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Old 12-21-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
jakead
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Default How long is too long?

Knowing that higher temps for ale yeast can lead to off flavors I was wondering how long was too long for a batch to sit at say 72 degrees. I know that the products produced during that period can't really be cleaned up but I would imagine that 2 hours of high temps is much better than say 24 hours of exposure to those temps.

I ask becuase I brewed a simple pale ale the other day and pitched around midnight. I woke up about 7 and the temp was fine. Got home around 5 and it was tempting 70. No big deal cause I cooled it down but it did make me curious as to what the limits were because I think we have all had a banana bomb in our time here.

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Old 12-21-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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It really depends on what yeast you used. Some are more tolerant than others.

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Old 12-21-2010, 05:38 PM   #3
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You should be safe. I usually pitch a little warm, and let it cool down to fermentation temps without any off flavors (that I can detect).

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Old 12-21-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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Man this is one of the biggest "it depends" questions ever... I doubt you could really have a definitive answer. Besides choice of yeast strain as mentioned above, it's also going to fall onto what stage the fermentation is in, how quickly it got there, and probably all sorts of other factors.

I think a lot of people vote for consistent temps over lots of variation which made me think of this question: let's say your temp gets out of hand and rises without you knowing. There's got to be a time when it's better to leave it steady where it is, rather than back the temp down. The general rule is that yeast clean up the nonsense they produce during growth and fermentation, so the last thing we want is for them to go dormant while there's still a bunch of junk floating around.

I don't have the answer to that.

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Old 12-22-2010, 04:37 AM   #5
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I'm not worried about my fermentation, it never got too high.

I'm sure there are those that have controls enough to play with the temps to bring about flavors to impart in the beer. I suppose it would be very difficult to replicate time after time however. But would be interesting to see a profile of some strains and what temps and time produce what. That would be cool.

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