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Old 07-27-2010, 09:53 PM   #1
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Default "Optimal" yeast temp up to 86 degrees?

I've been brewing using Mauribrew A (Ale 514) dry yeast http://www.maurivinyeast.com/y.aspx?id=14&menu=open&parentid=286&menuid=323 made by the dry yeast manufacturer Mauri Yeast Australia. I buy it by the half kilo and to date I've been quite happy with it. I checked the website and it has the following information for this strain;

TEMPERATURE RANGE
17-30°C (62-86°F) is optimal for this strain. Beer
structure may benefit from fermentations with this
strain after acclimatising to lower temperatures for
prolonged yeast contact at 10-15°C (50-59°F).

This upper temperature range seemed too good to be true. If it was the case, that would mean I would be able to ferment in my 42 gallon conical at room temperature and suffer no negative effects from the 10-15 degree temperature increase that occurs during active fermentation. So I contacted the manufacturer and asked them to confirm this. Here was part of the reply;

"Actually, Mauribrew Ale 514 produces even better aroma profile at the higher end, 80-85 degrees F. Because it is fermenting happily, it does not get stressed and does not produce as much negative aroma like H2S. As for Lager, it may not appreciate it so much. It might be worth trying the Ale yeast for making lagers at this temperature, as Lager 497 really likes the cooler temps."

The lager part of the explanation was a bit confusing, but I interpreted the first part of the response to mean that, if anything, the yeast is even better at these higher temps. Happy with my due diligence, I set out brewing beers in my conical at the higher temp several weeks ago. So far the highest temp I have recorded is 82 degrees which is within the "optimal" temp range. To date I have yet to try a finished beer, but I have a stout, amber ale, and double IPA in the works using this yeast at the higher temp.

Here is my reason for concern. This afternoon I pulled off a sample of double IPA that I brewed a couple weeks ago and tasted it. It tasted quite "hot." Like higher alcohol, get a hangover type hot. Granted, this beer started at 1.078 and is now at 1.015, so it is 8.4% ABV. But needless to say, with 35 gallons of IPA on the line I'm a bit nervous (not to mention the stout and amber ale!).

Hopefully someone can chime in and either let me know that I've been a moron to think I could ferment at this higher temperature and be fine, or that two weeks into a double IPA the "hot" flavor is normal and will subside. I've made big beers in the past, but I usually don't taste them this young, so I'd prefer the second option to be the case. If the first scenario is the case, then I've got a bone to pick with Mauri Yeast Australia. Sorry for the long winded post, but I thought all of the details I provided were necessary. Thanks in advance for any input!

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:20 PM   #2
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I'd be pretty hard-pressed to think the yeast company would be so wrong about their fermentation temp recommendation; you'd think they would know their yeast more than anyone, and I can't see why they would stretch the truth or anything like that. It might just take a little longer to age than at a lower temperature, but still turn out fine. Definitely let us know!

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:31 PM   #3
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Actually yeast does ferment and reproduce best at the higher temps you listed but the trade off is the flavors produced at those temps.

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:53 PM   #4
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Actually yeast does ferment and reproduce best at the higher temps you listed but the trade off is the flavors produced at those temps.
So they listed the optimal temp for carrying out fermentation and not the optimal temp for making beer? Is this the same for other dry yeast manufacturers? I always assumed the temperature range they listed was ideal for producing tasty beer. Live and learn I guess...
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:07 PM   #5
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I always try to ferment at the bottom end of the temp range, I find this gives me the cleanest results with most yeasts.

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by King of Cascade View Post
Actually yeast does ferment and reproduce best at the higher temps you listed but the trade off is the flavors produced at those temps.
That's not what the manufacturer is saying, though. It seems pretty clear they're saying the taste is superior at the higher end of the range. It runs a bit counter to our common assumptions about yeast, but I can't think of any other way to interpret it.

