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Old 09-04-2010, 04:08 PM   #1
finny13
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Default Fluctuationg Fermentation Temperature

Brewed up an IPA the other day at the rents house. Should be a semi strong beer with an OG starting at 1.070. Im hoping to ferment down to around 1.017. Usually fermenting in my rents basement is fine. 1- because its usually cool, and 2- none of the beer I've made has been this strong.

The recent hot weather has caused my rents basement to spike up to around 70. This would have been too warm to ferment the IPA at because it woulda cranked the temperature of the beer up to like 77.

We have a spare fridge in the basement that is used to store beer and soda. I emptied that out and stuck my fermenter in there and turned the temp in the fridge to a 1. I got the temperature of the beer down to 64 which was the neighborhood I wanted to be in so I turned the fridge off and left the door shut. The temperature over the past 2 days gradually went up to 70 this morning so I had my dad turn the fridge back on to 1 and had him leave it on for 3 hours just to cool it down.

The temp of the beer cooled all the way down to 64 within 3 hours. My question is the rapid cooling bad for the fermenting beer? Is the slow/fast fluctuation in temperature bad for the beer? I know if my temperature goes too low my yeast could get "stuck" but wasn't sure if what Im doing is necessarily bad.

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Old 09-04-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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Give the circumstance, I think its fine, maybe not optimal, but we're making handmade beer - I think you came up with a great workaround!

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Old 09-05-2010, 04:57 AM   #3
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I have been doing the same thing will see who it works.

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Old 09-05-2010, 05:02 AM   #4
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I have Been using my kegerator in the same way....turn it on coool down, turn off and let warm up ten turn fidge on again...I dont know what this do to my beer....but its better than letting it ferment at 72 (ambient) constantly....

hopefully ill have my fermentation chamber ready to go, but I as well have been wondering what the affect this will have on the beer.

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Old 09-05-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
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I'd love to know how it turns out. I feel like the general rule is you don't want the beer to cool more than 1 degree per hour or else the yeast might begin to go dormant and floc out.

Personally, I would have just let it keep rising from that first time you got it to 64. The first couple days are the most important for temp control, and especially since you're gonna want some decent attenuation on that beer, letting it rise to 70-72 in the later stages of fermentation is not a bad thing. It will encourage the yeasties to really max out the ferm.

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Old 09-05-2010, 04:34 PM   #6
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Im curious too. when my father checked it for me after it went from 70 to 64 in a 3 hr period my airlock was still bubbling vigorously. Same thing this morning, it was up to 66 and still going good

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