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Old 02-11-2013, 10:53 PM   #1
rnobrew
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Default Right Temp for fermentation?

This is my second batch of beer and I'm a little concerned about the temperature in which it's fermenting. I brewed on Saturday and pitched the yeast. The activity in the airlock was good for about 24 hours and then settled down. Now the activity has slowed significantly to about a few bubbles per minute. During the first 24 hours the fermometer was reading 76-78 F and the ambient air temperature in the closet was about 70 F. I'm assuming the fermometer was reading high because of the active fermentation. After the activity in the airlock has settled the fermometer is reading about 72 F (which is a few degrees higher than the actual ambient air temp). I am brewing brown ale extract with Danstar Windsor Ale yeast. The optimum temperature for this yeast is 64-70 F (as indicated on the packaging). If I'm fermenting at the high end (or a bit more) of the optimum temperature; will this cause problems with my beer and its fermentation? Or will this just speed up the process?

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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yes it will cause some off flavors...possibly a strong alcohol taste.

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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Windsor is a notoriously lazy yeast, and a pretty poor attenuator. This is fine if you use it on the right style of beer. I like to make my Wee Heavy using Windsor.

Because active fermentation raises the temperature of the brewing liquid, it's best to use a temperature controller in combination with a refrigerator or freezer to manage the temperature properly. What happens to yeast under heat stress is that it produces a LOT of fusel alcohols, diacetyl, acetylaldehyde and all sorts of funky flavors. This is due to the stress the yeast is under fermenting so warm. The beer is likely to have a lot of fruity flavors such as banana, clove, green apple, butterscotch and funk. Your best hope is to give it three weeks in the primary on the yeast cake to help clean up a few of those flavors but I wouldn't be surprised if you wound up with a Belgian-like beer rather than the nut brown you're after.

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Old 02-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information. I've already got my eye on a wine cooler/mini fridge to control the fermentation temps for the next batch.

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