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Old 06-17-2010, 07:16 PM   #1
Carter1932
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Default Secondary Temperature?

Question, I've got a batch of Amber Ale and Imperial Stout in my cellar. Both have been through primary fermentation at around 65-67º. They are now in secondary in the cellar. (For what its worth, both are on Pacman yeast; the amber is 2 1/2 months old and the Imperial is 1 month old.)

My concern is I've noticed the cellar temperature rise this summer from around 65º to 71-72º. So, how important are secondary temperatures for ales, provided it doesn't exceed 72º or so? Should I plan on creating a fermentation chamber for summer use and shoot for between 65º and 68º?

Also, I'm wanting to do an IPA this summer. Question, 1. should I plan on using a yeast that prefers 70-72º, 2. make a different style that takes into consideration the ambient temperature of cellar, 3. plan on fermentation chamber, 4. not worry about it.

Any advise is much appreciated.

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Fermenting: Hefeweizen
Secondary/Lagering:Oktoberfest & Doppelbock,
Bottled: Am. Amber, ESB, JC Dubbel, Behemoth Imperial Stout, Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Lefty Vienna Lager, Hefeweizen, Sm. Barleywine, Sm. Porter, Dunkelweizen & Helles Bock, Nut Brown, Cream Stout
Kegged: Trippel, Cream Stout, Belgian IPA '13, Nut Brown Ale, Am. Amber, Hot Walker Pale Ale
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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Temperature control for secondary is far less critical, except that getting too cool will drastically slow down aging. I'm sure there's a top-end limit, too, but I don't know how high that would be. You should be fine.

As for summer brewing, you can always put the fermenter in water with ice. That works quite well.

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:03 PM   #3
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Secondary temperatures aren't nearly as important to maintain as fermentation temps. If it fluctuates between 65 and 71˚ you'll be fine. Even warmer isn't a bad thing, though it could affect long-term stability.

However, for the first 3-5 days of primary fermentation (provided you pitch enough yeast, when 90% of fermentation occurs), you'll want to stabilize the fermentation temperatures within the range. Even if the ambient temperature of your basement is 72˚, the fermentation temperature in the bucket/carboy could be 5-10+˚ warmer, meaning a fermentation of 77-82˚. So, 1. you could pick a belgian yeast, which likes warm temperatures, 2. Make a Belgian IPA (still an IPA!) or something like a Saison, 3. make a fermentation chamber (I just made one!) or make a swamp chiller/wet t-shirt and fan. For the cheapest way to maintain temperatures below 70˚ The swamp chiller and/or wet t-shirt is the best bet. Whatever you do you should definitely RDWHAHB.

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for advise. I was thinking pretty much along the same lines, but wanted some confirmation.

Think I will work a fermentation chamber this summer.

And I might just do a Belgian IPA since conditions seem prime for it.

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Fermenting: Hefeweizen
Secondary/Lagering:Oktoberfest & Doppelbock,
Bottled: Am. Amber, ESB, JC Dubbel, Behemoth Imperial Stout, Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Lefty Vienna Lager, Hefeweizen, Sm. Barleywine, Sm. Porter, Dunkelweizen & Helles Bock, Nut Brown, Cream Stout
Kegged: Trippel, Cream Stout, Belgian IPA '13, Nut Brown Ale, Am. Amber, Hot Walker Pale Ale
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