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Old 11-28-2007, 02:32 AM   #1
John Sanderson
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Default Big Temp drop?

Ok so my very first extract brew hit the fermenter on Nov 18th a Midwest Autumn Amber Ale.

All went well. It was a full boil with a few tiny mistakes that I doubt will cause any problems.

However, about a week ago we left the house for a week long thanksgiving vacation, we left the heat on at 70 degrees. The brew was very active with bubbles every second or so.

Tonight I arrived back home from a lovely vacation and the Temp in the house was 54 degrees. Apparently a nice fella we had stop by to feed the cat and bring in the mail decided to turn off the heat.

It's been about an hour and I have seen a bubble or two.

Here is the Time line and the temp given by my indoor digital Temp log/weather station.
Day 1. 69 degrees (Boil Day)
Day 2. 72 degrees (beginning to get active )
Day 3. 70 degrees (Very active, leave for thanksgiving)
Day 4. 69 degrees
Day 5. 64 degrees (heat turned off)
Day 6. 55 degrees
Day 7. 49 degrees
Day 8. 49 degrees
Day 9. 50 degrees
Day 10. 54 degrees (Arrive back home)


So... what do I do on Day 11? Is my brew ruined? How is this fluctuation going to affect my brew? Anybody have any thoughts?

What should my next step be in salvaging this brew. Remember it has been in the fermenter for 10 days.

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Old 11-28-2007, 02:34 AM   #2
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No, not ruined it has been in the fermenter for awhile and fermentation will slow. This is normal. I also doubt your beer dropped all the way down to 49 at any point, so you should be just fine.

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Old 11-28-2007, 02:36 AM   #3
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If it was me, I'd check the sg because it could be fully fermented anyway. And then, the cold conditioning would have been good for it!

Depending on when he turned down the heat, it could have been pretty much done anyway.

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Old 11-28-2007, 02:46 AM   #4
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should I move it to a secondary for a week or so? it's getting dark at the top. I guess I need to take a hydrometer reading.

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Old 11-28-2007, 02:57 AM   #6
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And by the way, if the hydrometer reading is high, just leave it in there. This happened with some Apfelwein I was making. The temp dropped below 15C in my basement and it stopped fermenting. I only moved it a week afterwards, so fermentation ended up taking about a week more. It may slow it down a bit, but not much, especially since either way, it will be close to the end of fermentation.

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Old 11-28-2007, 05:24 AM   #7
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Beer has a high specific (latent?) heat capacity. It takes a lot to make the whole thing change temperature. If you're worried about that happening again, you could try putting your carboy in a tub of water. That will smooth out changes in temperature.

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