and...?

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Old 09-27-2013, 05:04 AM   #7
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1728 ought to work in the upper 40s, but you'll need to pitch a lot of yeast, resuspend it some, and maybe warm it at the tail end. It's a real workhorse strain.

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Old 09-27-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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+1 for a temp controller. about $70 or less, depending on exactly how you do it, and you can control your temps to +/- 1 degree.
And if you are happy to run the temperature probe wire through the edge of the door seal, this doesn't involve any modification to the fridge. With one of the prewired controllers (not the cheapest option), this means no DIY or modifications.
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:59 PM   #9
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you should not ferment ales at those temps. go with lagers or get a temp thermostat for $50-80 dollars or if you are short on money right now get a cheap timer that plugs in the wall and plug the fringe in an have the fridge turn on and off at different time to see if you can get a decent temp like 60 degree at least. its a cheap alternative and may work but the temp swing that will happen are not the best for beer fermentation. if you go this route get one with multiple on/off cycles the more cycle the less temp fluctuation heres a cheap example of what I mean..

http://www.amazon.com/Intermatic-TN3...ds=light+timer
do some looking around you might find a cheaper one than this one.

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Old 09-27-2013, 05:08 PM   #10
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+1 to Kolsch yeasts and 1728. They do fine at mid-50s and produce awesome beers.

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