The fact sheet makes a big deal of it handling high levels of alcohol well, so I can't imagine no one else has noticed a higher alcohol problem before, if indeed it is there.

Did you actually measure the temp the whole time, in the center? The 10 degree mark is a standard estimate of how high temps can climb in a standard 5 gallon batch. I suppose larger batches may achieve a higher temp in the center of the fermenter, but I wouldn't know for sure.

You also mentioned being surprised at the high attenuation. Is it significantly higher than you expected? Significantly different levels of attenuation can throw a recipe's balance all out of whack. A really big beer without the malt, hops, and so forth to back it up will just taste like alcohol. Even so, any beer at 8% or higher is likely to taste hot at first. Give it time. You have brewed big beers before, no?

All I can say for sure is that 1) unless someone else has used this yeast extensively, we really can't divine what the finished product will be like, and 2) time heals all things in regards to beer (except maybe a glorious hop character, or really nasty infections).
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuldTuborg View Post
That's not what the manufacturer is saying, though. It seems pretty clear they're saying the taste is superior at the higher end of the range. It runs a bit counter to our common assumptions about yeast, but I can't think of any other way to interpret it.

The fact sheet makes a big deal of it handling high levels of alcohol well, so I can't imagine no one else has noticed a higher alcohol problem before, if indeed it is there.

Did you actually measure the temp the whole time, in the center? The 10 degree mark is a standard estimate of how high temps can climb in a standard 5 gallon batch. I suppose larger batches may achieve a higher temp in the center of the fermenter, but I wouldn't know for sure.

You also mentioned being surprised at the high attenuation. Is it significantly higher than you expected? Significantly different levels of attenuation can throw a recipe's balance all out of whack. A really big beer without the malt, hops, and so forth to back it up will just taste like alcohol. Even so, any beer at 8% or higher is likely to taste hot at first. Give it time. You have brewed big beers before, no?

All I can say for sure is that 1) unless someone else has used this yeast extensively, we really can't divine what the finished product will be like, and 2) time heals all things in regards to beer (except maybe a glorious hop character, or really nasty infections).


Manufactures say a lot of things to get you to buy their products. Did you ever hear of a product that promises 3 inches and 30% girth? If that product worked then fruit of the loom would have stopped making briefs….
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:57 AM   #8
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Manufactures say a lot of things to get you to buy their products. Did you ever hear of a product that promises 3 inches and 30% girth? If that product worked then fruit of the loom would have stopped making briefs….
In a sense, you're right, of course; manufacturers will promise all kinds of things. But what company tells you to purposefully misuse their product for optimal results? That's a way to get bad press and unhappy customers, which is bad business. Are you suggesting the yeast manufacturer is running some kind of scam?
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:29 AM   #9
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There is an easy way to check it: brew a split batch, ferment half-batch at higher temps and half-batch at lower (ice bath). See what comes out. Brew some kind of a simple and light ale so you can easily taste the difference. And please keep us posted.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GuldTuborg View Post
But what company tells you to purposefully misuse their product for optimal results? That's a way to get bad press and unhappy customers, which is bad business. Are you suggesting the yeast manufacturer is running some kind of scam?
Ehmmm... have you ever heard of BP, Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Enron, AIG, UnitedHealth, Philip Morris, ExxonMobil, Blackwater... just to name a few?
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:01 AM   #10
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I actually find it more surprising how many yeasts recommend lower temperatures. If you think about it, it is not likely that everyone was brewing there ales at 60F for hundreds of years. Instead it was whatever temperature it was outside was the temp they brewed at, unless they fermented underground.

If you want no character out of the yeast, then yes usually cooler temperatures help. In reality it seems mostly lagers and American beers are the ones that do not want yeast character. English, Scottish, Irish, Belgian, French, etc. all call for some yeast character.

I would imagine though, that like Belgian strains, if you do the entire fermentation at the top of the temp range, you will have too many yeast flavors.

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