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Old 04-20-2009, 02:39 PM   #1
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Default Fermenting on concrete basement floor

I am just wondering if leaving a 6.5 glass carboy on my concrete basement floor will affect the fermentation times? I thought I read somewhere that it might cause the overall temperature to be colder and possibly slow down the yeast reaction.

Thanks

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Old 04-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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Depends on what your slab temp is and it also depends on what strain of yeast you are using. Some yeast like it cooler, some warmer.

I usually ferment American styles on the slab in the basement. Ambient around 65° to get fewer esters and ramp up close to 70° at the end of fermentation. Works really well.

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Old 04-20-2009, 03:10 PM   #3
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In the carboy I have a 5 gallon batch of Belgian Dubbel, using Trappist Yeast by Wyeast. When I checked this morning (about 30 hours in the carboy), I did not see any signs of fermentation taking place. The temperature was around 66-68 degrees. Do you think I should take it off the cement or leave it and see if I get any action from the yeast?

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Old 04-20-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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That temp looks fine, if you used Wyest 3787. Is the ambient temp 66-68, or is that the temp of your wort? If ambient temp is 66-68 the floor should be very close to that. The cement slab will be your most stable temp.

How about a little more info on your yeast? Did you make a starter? Was was your OG?

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Old 04-20-2009, 05:03 PM   #5
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You need a temp from that carboy. Get a strip thermometer or tape and insulate a probe thermometer to it. Fermentation is an exothermic activity, so the temperature inside the carboy should increase a few degrees once fermentation starts. Given it has the proper conditions to start.

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Old 04-20-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
That temp looks fine, if you used Wyest 3787. Is the ambient temp 66-68, or is that the temp of your wort? If ambient temp is 66-68 the floor should be very close to that. The cement slab will be your most stable temp.

How about a little more info on your yeast? Did you make a starter? Was was your OG?
The 66-68 was from the thermometer on the carboy (one of those sticker thermometers) For the yeast, I did not make a starter. Sorry, I am still fairly new to the brewing process. It was the Trappist Ale - Liquid Yeast from Wylabs or Wyeast. I also did not take a OG reading. I poured the wort into the carboy and forgot to take a reading. I plan on picking up a wine thief this week for this purpose..

Quote:
You need a temp from that carboy. Get a strip thermometer or tape and insulate a probe thermometer to it. Fermentation is an exothermic activity, so the temperature inside the carboy should increase a few degrees once fermentation starts. Given it has the proper conditions to start.
The temp from the carboy was around 66-68 degrees this morning. I'm worried the temp will fluctuate throughout the day (daily weather). The basement usually stays around 65-70 degrees, but I'm just wondering if the cement floor will make the temps change more drastically..
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:10 PM   #7
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The lack of starter may be the reason for the delayed fermentation. Without an OG, it is hard to tell for sure. But don't fret, be patient, it should kick off here shortly.

The cement floor will not make it change more drastically, quite the opposite. It is the regulator of your temperature and least likely to fluctuate. Thats a big mass to change too drastically throughout the day.

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Old 04-20-2009, 06:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info MNBugeater. I am not too concerned as of yet (probably because I am at work). I just heard that this type of beer would have a vigorous fermentation, so I expected something in a day and a half, but no such luck. I'm sure when I get home today there will be something going on, or at least I hope so.

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Old 04-21-2009, 04:59 AM   #9
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like the bugeater says, be patient. Lower temps usually just mean slower fermentation. If you find the temps are still to low, you can elevate the carboy, wrap it in a blanket, or even create a warm water bath with an aquarium heater and a storage tote.

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Old 04-21-2009, 07:15 AM   #10
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I just brewed my 4th batch since Feb. Before then it had been over 10 years since I had brewed. The batch I made in Feb took 2 days (Monday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon) going by my notes. I used Wyeast 1056 (American Ale). Didn't do a starter either. My basement floor is cool and the wort stayed right around 60 degrees. I also had it in a corner which I'm sure kept it cooler. Next batch same deal took 2 days, no starter. That first batch drove me nuts, but the second one I expected it. It will drive you nuts thinking about it though.

My beers were lower gravity than yours, so maybe it's apples and oranges. Similar experience though.

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