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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Fermentation temperature
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:39 PM   #1
iansbrew
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Default Fermentation temperature

I live in Georgia and we have had a pretty hot summer here. So it wasn't until last week that it cooled off enough for me to feel comfortable enough to start a batch...instead... I started two...a Double Chocolate Maple Stout to be kegged for a friends wedding and a Honey Hefe-weizen to be kegged for me. My fermentation temp has never been below 74 F, with a high of 78 F and that has worried me. I felt that fermentation has gone well in that the stout had a fairly aggressive krauesen after 1-2 days and has stopped bubbling at about day 6. The Hefe is still going after I added 2 lbs of honey at day 3...it is now day 9. So my question is this....what effect should I expect the higher temps to have on the beer? incomplete fermentation? What?

Thanks.

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Old 09-11-2010, 12:12 AM   #2
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you'll have some pretty strong ester flavors, especially in the hefe. expect lots of fruitiness. I don't want to get you freaked out, but those fermentation temps are definitely above optimum.

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Old 09-11-2010, 12:44 AM   #3
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What yeasts did you pitch?

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Old 09-11-2010, 01:52 AM   #4
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As PTisch alludes to, the type of yeast you used will play an important role in how the final product turns out at these temps. Regardless, that's too warm for almost any style so you can almost bet on it being quite estery/fruity/etc.

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Old 09-11-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
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I used a hopped malt extract for both batches and added some of my own ingredients. They each had unlabeled yeast under the plastic cap. I would have preferred to use a yeast that I could choose and identify, but I was in a hurry and it was late at night. I am told the yeast that is usually included in these kits is designed to do well under a wide range of conditions, so maybe it won't be too bad. I used an Irish Stout mix and a Barvarian Wheat mix for the Hefe. To the stout I added 8 oz of cacao and 24 oz grade B maple syrup. To the Hefe I very carefully added 2 lbs of honey.

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:19 AM   #6
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Are you guys speaking from experience or stating conventional wisdom?

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iansbrew View Post
Are you guys speaking from experience or stating conventional wisdom?
Try it for yourself. Ferment two identical beers with one at 64 degrees and one close to 80. The difference will be almost shocking side by side.

And I know from experience because I made the same mistake almost all new brewers make and fermented many beers way too warm when starting out. It was still beer and most were drinkable, but they were hardly in the same league as even a mediocre commercial beer. As soon as I had a way to control fermentation temps and keep them below about 66 degrees even the same recipes I made before came out like a completely different beer.

You can have the best equipment in the world and an award winning recipe, but if you can't keep fermentation temps under control none of it matters. It is probably the single most important aspect in making good beer. It's right up there with time and making sure the beer isn't rushed.

At any rate, in the end you'll still make beer, and it will probably be pretty good to boot. But it won't turn out as good as it could if you were able to keep your temps in line.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
It's right up there with time and making sure the beer isn't rushed.
I would say that it's right up there with proper sanitation. Well almost, improper sanitation will make you scared to drink it to get a buz Improper fermentation control will get you to choke it down to get a buz both results are unenjoyable. Hook up a swamp cooler or get you a cheep freezer with a Johnson Control and you'll be in for the long haul.
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