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Old 08-26-2010, 03:06 PM   #1
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Default Why do people continue to try and cold ferment ale yeast?

I have settled on Pacman yeast as my house strain, and people make such a big stink about this yeast, and WLP029 among others, because they can ferment cool. I don't understand fully, why you would want to ferment top cropping ale yeast that cool. You get increased diacetyl (spelling), slower fermentations, longer lag times, potential under attenuation, the yeast may drop out...etc..etc. All because you think you are going to get a "cleaner" beer.

My experience, with both pacman and WLP029, is that you will get your cleanest beers between 65-70 degrees, with plenty of nutrient, O2 and plenty of healthy yeast from a proper starter. Make the yeast happy and they will give you clean, crisp beers..... if you want lager beer, get lager yeast and temperature control.

my two cents for the day.

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Old 08-26-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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Cuz stoopud peeple arr breedeen?

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Old 08-26-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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Cuz stoopud peeple arr breedeen?


Funny! I recently made a super clean cream ale, fermented pacman and it went up to 72 degrees.....crisp, dry and clear.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:31 PM   #4
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Because it's common knowledge that controlling temperatures helps your beer, but (new) people just assume that means keep it cold.


I mean, another 10F lower is extra clearer...rerer!

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Old 08-26-2010, 03:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by iijakii View Post
Because it's common knowledge that controlling temperatures helps your beer, but (new) people just assume that means keep it cold.


I mean, another 10F lower is extra clearer...rerer!


I have found, that for most ale yeast 65-70 is the sweet spot...with my setup anyways. I don't ever like it to drop below 60, or go above 75!

With pacman, chico, notty, kolsch....virtually any ale yeast I shoot for 68...and it works awesomely.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permo View Post
I have settled on Pacman yeast as my house strain, and people make such a big stink about this yeast, and WLP029 among others, because they can ferment cool. I don't understand fully, why you would want to ferment top cropping ale yeast that cool. You get increased diacetyl (spelling), slower fermentations, longer lag times, potential under attenuation, the yeast may drop out...etc..etc. All because you think you are going to get a "cleaner" beer.
Actually, you will get LESS diacetyl from a colder fermentation. However, it is true that what diacetyl is produced won't be cleaned up as fast by the yeast. With a warmer ferment, you will get more diacetyl production, but the yeast will clean it up faster.

If one pitches a healthy starter into a well oxygenated wort, there should be no issues with lag time, under attentuation, etc. for many ale yeasts pitched at 60-65F.

That being said, one has to be more careful when fermenting on the cool side to make sure the yeast are happy. I personally think it is worth it. Warmer fermentation temperatures are a little more forgiving.

Here is a nice article with a good summary of causes at the end

THE ROLE OF DIACETYL IN BEER
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Yeah I use a waterbath and frozen water bottles, I keep all of my ales in the same mid 60s

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Old 08-26-2010, 03:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
Actually, you will get LESS diacetyl from a colder fermentation. However, it is true that what diacetyl is produced won't be cleaned up as fast by the yeast. With a warmer ferment, you will get more diacetyl production, but the yeast will clean it up faster.

If one pitches a healthy starter into a well oxygenated wort, there should be no issues with lag time, under attentuation, etc. for many ale yeasts pitched at 60-65F.

That being said, one has to be more careful when fermenting on the cool side to make sure the yeast are happy. I personally think it is worth it. Warmer fermentation temperatures are a little more forgiving.

Here is a nice article with a good summary of causes at the end

THE ROLE OF DIACETYL IN BEER
white labs data on WLP029, indicates more diacytel when fermented cool:


http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/strains_wlp029.html

Three times more diacytel when fermted at 55 degrees versus 68 degrees.


Other than that, I do agree with your sentiments on happy yeast. In the winter, my basement is quite cold and I will propogate most of my ales around 60 degrees, because I have too...then after about 75% of fermentables are consumed, I move them to my fermentation room, and increase to 68-70 and the yeast finish up nicely.....however I would rather keep it 68 the entire time, but it costs money to heat the room up!

healthy yeast population, proper pitching rates, oxygen, nutrients and temp control....all good things.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permo View Post
white labs data on WLP029, indicates more diacytel when fermented cool:

http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/strains_wlp029.html

Three times more diacytel when fermted at 55 degrees versus 68 degrees.
True, but they don't tell you when the measurement is taken. That could be diacetyl remaining in the fully fermented beer, not total diacetyl created. It would make more sense to give the former, I'd think, and it does coincide with general knowledge of how these products are produced and cleaned up.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:16 PM   #10
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If you're going to push the limits of the colder side of the yeast's working temperatures, it's extremely important that you're pitching plenty of yeast. Decide what you think a 'large' starter would be, then double it. And oxygenate well, too - you need something more than 'shake the carboy for a few seconds.'
Also, it helps to employ a 'finishing' rest by boosting temps just as the krausen starts to fall. Slowly bring it up 5 degrees - even 10, if you do it slowly and gently enough. This will keep the yeast active enough to clean up any remaining sugars and a bunch of their own byproducts like diacetyl and even some of the esters.

In general, though, I really don't understand the fascination with ultra-clean american-style ale yeasts. I do prefer to use slightly more characterful yeasts on the cooler side of their working ranges. 1272 is nice, and 65-68F (beer temp, not room temp!) is just perfect.

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