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Old 10-02-2012, 03:32 AM   #1
barleyboy
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Default Swamp cooler TOO cold!

Well I finally decided to try to control my fermentation temps with a swamp cooler. The other day I brewed a pale ale with US-05 and put 'er in the cooler. I've been switching out 1/2 gallon ice jugs every 12 hours. I checked the temp about 2 hours after the last switch and it is running at 55 degrees! What are the consequences of fermenting US-05 at these temps? Am I stressing the yeast too much? Am I going to get off-flavors? Thanks!

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:36 AM   #2
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more like it'll be very dormant and will just take a long time to ferment. warm it up a little, let it ferment faster, and it'll be fine

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:37 AM   #3
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In theory US-05 will ferment, albeit more slowly, at 55F. There was an article about this in zymurgy a few months back as I recall. My biggest worry there is that you started fermenting at a much higher temp, and then dropped the temp suddenly. The yeast can react poorly in that specific situation. That being said, let it warm up a bit and maybe gently shake the fermenter, and you ought to be fine.

Why are you switching out ice jugs without checking the temp first? I use the same method, but I always check the water temp in my swamp cooler before I make any decisions to swap out.

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:37 AM   #4
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What's the ambient temp you're doing your swamp cooler? If it's 70 or less, stop adding ice and let it sit in the water and let that act as the heat sink.

I'm not sure on the implications of too low temp on US-05, but I'm thinking it's more of just inhibition and not going to cause off-flavors. They'll be a little sluggish, but if you heat it up I'm guessing that'll cover all that up.

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:54 AM   #5
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Just to clarify, I actually have been checking temps all along. They just never dropped below 59 until today, which I've read is the low end of the range for 05. Ferm temps started at 60-61, so i didnt drop a huge amount from that. Ambient room temp is 69-70. When it's near the 12 hour switch, temps get to 64-65. Air lock is bubbling away, so my guess is they are fermenting ok, just didn't know if I was stressing out the yeast and they would produce off flavors or is the worst thing would be slow fermentation.

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:56 AM   #6
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My question is if you are checking temps, why do you keep swapping bottles?

The whole point of using that setup is to maintain a particular temperature, not to let it go lower and lower. Only swap bottles when the temp is starting to get to the upper end of the range you are trying to maintain. I usually go low-mid 60's for US-05, but high 50's works OK, too.

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:05 AM   #7
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Well I was swapping them when it got to mid 60s. Apparently that's too early?

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:13 AM   #8
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How does it keep getting lower if you are letting it get to the same temp before swapping it? The only possible answers are that you are swapping in way more ice than necessary (in increasing amounts) or something is wrong with your measurements.


Let's say you let it get to 65F, so you swap out a new bottle. So then 12 hours go by, and the temperature is down to 55F?

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:20 AM   #9
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No. 2 hours after the swap it was 55. Not 12.

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:41 AM   #10
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55 right next to the ice jug, or 55 everywhere in the swamp cooler?

Heat transfer isn't instantaneous.

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