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Old 10-30-2007, 08:10 PM   #1
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Default How do I control Fermentation Temp?

So I recently moved and the first batch I brewed at my new place is fermenting, and after going for a day or so, the temperature dropped to 65 and all airlock activity started. I was really looking forward to my Winter Warmer so any help saving it would be greatly appreciated.

I used White Labs California Ale Yeast

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Old 10-30-2007, 08:16 PM   #2
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65 should not be low enough to arrest fermentation...in fact, 65 is optimal fermentation temp for many ale yeasts. So I'd let it be. It might have finished fermenting (I'm assuming you meant that "all airlock activity stopped"). However, in the future, if you need to control your temps...a run of the mill heating pad tied around the side of the carboy with some string works well to heat it up...and a water/ice bath (using frozen water bottles for the ice) works well to keep it relatively cool.

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Old 10-30-2007, 09:56 PM   #3
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my pumpkin wheat is raging right now, has been for almost 72 hours, and i've held the temp very steady at 62F IN THE FERMENTER. that's right i measure my fermentation temps. i've been holding my temp there by using a cooler, a water bath, and the occasional ice pack. i can't think of an instance where i'd want to ferment anywhere above 65F. enjoy it!

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Old 10-30-2007, 11:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorWanderer
i can't think of an instance where i'd want to ferment anywhere above 65F. enjoy it!
a nice spicy belgian?
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:57 PM   #5
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You'll have to excuse me because I'm VERY new. While I've read several things I, obviously, would rather listen to experience...
Everything I've read says an Ale should be fermented around 70 degrees... Am I reading wrong or are all the books wrong???

I hope this isn't too but I wanted to try brewing a simple lager kit next. From what I've read on here, it sounds like it's more complicated than I might be thinking... What would I be in for?

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Old 10-31-2007, 12:54 AM   #6
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Burton, go ahead and post a new topic in either Beginner's or Extract forum, so that you get more replies to your lager question.

But, regarding the ale, it's a question of yeast. Most ale yeasts have a range that they work best at. Nottingham dry yeast, for example, lists 57-70 degrees. That's a big range, but most yeasts work best in the middle of their range. And they all taste cleaner and less fruity if you ferment near the bottom of their range. And say your room is 70 degrees. The fermentation inside your carboy/bucket can raise the temperature several degrees. So, really, fermentation might be happening at 73 degrees or more. That is above the recommended range for this yeast.

So, as a rule of thumb, most ale yeasts can work at 65-68 degrees. But it's always best to follow the directions.

Lager yeasts have a range of 48-55 degrees usually, depending on variety.

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Old 10-31-2007, 01:26 AM   #7
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for the beginner, reading the beginner book, fermenting at 70F will make beer that tastes like beer. a lot of us who have some experience under our belts are tweaking things on the margins, so that we can change small characteristics about our beers to make them a little better. I think most beers fermented at 65 taste better than beers fermented at 70, but thats because i like the cleaner, less estery taste. but, like drizzle pointed out, there is always a situation thats good for one beer, that might not be ideal for another.

as for lagering, that's a process that takes much more time and control. like yooperchick said, the temperature range is much lower, and lager yeast is also much more sensitive to temperature change. if you want to try lagering you should have at a minimum a basement or a garage that consistently stays below 55F, for a few months at a time. most of the folks around here that get into lagering convert a freezer to a lagering chest by replacing the thermostat with one that has a higher temperature range.

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Old 10-31-2007, 05:17 AM   #8
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65 F is perfect for that yeast. i'm jealous...i have trouble keeping some of mine at less than 70 F on a hot day

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Old 10-31-2007, 01:41 PM   #9
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"Perfect" depends on your taste. I like many of my ales more on the estery side, so I ferment with California V/American II, and I hold the temp closer to 70F.


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