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Old 10-01-2008, 04:57 PM   #1
monty3777
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Default temperature of wort

I am reviewing the way I did my last batch (Partial mash) and have a question about how I dealt with temperature.

After the boil I chilled the wort to around 100*.

In my mind I was assuming that the final temp of the wort - after water was added to the fermenter - should be 80* before pitching so I did not cool the post-boil wort to 80 before I added the additional water.

Some of what I have been reading on this board suggests that the post-boil wort needed to be 80* - then I should add the additional cool water.

Any thoughts? Should I do this differently on my next batch or is this really not much of an issue?

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Old 10-01-2008, 05:15 PM   #2
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Only the temperature of the wort when you pitch the yeast matters. If you use cooler top-off water and can get your wort to an appropriate pitching temp without cooling the post-boil wort as much, then that's okay.

However, 80 degrees is too high of a target - it's low enough to not kill the yeast, but you should not be fermenting any warmer than the mid-to-low 70's with most yeast strains, so you should shoot for more like 65-70 degrees as your pitching temp.

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Old 10-01-2008, 05:16 PM   #3
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With partial biol, the cold tap water you add will bring the temp down further.

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Old 10-01-2008, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777 View Post
I am reviewing the way I did my last batch (Partial mash) and have a question about how I dealt with temperature.

After the boil I chilled the wort to around 100*.

In my mind I was assuming that the final temp of the wort - after water was added to the fermenter - should be 80* before pitching so I did not cool the post-boil wort to 80 before I added the additional water.

Some of what I have been reading on this board suggests that the post-boil wort needed to be 80* - then I should add the additional cool water.

Any thoughts? Should I do this differently on my next batch or is this really not much of an issue?
What was the temp of the combined wort and water when you pitched the yeast? You should be around 70-75 for most ale yeasts. 80 is kind of high but not crazy high.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:01 PM   #5
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What was the temp of the combined wort and water when you pitched the yeast? You should be around 70-75 for most ale yeasts. 80 is kind of high but not crazy high.

Honestly? Both of my PMs have been pitched at 82*

I know, I know - stupid. But the last batch fermented o.k. and I reached the proper FG. In the future I plan on giving the process more time!
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:25 PM   #6
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Cooling hte hot wort quickly IS important. hot wort can still produce DMS, and without a boiling action to drive it off, you could get some cooked cabbage flavor in the finished beer.

in addition, rapid cooling coagulates the cold break material, which then sinks, and should give you a more clear final beer.

you're not gonna make bad beer if you don't rapidly chill the wort...however you'll make better beer if you do.

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Old 10-01-2008, 11:08 PM   #7
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You should really chill your wort to your ferment temp. If the wort is around 80 deg or so the problem is that your wort will be fermenting at too high a temp for the initial stages of yeast to wort contact. This stresses the yeast and may produce warm-fermentation-weird-esters until the temp of the wort stabilizes at your desired temp. In addition, once fermentation starts it starts producing heat and it will take longer to get to cool to your desired temp and sits in your hot fermentation longer.

The sum effect is that you're going to lose some predictability and repeatability in your beer because your yeast are being given some unexpected hoops to jump through. Its not fatal, but as Malkore said, you'll make better beer if you pitch cooler.

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Old 10-01-2008, 11:20 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. This really helps. It is not enough for me to simply folow directions. I really enjoy knowing why something needs to be done in a particular fashion.

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Old 10-02-2008, 03:15 PM   #9
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I once fermented a 10g batch in two carboys, each with a different yeast. In one I used Nottingham (recommended temp 57-70F), in the other S-05 (recommended temp 59-75F). Because I didn't even think about it beforehand, they both fermented at around 72F, which is too warm for Nottingham but fine for S-05. Both of them turned out to be very tasty, drinkable beers, but the difference was very noticeable - the nottingham half definitely had a "hot" alcohol character to it due to the higher alcohols generated by fermenting too warm. I'd seen people warn about it but it didn't really sink in until I experienced it in that side-by-side taste test - I suppose I'm kind of like you in that regard.

Needless to say, I learned my lesson and I am more careful about fermentation temperatures now that I know exactly what will happen to my beer if I don't.

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Old 10-02-2008, 03:44 PM   #10
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Don't mean to threadjack, but how do you guys get your temps down to 65-70F? My immersion chiller does great to about 90F but then pretty much nothing. I'm usually packing some ice around it, but still pitching at about 80F.

Thanks,
paul

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