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Old 11-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by NScooknet View Post
You actually have to "cool" your fermenter during the primary fermentation?

Most people have them wrapped in blankets or have a heating pad wrapped around it, now I'm confused!

Right now, the ambient temp in the back room where my setup is is around 65 degrees, the thermometer on the carboy says 70 right now, and now there are finally bubbles in the airlock!

I'll drop the room temp down more to hopefully keep the yeast from overheating, what happens if it gets too warm? Off flavors?

Chris
There is very few beers and yeast the benefit from 70f + fermentations,
For example making a belgian wheat (weisse) you want it warm cause that yeast
strain will produce a clovey taste.

I thought the same as you but that was until my beer came out with a kick of
just strong ( some call it estery or fruity flavour) I found if I let them condition in the bottle longer and refrigerate for over a week the taste mellowed out.

For that festa brew kit if you keep the wort at 65 you will be golden if its possible. Its using us-05 yeast which for me anyway just needs to be kept under 70.
Us-05 is a clean yeast and is great because it normally doesnt throw out all those off flavors as does the coopers yeast which comes with the brewhouse kit.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzfest05 View Post
There is very few beers and yeast the benefit from 70f + fermentations,
For example making a belgian wheat (weisse) you want it warm cause that yeast
strain will produce a clovey taste.

I thought the same as you but that was until my beer came out with a kick of
just strong ( some call it estery or fruity flavour) I found if I let them condition in the bottle longer and refrigerate for over a week the taste mellowed out.

For that festa brew kit if you keep the wort at 65 you will be golden if its possible. Its using us-05 yeast which for me anyway just needs to be kept under 70.
Us-05 is a clean yeast and is great because it normally doesnt throw out all those off flavors as does the coopers yeast which comes with the brewhouse kit.

Well if keeping cool is the goal, i have no problems there!

the back room of the house where the brew setup is, is not insulated well, and usually I have to keep a heater back there to keep the pipes from freezing in the winter.

Right now, it's about 60 degrees back there, but the fermenter is actually right at 70 degrees all on it's own, i see what you mean now.

Before I was simply taking the air's ambient temp, thinking the liquid would be the same, i now realize that fermentation creates it's own heat.

I guess it's because it's been beat into my head thus far to ensure the yeast doesn't get too cold or it will go dormant, and I've even listened to podcasts from that brewing network describing how to do the same thing your talking about, only instead of ice in a rubber maid with water bath, the guy was talking about using aquarium heaters to keep the wort warm during fermentation, so now I'm definitely a bit confused about what to aim for and how to achieve it.

As long as I know what temp is supposed to be what, and when throughout the process, I can rig something up to accommodate that and keep things steady, but I think now I've got so much conflicting info in my head from different sources I really need to sort it all out and get a proper process straight.

I think the 1st thing I'll do is never read another beer kit instructions again!

Thanks1

Chris
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:32 AM   #13
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Well,
there's steady activity in the airlock, but very little kreusen, maybe 1/4 inch or so.

The wort is a steady 68 degrees now.

What happens if fermentation craps out or something?

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Old 11-03-2011, 11:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NScooknet
Well,
there's steady activity in the airlock, but very little kreusen, maybe 1/4 inch or so.

The wort is a steady 68 degrees now.

What happens if fermentation craps out or something?
I'm using us 05 on my Alaskan amber right now. Took three days to take off, on the 4th day I had 2-3 inch of Krausen. I haven't checked it today but it's probably still fermenting.

The yeast will finish their job and your Krausen will fall, when it does take a gravity reading make sure to sanitize.

It won't just crap out, but it's a waiting game, cause even though it will be done say Krausen falls in 3 days , you should leave it for 3 weeks from pitch date.
If you can cold crash 24 hours before bottling and you will have a clean beer
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:57 PM   #15
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The problem is that it looks like fermentation is now done, wel, the "kreusening" part anyhow.

I only got a 1/4" if that bit of kreusen on the surface of the wort, then it appeared to have fallen, and the activity in the airlock is dead now since yesterday.

It seemed to wait 2 days to start, then started, but fizzled out.

