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Old 07-15-2007, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default How important is temperature when brewing with an Extract kit ?

I've done a good bit of reading in preparation for making my first batch of beer which I just started a couple days ago. Most of the books and recipes that I read have fermenting temperature ranges for Beers. My thermometer on my fermenter reads about 67 degrees, but I am making a Lager style beer kit and I understand that typically a lager is fermented at a lower temperature.

Is the temperature critical ?

My beer kit instructions don't mention temperature other than recommending a temperature to pitch the yeast.

I am not cooling my fermenter other than keeping it in a darkend room indoors in the air conditioning. Is 67 degrees a temperature I should be concerned about ?

Judging by the bubbling air-lock the fermentation is started and proceeding, but I really don't want to ruin my first batch.

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Old 07-15-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
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Even though your kit says it is a lager style beer, more than likely it is an ale. Lagers require much cooler fermentation temperatures and special yeast are used.
77 degrees is pretty warm even for an ale. You really need to get the temp down to 68 or so as a minimum. You could put your fermenter in a shallow container that will hold water, wrap it in a t-shirt, and have a fan blowing on it. The t-shirt absorbs the water and the fan blowing on the t-shirt evaporates the water cooling the fermenter. This will usually drop the fermentation temperature a few degrees.

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:03 PM   #3
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Yes, the temp is critical. 77 is too high even for an ale. Ales vary from 60-72 or so, and lagers vary from 45-55 I believe it is. That's very strange that the instructions provided with the kit didn't mention the temperature to ferment at. You will need to get that down to about 50-55 degrees to make good beer. There's a trick you can do with a tub full of cool water and towels, but it won't get you down to lagering temps. Unless you have a spare fridge with a temperature controller it isn't recommended to do lager kits at all, stick with ales.


EDIT: Just saw RichBrewer's comments, didn't think of the possibility that the kit was mislabeled. Can you read off any text on the package the yeast came in? Was it dry yeast or liquid yeast?

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:04 PM   #4
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Sorry I typed my post incorrectly. The temp on the fermenter is 67 not 77, should I still be concerned with the temp ?

My kit is a "Munton's Premium Lager" kit, and I'm brewing it with 1kg of Rice Syrup Solids added to it.

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
EDIT: Just saw RichBrewer's comments, didn't think of the possibility that the kit was mislabeled. Can you read off any text on the package the yeast came in? Was it dry yeast or liquid yeast?
The yeast came in a silver metallic/paper package, and it didn't have anything printed on it except a number. When I opened it up it was dry and it looked basically just like the yeast that you get at the store to make bread with.

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Unless you have a spare fridge with a temperature controller it isn't recommended to do lager kits at all, stick with ales.
Actually I do have a spare fridge, it hadn't occurred to me to put the beer in it though. I just keep the beer I drink in it, but if I move some of it out and drink some of it I think I can make room for the fermenter. Thanks for the idea.

I started my batch Friday night about 10 pm, and it was fermenting pretty good yesterday and today it seems like its really kicking along at a good pace.

Do you think its worthwhile movig it to the fridge, or do you think this batch of beer is probably already damaged ?

I'll be sure to brew in the fridge next time.
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:13 PM   #6
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If you're using the dry yeast that came with the kit, it's a safe bet that is an ale yeast that will ferment fine at 67 degrees. But double check over the instructions they should tell you something about tempature. If not, see if they have information on their website.

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:14 PM   #7
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If it's an ale yeast frig temps will be too cold.

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:22 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure you have ale yeast and 67 degrees is a great fermentation temperature for it.

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:29 PM   #9
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My instructions on mention specific temperature with regards to when to pitch the yeast. Everywhere else that they talk about temperature its with a general temperature like "room temperature".

I moved the fermenter and set it on top of my airconditioning vent so maybe it could get a little colder, but I won't try it in the fridge - besides I just checked theres way to much cold beer in there that needs to be drank before my beer is ready to bottle.

I know that I like Lager style beers best, would it be better for me to stick to brewing Ale styles for the rest of the summer and then try a Lager style later this fall when I can move part of my beer operation outdoors like to a covered porch or basement ?

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Old 07-15-2007, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBrewer
I'm pretty sure you have ale yeast and 67 degrees is a great fermentation temperature for it.
great thanks - I feel better
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