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Old 06-02-2010, 01:51 PM   #1
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Default Temperature Control (mainly in the summer)

June 2, 2010

Hey, brewers, I just pitched White Labs Burton Ale (WLP023) into wort that had an OG of 1.060. I made a 1 liter starter about 1.5 days prior to pitching. My basement temperature has a range of about 69-72F. The spec sheet on the yeast says it works optimally at 68-73F. So, I assume I am ok. But, to be honest, when I see the thermometer at 72F, it tends to make me think I am making acetaldehyde and esters. I had nice activity within 5 hours, great activity in 24 hours, and by day two, I had yeast/foam pouring out of my airlock, which forced me replace it with a blow off. I have never had such rigorous fermentation, but also never used this yeast. OK... so here are my questions:

1. Does anyone have any experience with this yeast and have they let it ferment at the higher end of the 'acceptable' range? The flavor of the yeast is stated to bring "...delicious subtle fruity flavors like apple, clover honey and pear" to the party. But I wonder if you will increase these fruity hints when you ferm at 72F? I prefer to be below 70F.

2. If you used this yeast, did you see the same amount of rigorous activity? And, if so, at what temp?

3. How do people regulate their temp in the warm summer months? Aside from temp controllers, what other methods do people use? I was thinking of getting either an analog or digital temp controller for the 2nd fridge, but wonder if using one will decrease the life of the compressor on the fridge? And, which controller do people here recommend?

Thanks for any thoughts/feeback in advance. Brew on!

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Old 06-02-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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1) Yes. For 1056 and the Wiestephanan yeast. For the 1056, pretty low. For the Wiestephan yeast, 80+. I dryhopped the Wiestephan one to hide the bannana.
2) I saw more at higher temperature.

I want to know the answer to number three, too.

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Old 06-02-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
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There's a great number of threads on here concerning various ferm temp controls. Easiest answer on that end is to use the swamp cooler method. Essentially putting water in a rubbermaid tub, setting fermenter in water bath. From there either place a sweatshirt/heavy T-shirt over the fermenter allowing the water to soak up the shirt and cool the bier or rotate frozen 2-liter soda bottles every 8-12 hours as needed. Use the search function for more detail.

Ferm temp control & pitch rate are the 2 easiest & most important things to creating a good bier... well and sanitation but that's a bit of a no-brainer!

Schlante & Good luck,
Phillip

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Old 06-02-2010, 05:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVKTR2 View Post
Easiest answer on that end is to use the swamp cooler method. Essentially putting water in a rubbermaid tub, setting fermenter in water bath. From there either place a sweatshirt/heavy T-shirt over the fermenter allowing the water to soak up the shirt and cool the bier or rotate frozen 2-liter soda bottles every 8-12 hours as needed.
I was just talking to my brother and he suggested the same low-tech approach. I like low tech... esp this one since it is pretty 'green'. Cheers, Phillip.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:30 PM   #5
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I used the WLP-023 in a Stone clone I did a month ago. It was a very vigirous fermentation for the first 3-4 days. It also fermented a bit hot, I hit 80F+ and then had to put it in an ice bath. Of course the dammage was done already which made my mind up to make a variant of the SOF chiller. The beer tastes good but would have been better with fermentation control. I think as long as you dont go over 73 you should be fine with this yeast.

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Old 06-04-2010, 02:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinkothecarp View Post
I want to know the answer to number three, too.
I found the following on Zymurgy's website (PDF): "Beat the Heat: A Texas Tale on how to make Cool Brews when the Weather's Hot" http://www.homebrewersassociation.or...t_JAzym00_.pdf

There are a few other free downloads that are worth looking at too: http://www.homebrewersassociation.or...free-downloads

Cheers
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Last edited by johnnybrew; 06-04-2010 at 04:25 PM. Reason: wrong URL for pdf... fixed.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:02 PM   #7
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Temp control!
As summer progresses. my nice cool 62F basement gets up to about 70F
I place my fermenter inside my 48qt MLT and surround it with water. I simply put a few frozen water bottles in each day and the water stays around 63 or so. Just another great use for the MLT.

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Old 06-04-2010, 04:10 PM   #8
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I recently brewed an ESB with Burton Ale and used the White Labs recommended temperature. The result was some odd sour taste that I didn't particularly care for. The wise elders told me that fermenting even lower than WL recommended would have been better. Live and learn.

And I think that where you live is a big factor in deciding upon a cooling method. Here the summer temperatures range from 85F-105F on any given day and goes down to 60F at night. I used the wet t-shirt and frozen bottle method for many, many moons but it's just too difficult to control in my environment. So many ruined batches.

Finally I got a fridge and a used temperature controller for $20 off ebay. I've never been concerned about the effects of the controller on the compressor. Here's why... The controller is very simple; it shuts off the 110V current whenever the temperature goes below your set point, just like unplugging the fridge. But the fridge comes with a built-in controller that does exactly the same thing, so the compressor is getting its current turned on/off by the fridge regardless of whether you have an external controller attached or not. All you are doing with a controller is turning on the compressor less often. That should actually extend the life of your compressor rather than shorten it. That's my reasoning anyway.

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Old 06-04-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riromero View Post
I recently brewed an ESB with Burton Ale and used the White Labs recommended temperature. The result was some odd sour taste that I didn't particularly care for.
How long did you leave it in primary or secondary? I would think that if you let it sit for a few weeks after fermentation has completed that some of the off-flavors would mellow out or get removed altogether? Given my dilemma, I plan to keep it in the primary for about 2-3 weeks post fermentation, then cold crash it for another week. I am going to remain optimistic until it hits my palate!
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybrew View Post
How long did you leave it in primary or secondary?
I would think that if you let it sit for a few weeks after fermentation has completed that some of the off-flavors would mellow out or get removed altogether? Given my dilemma, I plan to keep it in the primary for about 2-3 weeks post fermentation, then cold crash it for another week. I am going to remain optimistic until it hits my palate!
I left it for 2 weeks in the primary and 3 weeks in the secondary and it definitely improved. But it was still sour so I added lactose at bottling time. It's drinkable but disappointing.
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