What temperature should I shoot for during secondary fermentation? My apt. was really warm this morning and poured ice water on a wet towel around my secondary, gauge pressure dropped and the airlock leaked a little no-rinse sanitizer in; is that going contaminate my beer?
I keep my secondaries in the upper 60's, but I only brew ales. Lagers could benefit from cooler temperatures, but I don't know how much cooler.
A small amount of no rinse sanitiser in the beer isn't going to cause any problems.
My first beer was a blue moon clone using a dry wheat ale type yeast. The temperature was too high during fermentation so the flavor is not what I was looking for. I wanted to get the temperature correct for my future batches.
My second beer was a Yuengling Lager clone. I didn't have the capabilities to use lager yeast so I opted to use the safale us-05 ale yeast with a temperature range of 59F-75F.
To get the temp down to about 64F where I wanted it I use a plastic trashcan lid from a 39 gallon rubbermaid trashcan. I turned it upside down, placed the carboy in the lid and filled with water. I then use a towel and later a t-shirt to wrap the carboy. I pointed a small fan at it on low. I was able to get down to about 60F with the fan about 2.5 feet from the carboy. I can get it much colder on high with the fan even closer. My ambient room temperature is about 72F
I got a 14.8 cf cooler from my wife's grandfather recently so I'm using it now as a lagering cooler using a johnson controls refrigerator thermostat. I'm using it to keep the yuengling lager clone and a sam adams winter ale lager clone at 61F.
My next beer will be a true lager since I now have the capabilities with the freezer.