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Old 06-29-2010, 01:10 AM   #1
DanOmite
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Default fermentation temp Q

Hi, I have a question about fermentation temperature. It is officially summer time and the stick on thermometer reads about 70 to 75F throughout the day. Is this too high to be fermenting an IPA? If so, I was thinking about filling my tub up during the day and just letting it sit in the water. I also have a thermo-bag (for large amounts of frozen groceries) that I could through in a couple ice packs to cool down and then put the tank in there (it will cover the bottom half. Either way, I was wondering how cold I want the water or thermo-bag.

The beer has been fermenting for a little over two days without any temp control, so probably at about 73F. I read the actaul temperature inside can be a lot warmer, so I need to know what to do. I really dont want an off tasting beer that gives a nast hangover.

Thanks

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Old 06-29-2010, 01:22 AM   #2
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I had that problem this weekend.. My hefe fermented for 3 days at about 72-73.. I just did the wet t-shirt trick and the temp is holding steady at about 68. I think that 75 is definitely a little warm, but your beer isn't ruined. It will just be a little different. Some yeasts handle the temps better than others. What kind of yeast did you pitch?

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Old 06-29-2010, 01:25 AM   #3
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That's a little high for fermentation. Ales typically shouldn't be fermented over 68 degrees, although some are a little higher, mostly Belgians. Putting your fermenter in a bucket of tub of water with a towel or t-shirt over it will help, especially if you have a fan that you can direct at it. The evaporation cools it, and the drying out wicks moisture up to keep the t-shirt or towel wet. Do a search here on fermenter cooling, there's tons of innovative ideas.

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Old 06-29-2010, 02:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroosBrewz View Post
I had that problem this weekend.. My hefe fermented for 3 days at about 72-73.. I just did the wet t-shirt trick and the temp is holding steady at about 68. I think that 75 is definitely a little warm, but your beer isn't ruined. It will just be a little different. Some yeasts handle the temps better than others. What kind of yeast did you pitch?
White Labs California Ale

I just placed it in one of those thermo packs I mentioned with some two-zip locks full of ice on both sides. I am going to let the temp in the thermo pack drop and remove the ice.

Turns out the idea wont work, because it’s really not a tub, but a shower with high sides. The grouting is getting really old and funky, so letting it soak all day is not a good idea.

I have made a few brews with my buddy and every time we left the brews in the garage. Consequently, they always had a weird cider taste, which I believe is due to high fermenting temperatures. I really want to avoid that, because I think this current recipe is pretty killer.

Sorry, one more question. Are those sticks on thermometers very accurate? Is there a rule of thumb for the temperature difference between the actual fermenting beer and the outside temperature reading?
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DanOmite View Post
Sorry, one more question. Are those sticks on thermometers very accurate? Is there a rule of thumb for the temperature difference between the actual fermenting beer and the outside temperature reading?
I've checked them against a thermometer in the beer several times and they're always accurate, at least within their limited resolution (±2°F).
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