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Old 01-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
Fermentalist
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Default High Fermentation temps 24 hrs after pitching

I just brewed up a Bitter chocolate Oatmeal Stout. O.G. = 1.096. Brew day went without a hitch. I made a starter of WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast, and pitched it to the wort @ 75F. The recipe I have says to ferment at 75F. So with it being so cold outside I moved my fermentation fridge inside. I didn't bother to even plug it in because it never gets hotter than 70F in my house. So I forgot about it for a total of 24 hrs. When I checked it, it was fermenting @ 82F VIOLENTLY! I immediately hooked up the fridge to my temp controller but it took another 10 hours to get it down to 75F. Now, there are no signs of fermentation. I know that an airlock should almost never be used as a gauge of fermentation but bubbling has completely stopped. I cannot see my little sea monkeys playing in my wort through my bucket because the damn beer is so dark to begin with (but i couldn't see them to begin with either).

My questions are: Will this time period of high temps impart any "tastable" off flavors in my finished product? What should I do if I take a gravity reading in a few weeks and the beer isn't where it should be?

I dont think this temp swing would be enough to kill my yeast but would should i rouse them? Will they come back and do their thing on their own?

I know I'm being totally paranoid and I should just RDWAHAHB, but I really dont wanna ruin THIS beer. HELP!!!



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Old 01-11-2012, 04:00 AM   #2
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Paranoid? Yes. RDWAHAHB? Yes. Is it gonna by perfect? Probably not. Is it ruined? I doubt it. Give it a week and check the gravity to sooth your mind. Hopefully it will be on track.



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Old 01-11-2012, 04:12 AM   #3
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The White Labs WLP007 page doesn't shed a lot of light on what happens character-wise when you run that yeast outside of the recommended 65-70°F range, but if you read through the comments it's clear that strain can rip right through a primary PDQ at presumably "correct" temperature, never mind 15 degrees warmer...

Cheers!

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:16 AM   #4
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The temperature range for WLP007 is 65-70F so anything above that is going to produce some off flavors ie. esters and fusel alcohols. The first 48 hours of fermentation are crucial for the production of the above mentioned and if temperatures get out of control, so can off-flavors.

It's best to pitch at a temperature in the low range of the yeast and gradually allow the temperature to warm up as activity increases, but always stay within the range of the yeast.

Are you sure the recipe indicated a fermentation temp of 75F? That's out of range for that yeast so I can't understand why it would... You may need some extended aging to reduce some undesirable flavors.

It's possible the yeast dropped out of suspension sensing the temperature drop and fermentation has slowed down a bit. It's also possible the yeast ripped right through the beer in 34 hours.

Don't give up on it! Wait a few days to see what happens. After about a week or so, take a hydrometer reading to see where you're at. If it's too high, there are a couple things you might consider to lower the gravity, but for now take things one step at a time.

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Old 01-11-2012, 04:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthMalt View Post

Are you sure the recipe indicated a fermentation temp of 75F? That's out of range for that yeast so I can't understand why it would...
The recipe I used was from the book written by greg koch "The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. " It is a clone of Stone brewing Companies 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. I followed directions to the T...... you know, except for the fermenting at 80F for a few hours. Directions say to ferment @ 75F. I also thought this was a high temp to ferment at, but if you know anything about Stone Brewing Co. they pride themselves on BIG and unusual recipes. After all part of this books title reads "Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance".

I have the temp holding @ 74F. Why is the waiting game the hardest part of brewing?


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