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Old 11-03-2009, 01:28 PM   #1
nervousbrewer
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Default Belgian Abbey yeast - Is it too hot?

Greetings. I am brewing a Belgian Dubbel and using Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey. I was trying to maintain it at 70°. It seemed to start up right away (I pitched on Sunday evening). I was keeping a couple of towels wrapped around it to keep the heat in. I kept a thermometer under the towels next to the outside of the carboy. It seemed like I was able to keep it in the 70-72 range.

Well, I checked it this morning and the thermometer outside read 71 or so, but the strip thermometer stuck to the side of the carboy read 78-76. Wyeast has a recommended range of 68-78. So I know I am pushing the edge. I took the towels off and moved it downstairs. It's maybe a couple of degrees cooler down there.

The carboy is very active. Lots of swirling going on. It's about 36 hours after I pitched. This morning I watched the krausen literally disappear before my eyes as the top of the wort swirled around.

My question is, did I get it too hot? I know I am still technically in the recommended range, but what would be the consequences for getting it too hot? What kind of off flavor might I expect? I have read that Belgians tolerate higher temperatures, so is it not a big deal?

As always, thanks.

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:34 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like you within the published range for the beer. That yeast can be estery; like most Belgium yeasts (by design). So you may have more esters than if you fermented on the low range. Depending on your prefrences, that could be a good thing! Relax.

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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I ferment my Belgians by pitching cool (5F below the published range) and letting the temperature rise to the top of the range until it's done. They come out great and taste very Belgian. I brewed a dubbel with that same strain (1214) several weeks ago and I let it ferment for 3 weeks at 78F (after pitching at 63F). It's going to get bottled this weekend.

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Old 11-03-2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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wow, you bottle this after three weeks? i always let mine sit for 6 weeks or so.

i pitched mine Sunday night, and I have a lot of activity in the blowoff bucket (co2), but my krausen only rose about an inch above the beer...that's a first for me, my belgians usually blow off pretty strong. this is my first time with 1214, I ususually use belgian abbey 11.

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I ferment my Belgians by pitching cool (5F below the published range) and letting the temperature rise to the top of the range until it's done. They come out great and taste very Belgian. I brewed a dubbel with that same strain (1214) several weeks ago and I let it ferment for 3 weeks at 78F (after pitching at 63F). It's going to get bottled this weekend.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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wow, you bottle this after three weeks? i always let mine sit for 6 weeks or so.
Three to four weeks primary at 78F (I consider it done when I get the same gravity reading two weeks in a row), one week crash cool in the primary at 40F, one week in the secondary before bottling at 60F. Total of 5-6 weeks before bottling so not really very different than you. I was really just addressing the primary fermenting temperature.
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