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Old 01-04-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
HopHead73
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Default Too Cold?

So I'm only on my 3rd batch out of my own and I'm still learning about fermentation temps.

I have a Celebration Ale Clone with WLP001 California Ale Yeast fermenting right now.
I pitched at 68 degrees and solid fermentation around 18 hours later.

Now my house is terrible at staying at a constant temp, it fluctuates between 68 when we're home at night and the heat is up and it goes all the way down to 60 at other times. Its about 30degrees outside and is just getting colder as we get deeper into winter. I did just order a Fermwrap, Johnson Digital Temp Control & Thermowell for my next batch, but the batch I have fermenting right now seems to have dropped significantly in temp.

For the first 3 days the fermenter was at an ambient temp around 66-68 degrees and the internal temp was around 70-71 degrees.
On day 4 the internal temp dropped down to about 69 degrees and today on the 5th day I can home to it being freezing outside and the ambient temp around 63 degrees in the room and the internal temp has dropped to 64 degrees.

Now I figured that the temp has dropped since fermentation is mostly done by now, but is it ok for it to be this cold at this point to complete the full fermentation process?
White Labs says the optimal temp for this yeast is 68-73 degrees.

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Old 01-04-2012, 11:37 PM   #2
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it will be fine...

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Old 01-05-2012, 12:24 AM   #3
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I think you will be ok. Find a closet or area of the house that keeps a relatively constant temp.

My $.02 .....Do what you can with what you have. You live in a part of the country where now is the time when you should be making lagers. Use the colder temps to your advantage (I live in Santa Barbara, so lager beers are out of the question 11 months out of the year). Shoot for making ales later in spring.

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Old 01-08-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
HopHead73
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So forgive my rambling about this batch, but venting my worries helps.
The original gravity was 1.052 and after 9 days I'm at 1.020 with about a 1 inch thick krausen.
As I stated before it was pitched at 68 degrees, was at 71 during the peak of fermentation for 3 days and now the past 6 days is been at around 64 degrees. I'm expecting a slower fermentation cause of the lower temp for the White Labs California Yeast.
I plan on moving to a secondary once the fermentation in the primary is done.
I've never had the krausen this thick this long into a fermentation, but I'm thinking that it might be from the extra proteins in the trub (didn't do a great job straining from the kettle, it's a long story). It also has a hop bag with cascade hop pellets in there if that could do anything to the krausen.
So is it normal for the krausen to still be thick? I've read some people say that the White Labs California Yeast sometimes does this to them as well.
And I plan on taking another reading in 2 days and hopefully the gravity has dropped some more. I've never fermentated at this low of temp so I guess that's whats worrying me because this is a slower fermentation from what I'm use to.
I do have a Fermwrap and Johnson Digital Temp Control that should be here tomorrow. Would it be worth it to give the bucket a little swirl to rouse some yeast and warm it up to 68 to help finish off the fermentation?

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