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Old 08-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
scrambled
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Default 1st Beer started a little hot, what now?

So this is my first stab at homebrew. I have the brewing kit from NB and am trying the Honey Kolsch with Safale-05 yeast (so, ok, not really a kolsch). I am fermenting in a glass carboy in my basement storage area.

It has been hot up here in Wisconsin and on brew day I realized the ambient temp of the storage area was 74-76F. The yeast recommended max is 75. I thought I would be ok with that. I did not realize that fermentation was going to get hot.

I brewed Wednesday night and did a yeast starter. I checked the beer first thing in the morning and there was 2 inches of foam and the airlock was bubbling every couple (5?) seconds, I thought that was good. I checked my fermometer and could not get a reading (it goes to 76). I am guessing the beer could have gotten up to 78-80. This was 10 hours after pitching yeast.

I started reading things about fermentation temps and esters on this forum and realized I might have a problem on my hands. I quickly rigged a swamp cooler and got the beer to 72. If I sniff around the airlock I was definitely getting banana, but its not like I can smell it from even a few feet away. With some improvements to swamp cooler I am holding it around 66-70 and I think it is the best I can do. There is no airflow and no way to hook up a fan. At the lower temp, I am still sniffing a little banana but I think it is weaker than I first remember.

This beer is going to be kegged for my housewarming party in late September. I move in a couple weeks. Once I move, I will have more options for temperature control.

I am simply trying for a nice crowdpleasing beer and not banana bread. So my questions are:

1. How worried should I be? I feel like I caught and corrected the situation fairly quickly but the fermentation was rocking in those first hours.
2. Is there anything more I can do during these initial days of fermentation when I have to have it in this basement. I think my limit to where I can reasonably hold it temperature-wise is 66-68.
3. What should I be planning for (secondary, lagering?) once I can move the beer to my house and essentially every option is open in order to dissipate these esters?

Wow, thanks for reading this whole post if you made it here! Any comments are appreciated.

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Old 08-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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The damage that's done is done. The temps you are at now are fine. I would leave it at 66-68 and just plan on aging it a little longer to help the yeast clean up some of those off flavors. Age will help improve those esters. I wouldn't worry too much about smells during fermentation. That might not reflect the finished product, but you did the right thing getting it down in temperature.

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Old 08-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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I recently had a beer ferment in the 80's and it came out fine! Granted, it would not win any beer competition but it was tasty with just a bit of off flavor at the end. Dont worry about it!

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:05 PM   #4
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Let it sit for a while as mentioned, and consider it a learning experience.

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Old 08-03-2012, 05:05 PM   #5
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I made a wheat beer with belgian yeast and fermented at room temp. Come out great and i think the flavor is starting to improve the longer i have it in my keezer. Just let it sit in the fermentor a little longer than normal and some of the off flavors should get cleaned up.

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Old 08-03-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrambled View Post
It has been hot up here in Wisconsin and on brew day I realized the ambient temp of the storage area was 74-76F. The yeast recommended max is 75. I thought I would be ok with that. I did not realize that fermentation was going to get hot.
those yeast temps are internal not ambient. fermentation creates heat so expect it to be 2-10F warmer. unless its belgian, wheat, or wild/sour, it really shouldn't be over 70 until fermentation slows

Quote:
1. How worried should I be? I feel like I caught and corrected the situation fairly quickly but the fermentation was rocking in those first hours.
2. Is there anything more I can do during these initial days of fermentation when I have to have it in this basement. I think my limit to where I can reasonably hold it temperature-wise is 66-68.
3. What should I be planning for (secondary, lagering?) once I can move the beer to my house and essentially every option is open in order to dissipate these esters?.
1) S-05 is pretty forgiving on higher temps, but you should still get it <70 (internal) if you can.
2) no, just keep it <70
3) leave it in the primary on the yeast for a few weeks, it'll help reduce some of the extraneous esters.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:15 PM   #7
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mmm banana bread beer

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Old 10-29-2012, 09:15 PM   #8
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I had a similar problem with a wheat beer. Went out of town and left the a/c off. Ambient temps got up to 82. Beer was in primary for about 5.5 months and in the bottles for about 2 weeks. It's drinkable but a little funky.

Are the off flavors here to stay or will they mellow out in the bottle a bit?

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Old 10-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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Since this thread got revived, I can happily tell you the beer, dubbed The Village Blonde, came out fine. I think the combo of getting a swamp cooler going as soon as I realized I might have a problem and leaving in the primary about 4 weeks did the trick. I kegged the beer and it was pretty good, but then after a couple more weeks in the keg, it was delicious. What was left of the keg for my housewarming party was a crowd-pleasing beer that I really appreciated as well.

Now, Temp control and the use of dry yeast are my modus operandi for turning out tasty beer. My American Wheat from NB kit was amazing and ready in about two weeks. Named Workingman's Wheat, the keg traveled to a Packers/Saints tailgate and quenched thirsts with the help of homemade hand pump. I have a Hoppy APA on tap now, Serendipity Pale Ale. Next brews in the pipeline are a Porter and Oktoberfest for my soon to be unpregnant wife who appreciates malt character more than hops.

I have come a long way from the Noob that posted this thread mere months ago.

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