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Old 11-06-2012, 12:22 AM   #1
Maddyriver
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Default Pitching ale yeast at low temps

I've been cooling my wort down to 62F when I'm pitching different ale yeast with good results. However, I just got my fermentation chamber set up and was wondering if I'm still chilling down to 62F. What temp should I set my controller at? The probe is taped to the side of carboy, insulated. Obviously when fermentation gets cranking it will raise the temp. So should I set my controller initially at 68F? So it hits that temp. Thanks for any input.



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Old 11-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #2
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I've been cooling my wort down to 62F when I'm pitching different ale yeast with good results. However, I just got my fermentation chamber set up and was wondering if I'm still chilling down to 62F. What temp should I set my controller at? The probe is taped to the side of carboy, insulated. Obviously when fermentation gets cranking it will raise the temp. So should I set my controller initially at 68F? So it hits that temp. Thanks for any input.
Oh, my gosh, 62F isn't "low temperatures"! I was expecting "low temperatures" to be in the low 50s!.

I chill to about 60 or so, and then pitch my yeast and allow it to rise up to 64 degrees for fermentation. Yeast LOVE being warmed, but not cooled!


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Old 11-06-2012, 12:45 AM   #3
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Yeah I guess that's not really that low. But what temp should I set my controller for? Should I set it for my target ferment temp?

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:50 AM   #4
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Yeah I guess that's not really that low. But what temp should I set my controller for? Should I set it for my target ferment temp?
That's hard to say, but I'd suggest starting lower than your target temp, and rising up if it's not high enough for you. Active fermentation itself produces heat, so it's hard to guess what will work for you. But one thing that makes great beer is fermenting on the lower end of the yeast strain's temperature range, and then raising up at the tail end of fermentation.

For example, if using California ale yeast, which lists 68-73 as optimum, I'd probably start it at 65 and see where it goes on its own. I prefer it at the lower end of optimum fermentation range. Then, on about day 5 as fermentation slows, raise it up to near 72 to encourage it to drop the last few gravity points and clean up any diacetyl created.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:18 AM   #5
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I just pitched a vile of Cali yeast at 60F & set the temp control to 65F. So I'll watch it and see where it goes.

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Old 11-06-2012, 01:28 AM   #6
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Also depends on your controller. I have the analog Johnson controller and I have to set it about 5 degrees lower than my actual target. You're not going to hurt anything by setting it too cold, but if it gets too hot and out of control then it's harder to correct.

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Old 11-06-2012, 01:51 AM   #7
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Oh, my gosh, 62F isn't "low temperatures"! I was expecting "low temperatures" to be in the low 50s!.

I chill to about 60 or so, and then pitch my yeast and allow it to rise up to 64 degrees for fermentation. Yeast LOVE being warmed, but not cooled!
Listen to the whip, she has good advice .

It is so easy to control temps if you pitch at a low temp and then let it rise to the temp you want. I you pitch warm and the yeast takes off it is hard to get it under control.

Once a ferment starts it is best not to let it cool.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:11 AM   #8
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I have a Brewer's Edge II controller. So if my controller is set to 66F and wrapped to the carboy it's my understanding it will keep the carboy in check at that temp. If it reaches 66F. I know that when fermentation begins it will raise in temp, but if I pitched at 60F and the ambient temp in the fridge is 65F or lower. My concern is that initial fermentation doesn't have high enough carboy & ambient temp to get going. Thanks again for all the advice guys.

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Old 11-06-2012, 03:35 PM   #9
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Well my concerns look like they are true. +12 hrs later and carboy temp only 62F and ambient 64F. No signs of fermentation. So I hooked up and mounted my brewers edge heating pad on interior wall and dangled probe in fridge and set controller to 68F to warm up ambient temp. and hopefully wake the yeast.

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Old 11-06-2012, 03:42 PM   #10
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Yeah I guess that's not really that low. But what temp should I set my controller for? Should I set it for my target ferment temp?
Get a temp strip and slap it on your carboy. Or a temp probe and measure the difference between reality in the fermenter and what your controller reads.

For reference, my controller is +2* over the real fermentation temp - have temp strips on every carboy.


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