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Old 09-29-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
Regnasty
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Default Minimizing effects of pitching hot

Hi, all-

I finally pulled the trigger earlier this week and picked up my first set of equipment for homebrewing (thanks to a lot of good advice on these forums). Had a great time getting everything ready and boiling the wort yesterday, but then ran into the issue of cooling it down quickly and effectively.

Without going into too much detail, I ended up pitching the yeast (dry packet) at probably somewhere around 85 degrees F. I'm hoping that since it was dry, the yeast didn't actually rehydrate and activate for a couple of hours, which may have let things cool down a bit. Still, I'm wondering what kind of suggestions people have for reducing the bad tastes caused by hot fermentation.

I'm sure I'll get a variety of answers for this, but would I be better off leaving it in the primary for a little longer and letting the yeast work their magic? Transfer to a secondary for several weeks? Or are the tastes pretty much gonna be there no matter what?

Thanks!



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Old 09-29-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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Typically there isn't much you can do to get rid of any off flavors caused by hot fermentation (fusels, esters, etc), but definitely leave it on the yeast for a few weeks to let them do their thing and try to clean up after themselves as much as possible.

I'd leave it primary for at least 3 weeks and skip secondary altogether. Many people here don't use secondary unless adding fruit, wood, stuff like that to their beer. If you aren't doing any of that, it's really not necessary, but do some research - it's a well-known debate among home brewers.



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Old 09-29-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. And yeah, I've read mixed opinions about leaving it in the primary vs. racking to a secondary, but I hadn't really made up my mind about it. I'll probably give that a shot.

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Old 09-29-2012, 01:37 PM   #4
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Remember fermentation takes a while. If the wort was over ideal temp. for only a few hrs. then I think you will have little effect on your finished beer. I have pitched yeast at 85-90 degrees in a real pinch and it turned out fine. Lately I have been cooling wort down to 130 degrees, putting it in the fermentation chamber and pitching yeast the next day when the temp. is down. This saves lots of time for me. Just be on the spot with the sanitizer.

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Old 09-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #5
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The temperature at which you pitch (unless hot enough to kill the yeast) is less critical than the temperature during the fermentation. As long as the temperature is lowered before the fermentation gets in high gear.

Remember that the fermentation process will raise the temperature of the wort. Aim for the low end of the recommended range for the yeast you are using. If the range is not printed on the packaging you can find it at the mfg website.

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Old 09-29-2012, 04:21 PM   #6
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Thanks, all! I definitely learned a lot this time around.

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Old 09-30-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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What temp did you get it down to before the fermentation kicked off?

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Old 10-01-2012, 12:43 AM   #8
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Hard to say. Like I said, I pitched the yeast when it was probably 85-90. When I checked 5 hours later, bubbles were coming out of the airlock, and the temperature strip said 74. So hopefully it was somewhere between 75 and 80?



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