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Old 01-04-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
ProstheticHead
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Default Pitch too warm?

I just brewed a Porter on Jan 1, and this being my 4th batch took waaaaaaay longer to cool. Almost 2 hours of waiting for wort to drop, using ice baths. Anyways, I had to leave for the evening, so instead of leaving the wort to sit, I figured I was better off pitching the yeast which at this point was between 85 and 90 degrees. When I got home about 4 hours later, there was already some action in the airlock, and the next morning, a lot of activity. But after 24 hours of brewing, no signs of life since. I took a gravity reading today, and I'm at 1.020, FG be around 1.013. I'll try and attach a picture, looks like a lot of yeast sitting on top. I just havent had this experience yet, just wanted to know if I need to pitch any more yeast, or let er sit. Thanks

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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85-90 is WAY too hot to pitch yeast. You would have been much better off leaving the wort and letting it cool (preferably below 70). I've heard of a lot of people sealing it up, leaving it overnight, and pitching the next morning when it is cooler.

You didn't kill the yeast by pitching at this temperature though. Yeast actually work much faster at this temperature which is probably why you already had activity within 4 hours. The problem is that when yeast work at higher temperatures they produce a bunch of weird esters and off flavors as well as sharp tasting (and hangover producing) fusel alcohols. If you were able to get your temp down to a reasonable level within several hours of pitching then it might be fine, but if not be prepared for a weird tasting, headache inducing beer.

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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No pic,just a red "X". But just leave it be. It just got through initial fermentation quickly. After it hits FG,give it 3-7 days to clean up those by products of the warm ferment. It'll settle out clear or slightly misty as it does so.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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You're going to end up with some off flavors from the hot fermentation. But it will still be beer. It might look like it's done, but it's not. Just be patient and next time, be patient when waiting for your pitching temp. Look into a wort chiller, as that will speed things up a lot. Immersion chillers are cheap and easy.

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Old 01-04-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Yea, I promised myself no more brews until I get a chiller. I hate waiting for an hour or longer to let it cool. I also forgot to mention the temp dropped slowly in the room I have it in, and it's at a steady 66 now. Just took a day or so to get down there

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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I'd like to throw in my experience, though I am quite the novice to brewing, probably 8-10 batches. My last brew I did almost a full boil (5 gallons pre-boil), and I was able to cool it off to 70ish in the tub in about 25 minutes. Living in Wisconsin, we grabbed some snow from outside and filled the tub with cold water. You just can't stand by and let it cool on its own. We were constantly swirling the wort clockwise with our stir spoon while we swirled the bath water counter clockwise. Worked like a charm! Just gotta make sure you don't splash any bath water into the wort.

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:21 PM   #7
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Hey ProstheticHead! I'm a bit of a solitary brewer, so don't really post, but thought I'd jump in here. When I started brewing 10+ years ago, my only non-negotiable was sanitation. Since then, I've learned pitching temp is also a hard'n'fast. You'll never get the beer you want pitching hot. So, whether you use lots of ice and stirring, a wort chiller, or seal her up and wait 'til morning, don't panic...pitching hot will always do more damage than letting it cool. There's nothing that ruins my day more than waiting weeks/months for my first pour, and it not living up to my expectations.

In the wise words of Charlie P, "relax and have a homebrew".

Cheers and happy brewing!

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Old 01-10-2013, 09:22 PM   #8
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your beer will be fine. just let it be.

Buy an immersion chiller.

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