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Old 08-19-2009, 03:55 AM   #1
CharlosCarlies
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Default Ramping up fermentation temps?

I've used the search feature, but I still can't find exactly what I've been wondering about lately.

Because of this constant 100F+ heat down here, I've been pitching most of my ales at ~75-80F (mostly US-05 and Notty), cranking them down to 58-60F ASAP via a fermentation chamber, and ramping up the temps every week or so to a final temp of say 70F where I let them condition for a couple weeks. My question basically, is this even worth the trouble or am I misunderstanding how the yeasties like to do their jobs?

At what stages along the way are particular temps desired? For example, is pitching warm to promote reproduction a good thing? Or does this just lead to undesired esters? Are higher temps desired towards the end of fermentation for a faster "clean-up" period?

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Old 08-19-2009, 08:13 PM   #2
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Nobody? ...

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Old 08-19-2009, 08:50 PM   #3
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If your results are good, then keep doing it! I pitch around 68F, and it stays that way. We don't get so hot up here.

I think what you're doing would be good....

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Old 08-19-2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CharlosCarlies View Post
At what stages along the way are particular temps desired? For example, is pitching warm to promote reproduction a good thing? Or does this just lead to undesired esters? Are higher temps desired towards the end of fermentation for a faster "clean-up" period?
As far as I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong), but the most important stage to keep the fermentation cool is during the reproductive phase. That's when undesired esters are most likely to be produced if the temperature is too high.

Allowing it to rise after the reproductive phase helps speed up fermentation and increases attenuation. Not sure about the clean-up period though.

I've been pitching very cool (about 5 degrees below the optimum range for the yeast) and allowing it to rise to the top of the range over the next few days. That's how a lot of Belgian ales done but I'm sure it depends a lot on the style you're brewing, too.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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As far as I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong), but the most important stage to keep the fermentation cool is during the reproductive phase. That's when undesired esters are most likely to be produced if the temperature is too high.
This seems to be what I see posted the most, but then again, aren't most people making starters at room temperature? Why wouldn't this lead to ester production as well?

Also, if that were the case, couldn't you just not aerate your wort, pitch a ton of yeast, and keep temps higher throughout fermentation since much less reproduction will be occurring?

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I pitch around 68F, and it stays that way. We don't get so hot up here.
So jealous.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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Oh and FWIW, I do have the probe from the fermentation controller strapped tightly to the fermenter to bring down temps ASAP. My last batch I pitched around 10 last night and there were no visible signs of activity until around noon today. The controller had it sitting at 58F when I woke up around 10 this morning, so I'm assuming temps weren't above 75F for all that long.

How long does reproduction generally last and at what point along the way is the most prone to esters/off-flavors?

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Old 08-19-2009, 10:40 PM   #7
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Just a thought. Warming up the yeast make them work faster.

So maybe they would clean up better if warmed up?

David

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Old 08-31-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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Glad I found this thread. I'm trying to ferment a weizen at 60-64 in 100+ degree weather. I was also hoping that after some more precise temperature control earlier on that I could try to maintain it around 68-72 for fully attenuating and cleaning up, since this temp is a lot easier to hit.

Another similar question I had was whether I could cool down a beer in the final phase (not lagering, not cold crashing, just cooler). I was fermenting a premium bitter around 68-70 with nottingham and in the third week of fermentation I was thinking about getting it down to 60-64 for the weizen. Of course, it's largely dependent on which yeast you're using, but I'm more concerned with the effects of a cool final fermentation and whether the yeast would be unable to really clean things up. Anyone have any experience with this?

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Old 08-31-2009, 05:54 PM   #9
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Another similar question I had was whether I could cool down a beer in the final phase (not lagering, not cold crashing, just cooler). I was fermenting a premium bitter around 68-70 with nottingham and in the third week of fermentation I was thinking about getting it down to 60-64 for the weizen. Of course, it's largely dependent on which yeast you're using, but I'm more concerned with the effects of a cool final fermentation and whether the yeast would be unable to really clean things up. Anyone have any experience with this?
I recently did a batch with Wyeast 3787 (range 64F-78F). It had gone from 1.046 to 1.008 in two weeks (Pitched @ 58F and let it rise to 78F). Since it was already below my FG target of 1.010, I dropped the temp to 64F for a week to get it ready for bottling and it dropped another two points to 1.006.

I'm not sure if Nottingham will behave the same way, but it looks like the range on Nottingham is 57F to 70F so I don't think you should have issues with it cleaning up, as long as you ramp it down slowly. That's also assuming you've already hit your target FG and it's not a crazy high gravity brew.
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