Does this mean that there won't be a proper fermentation?

Does anyone ever "re-pitch" more yeast into a wort that looks like it stalled like this?

This kinda pisses me off a bit because i followed the Festa instructions very closely, and now I'm worried it won't turn out right.

I've never used any yeast other than what is supplied with the kits, and will have to either drive for hours from where I live, or mail order custom yeasts.

So, what should I do now, just wait?

Should I just leave it in the primary for the full 3 weeks then?

Chris

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:26 PM   #16
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Yeah just wait, it could still be fermenting even though Krausen has fallen. You can take a gravity reading on the weekend.

Don't pitch more yeast. You had fermentation activity so your yeast should be healthy.

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:31 PM   #17
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So the temp falling from 70 degrees to only 64 degrees wouldn't put the little yeasties to sleep on me?

What temp should I keep it at now?

I'm not sure if the temp in the fermenter fell because of ambient air temp getting colder as it did, or because the fermentation slowed down, or both.

I guess all I've read thus far stated that a healthy fermentation was indicated by a robust kreusen on top of the wort, so when I saw so little actually form, it alarmed me a bit.

I guess with brewing it either goes off without a hitch fro the get go, or is seems problematic like this.

So leaving it that long on the yeast cake in the primary wont harm it will it?

Thanks for the info ozz, I very much appreciate it!

Chris

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:47 PM   #18
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Well, everyone has their own time scale for primary and secondary (if they use it), but most will tell you leaving it on the yeast cake for a month is standard practice. I'm too impatient to leave it that long.

A heavy krausen on top is a sign of healthy fermentation, but a lack of one does not mean unhealthy fermentation. Each batch is different, and I routinely have many batches that don't create a thick krausen, or it's on there for a day, settles, and fermentation finishes within a few days.

You don't really want to keep adjusting the temp on the yeast, but within the ballpark of 60-70 won't make them dormant. Cooler will take longer to finish. Depending on the style, most people start the fermentation in the low 60's and allow it to come up to 68 by the end. Ensures the temp created by the initial fermentation doesn't get too high.

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:07 PM   #19
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Thanks for that info!

Since I'm just starting out, and only have the basics for a setup, I don't have any real means to regulate temperature of the fermenter other than adjusting the ambient room temperature, which I'm well aware is less than ideal.

I liken it to trying to keep my tropical fish alive with no heater in the tank, and adjusting the room temp to keep the aquarium at a stable temp, not likely that's gonna happen, so also not likely I'm gonna have very stable wort temperatures until I rig up something to control it!

What I "can" hopefully do, is keep it within a range, and hopefully not fluctuating too much.

What I'm still trying to figure out is what is the optimal temp for everything. Since I'm only brewing ales, I'm guessing from start to finish that 60-70 degrees will be the utter maximum tolerances, while 64-68 degrees is optimal, am i correct so far?

I guess like anything else you don't learn unless you have problems, so I don't mind that, as long as it is not catastrophic failure and a loss of cash in the process, those Festa kits aren't cheap!

Thanks again for the info, while this wort is chugging along with it's little yeastie friends, i think I'll start a batch of Brew House Octoberfest, and this time, i'm just pitching the yeast straight into the wort outta the package like the last 2 batches I did!

Thanks!

Chris

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:23 PM   #20
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Yeah, I suggest just keep brewing, keep detailed notes on everything including fermentation, like if the temp got too hot, then test down the road what, if any, flavor those changes imparted. If it has a significant effect, you will certainly taste it. If not, well then your setup is perfectly adequate for your tastes!

About fermentation temps, for most ales, your target of 64-68 is a good target. As you stated, this is temp in the liquid, not the air. And remember, it takes a while in ambient air for the temp of the wort to change, so large sways during the day of +/-4F isn't really going to change the liquid temp all that much - as the room temp is coming down from high, it will cross the fermentation chamber on it's way up and vice versa.

If you do get really off tastes, first thing I would focus on is fermentation temps. Pitching low and keep constant temps below 68F. That is by far the hardest thing to control.

Not to give you something else to worry about, but Oktoberfests like it cold...

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