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Old 01-01-2013, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default Got Lazy Today and Pitched Octoberfest Too Hot

Well, it's my third batch in 10 days, and I wasn't paying attention. I just brewed an Octoberfest, and the wort temperature was 67F. The yeast temp was about the same. I usually set the wort in the fermentation chamber to get it cold and then pitch, but I don't know what I was thinking. I'm guessing I had the ale temps in my head for some reason.

I pitched it about an hour and half ago, and my temperature taped to the side of the fermenter is now down to 55-56F. I'm guessing the wort temperature is very close. I'm actually more concerned with the hot pitch than the rapid decent in temperature.

At this rate, it looks like it may have a total of about 3 hours to run in the hotter than desired range, and I may be shocking the yeast some. I pitched a stepped up starter that was about a 20% overpitch to start with. The batch of yeast is a washed 34/70 that I made a great pilsner with. This is my first Octoberfest, and I'm hoping the intense maltiness can cover any off flavors. I plan to do a diacetyl rest anyway, but I was really looking forward to this one. Oops.

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:45 PM   #2
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What is the yeast you are using and its suggest range?

The yeast I use regularly is supposedly safe up to something like 90 without damage to the yeast itself, but obviously fermenting that high will give off flavors.

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:49 PM   #3
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34/70. I believe its range is 48-59. I have great results at 49F, and that's where my freezer is headed right now. I'm trying to get it out of the current range. If I believe the manufacturer, I likely was only outside of the range for maybe an hour. However, I don't think anybody really has good results in the high 50's with this yeast.

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:57 PM   #4
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Well let it do its thing and taste it when finished, only way to know for sure and at this point you are committed to letting it roll.

Regardless you at least have learned an important lesson in paying attention...we have all learned it at least once.

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Old 01-02-2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Looked it up and not finding a lot of detail on it, but it has a max ferment of 60 but nothing that states its heat resistance without damage. I am guessing you will be fine though I obviously give no guarantee.

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Old 01-02-2013, 12:36 AM   #6
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Well let it do its thing and taste it when finished, only way to know for sure and at this point you are committed to letting it roll.

Regardless you at least have learned an important lesson in paying attention...we have all learned it at least once.
Ain't the first time. I just hope if it's not great, I'll still brew it again. I did a lot of research to put together the recipe I brewed.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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Well, it looks like fermentation is starting to take off. My only concern is that it's too soon for a lager at 49F. I guess I'll play it out, give it a good d-rest, and see what happens.

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:11 PM   #8
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I don't think you'll have a problem. A lot of brewers out there pitch warm then cool once they see "active fermentation." Not the optimal way to do it, and I wouldn't make a habit of it, but you should be fine. Good luck!

Speaking of 34/70, I pitched it into a Vienna around 43 degrees and a Bock around 41 last night. The more I try other lager strains, the more I like 34/70. Definitely my house lager strain.

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:15 PM   #9
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I don't think you'll have a problem. A lot of brewers out there pitch warm then cool once they see "active fermentation." Not the optimal way to do it, and I wouldn't make a habit of it, but you should be fine. Good luck!

Speaking of 34/70, I pitched it into a Vienna around 43 degrees and a Bock around 41 last night. The more I try other lager strains, the more I like 34/70. Definitely my house lager strain.
Wow, that is cold. I thought I was pushing the envelope at 49.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:05 AM   #10
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Wow, that is cold. I thought I was pushing the envelope at 49.
It's the same strain as Wyeast 2124 which IIRC is rated to ferment as low as 46. A buddy recently had it going at 43 with no trouble. It is easily my favourite lager strain--workhorse at cold temperatures, nice and clean, no-nonsense yeast.

Many lager yeasts will work quite a bit colder that people think. If you read the lager brewing wiki, traditional German pitching temps were insanely cold by homebrewing standards. You have to be patient and pitch a crapload of yeast. I recently tortured some Wyeast 2633 into working at refrigerator temperatures (37 degrees). Massive overpitch into a small starter. Threw sulphur like hell for days, then got cleaner and cleaner. The decanted wort tasted great for an unhopped beer. Pitched the slurry last night into the other half of the Vienna I mentioned above, and it was going today while the 34/70 in the Bock and rest of the Vienna is taking its time.
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