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-   -   How cold is too cold? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/how-cold-too-cold-389597/)

Smint 02-12-2013 09:25 PM

How cold is too cold?
 
Just wondering what is the absolute minimum temperature you can brew cider or other fruit juices at? My house doesn't have constant heating and in the nights it can drop as low as 35 outside, I guess its around 40 inside without heating. Though during the day is is usually around 60-70.

Is this too cold to ferment? Or would it just take longer? Is there anything I can do to help it ferment?

Pickled_Pepper 02-12-2013 09:41 PM

There's a good chance you could stall the fermentation if it drops to 40F during the night. A heating pad or a brew belt could help keep the temps within range of your yeast strain. I try and shoot for around 58 or so, but I'm sure some strains could go down to low to mid 50s. There's even some lager strains that could go super low, but those wouldn't like the upper temps during the day too much.

Dogger145 02-12-2013 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smint
Just wondering what is the absolute minimum temperature you can brew cider or other fruit juices at? My house doesn't have constant heating and in the nights it can drop as low as 35 outside, I guess its around 40 inside without heating. Though during the day is is usually around 60-70.

Is this too cold to ferment? Or would it just take longer? Is there anything I can do to help it ferment?

I have a similar problem out my house. We heat solely with wood. The kitchen/living room will rang from mid 60's to mid 70's. thankfully I convinced my wife we needed an electric heater for the bedroom. I don't have an average temp for that room yet. But guessing 60-62.

I just racked my first two 1 gallon batches. Two different recopies.

One room I was looking at was my hot water heater room. It is a small closet. When it is cold out the temps are perfect. However, the mild winter we are having with changing temps it won't work.

Another thing to add to the heating pad idea is a timer. That way when things get warm in the house it will auto off and on depending what times you set.

Good luck!!!!!

Smint 02-13-2013 10:37 AM

Well my 2 brews that I have going now are doing ok... one is VERY slow but still, I guess it will get there in the end. Was planning to do a huge batch asap though and a bit worried if it might fail... If it does stall could I just stick in another yeast starter?

Pickled_Pepper 02-13-2013 02:34 PM

Unless you keep the batch within operating range of the yeast strain, even a new starter might stall when the temps drop back down.

Griffin10 02-14-2013 07:11 AM

My house tends to stay around mid- to high-50s during the winter (just cuz we are too cheap to turn up the heat!), but in CA it doesn't vary too much day vs. night. So far our fermentation has been going ok, definitely kind of slow to start, and never gets going too vigorously you might say. Last batch we used a yeast with a narrower range of tolerance - 60-80 degrees rather than 50-80 degrees, so we gave in and kicked the heat up to 62-64 for the first few days to get it going (and it did well!).

Good luck!

LeBreton 02-14-2013 12:28 PM

Try to pitch when the batch is at the warmest part of the cycle and keep it warm for 24-48 hrs to help the yeast get established. Once a significant population has grown and fermentation has started in earnest, the you can let the cider ride the fluctuations. They should ferment during the warm periods, and then slow/go dormant when the temp drops, simply prolonging the fermentation time. It's not ideal, but low temp fluctuation are better than high temp fluctuations. Also, try to maintain as steady a temp as possible by wrapping the cider in a towel for insulation at night to help trap the heat created by the fermentation.


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