I decided to brew a westvleteren 12 clone this past weekend. Brew day went great. Batch sparged, 75% efficiency, temps spot on
150 degrees for 90 min
168 degrees fro 25 min.
Cooled the wort to 65 degrees and pitched a 1 gallon starter of WLP 530. My goal was to let the temperature self rise to 82 degrees and hold it there for the next 5 days. Unfortunately my temp never got up past 70 and fermentation was going crazy. I put a blanket on the fermenter and heating cables around it. I finally got the temp up to 76 but no where near my target.
Will this completely ruin my attempt at a cloning this recipe because my fermentation temps were so far off?
I'm sure it'll be different (maybe a touch sweeter with less phenols) but you should be fine. I brewed my Westy 'inspired' batch about a week ago and it hit 82 pretty easily by day 2 while pitching at 68 or so. Ambient temp in my house is about 72 and the batch had a lot of simple sugar.
I think it will be completely fine. I doubt you could tell any difference. How did you measure the temp? It's possible that if the outside of the fermenter registered 76, the inside was up to 82. Regardless, though, I'm sure it will be great.
I'm too lazy and have too many beers going to keep updating this!
I used a fermometer stuck to the side of the fermenter to register temp. I ended up putting seed heating cables ( I know I mcgyvered it) around the fermenter as well as a blanket to get the temp to 80 and its been holding steady since yesterday morning. I'll let the temp start coming down tomorrow night. I'm hoping I hit the temp in the fermenter, but from what I heard the stick on thermometers are pretty accurate. Ambient temp in the house is 68.