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Old 10-28-2009, 03:53 AM   #1
jevehn
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Default Should I swamp cooler my secondary?

Hey All,

I've got a brewhouse octoberfest kit on the go downstairs. It's basically a 15L premade wort that you top up with 8L of water then pitch... something between AG and extract.

I've been following instructions so far: Started in an 10G plastic pail (lid just sits loose on top, no airlock). Now that I've hit the 5 day mark, I've racked into a glass carboy. I've left a little head room, partly due to feer of blowout, partly due do the PITA of racking out of a big bucket.

Now that I've got it in a carboy, I could realistically put it in a rubbermaid, put on a T-shirt, and fill it with cold water. This would get my wort down from 65* to the optimal yeast band of 48-58*. My OG has already dropped from 1.042 to 1.012. Any point dropping the temp now?

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Old 10-28-2009, 06:37 AM   #2
Prionburger
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It's best to keep temperatures as constant as possible during the first week or so of fermentation to get the maximum attenuation. This massages the yeast into cleaning up their gross tasting byproducts sooner. After that, you have final gravity, and at that point, temperature doesn't really matter.

Secondaries have been a part of brewing dogma passed from older generations, but have been found to be unnecessary. The most awarded brewers keep their brews in the primary for 2-4 weeks, and then package them.

5 days seems a little soon to pull the beer off the yeast. I wouldn't worry too much about the temperatures though, because most of the fermentation has already happened.

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Old 10-28-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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Since most of the fermentation occurred above the optimal range for the yeast, there really isn't any point in trying to lower the temperature now.

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Old 10-28-2009, 04:30 PM   #4
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That's what I thought as well. My LHBS is good, but the guy behind the counter the day I went in specializes in wine, not beer. He recommended the yeast because it matched the profile of the beer, and I didn't think to check the optimal range until day 3. oops.....

I think moving forward, I'm going to try to get my hands on an ale pail, or just ferment in a carboy with a blow off tube. Racking at day 5 sounded weird to me to, but I figured I'd follow instructions for at least one kit

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