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Old 09-27-2006, 03:18 PM   #1
neuron555
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Default Fermenting Temperature

Now that it is getting cooler up north, I was wondering, does the temperature matter alot when making an ale? During the summer my basement was around 70 degrees, but does it make a difference if it is 60, or even 50? I know lagers need to be as low as you can get them, but other than speed, does a low temp change the taste of an ale?

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Old 09-27-2006, 03:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuron555
Now that it is getting cooler up north, I was wondering, does the temperature matter alot when making an ale? During the summer my basement was around 70 degrees, but does it make a difference if it is 60, or even 50? I know lagers need to be as low as you can get them, but other than speed, does a low temp change the taste of an ale?
yes, low temps will result in lower ester production. Some ale styles rely on those esters for their intended flavor. Your beer will still be good, but it might taste too clean.

If you are forced to brew down in the 50's, brew a scottish ale. That temp is perfect for them, and ideal for Scottish Ale yeast from wyeast. I don't know if regular ale yeats will thrive properly in the 50's.

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Old 09-27-2006, 03:43 PM   #3
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Each yeast has a range. The closer to the low end, the slower the ferment. Most ale yeast won't do anything at 50F. Fortunately, warming a fermenter up a bit is very easy.

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Old 09-27-2006, 11:14 PM   #4
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Don't fight it and use what you are given. If the temperatures get into the 50's make lagers.

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Old 09-27-2006, 11:27 PM   #5
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Ales like 68-70-72F range.

Place a therm on your fermenter(s) and set them close to your furnace or water heater (insulation blanket removed to radiate heat from tank works better - more steady heat).

If the temp is too high then move the fermenter away a bit and come back later to check the temp again. Still too warm, further away.

Too cool, move it closer.

Just right/in the zone? Mark the floor with tape.

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Old 09-27-2006, 11:31 PM   #6
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there are some german and scottish ale yeasts that will ferment in the mid fifties... plan on at least two weeks primary ferment, sometimes longer when the temp is low.

i have used the following with good results in the winter months in cleveland oh.

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1728 Scottish Ale Yeast. Ideally suited for Scottish-style ales, and high-gravity ales of all types. Can be estery with warm fermentation temperatures. Flocculation - high; apparent attenuation 69-73%. (55-75° F, 13-24° C
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1007 German Ale Yeast.
Probable origin: Dusseldorf, Germany
Beer Style: Alt beer, American style wheat beers
Commercial examples may include: St. Stan Alt, Schlosser Alt, Frankenheim Alt, and Pinkus Alt
Unique properties - True top cropping yeast, low ester formation, broad temperature range affects styles. Will ferment cold; 55° F range, (13° C) producing lager characteristics including sulfur production. Style is noted for dry, crisp characteristics. Fermentation at higher temperatures (70-75° F, 21-24° C) may produce some mild fruitiness. Extremely poor flocculating yeast, generally remains significantly in suspension without treatment or filtration. Pad filtration is often difficult. Brewer's benefit from DE filtration or centrifuging. Maturation: Beers mature fairly rapid, even when cold fermentation is used. Low or no detectable diacetyl, alcohol tolerance approximately 11% ABV. Flocculation - low; apparent attenuation 73-77%. (55-68° F, 13-20° C)
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2565 Kölsch Yeast.
Probable origin: Cologne, Germany
Beer Styles: Traditional American use - Kölsch, Fruit beers, Light pseudo lagers
Commercial examples may include: Kess, Paffgen, Muhlen
Unique properties: True top cropping yeast similar to Alt strains. Produces slightly more fruity/winey characteristics. Fruitiness increases with temperature increase. Low or no detectable diacetyl production. Also ferments well at cold 55-60° F range, (13-16° C). Used to produce quick conditioning pseudo lager beers. Poor flocculating yeast requires filtration to produce bright beers or additional settling time. Flocculation - low; apparent attenuation 73-77%. (56-70° F, 13-21° C)
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:28 AM   #7
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my only problem with scottish ales is that you have to drink them... yuck!

anyway, when life gives you Lagering Temps, make Lager

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