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Old 08-24-2006, 12:15 AM   #1
Beer is good
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Default Is it supposed to be really warm while fermenting?

Hi everyone! I just started my first batch of beer, I am using DME and hop pellets that were in a kit...

I did everything according to the instructions, I added the yeast and went to bed...

in the morning the carboy must have been at least 85f, maybe 90f, it was VERY warm... does the yeast make it heat up or something?

also, is it bad to shake the fermenting wort around?

and is it normal if it is very opaque?

Thank you!

p.s. i boiled it about 48 hours ago and it was bubbling like crazy since i pitched the yeast and it is still bubbling every 20 seconds or so from the airlock

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Old 08-24-2006, 12:33 AM   #2
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Yes - fermentation heats things up. However, optimal temperatures to ferment usually are in the 67-75 range. This can be a challenge to do in summer (not knowing where you live) but there are ways. It's not going to go bad because of this, but it can be better if temp is controlled.

Once the beer/yeast is combined it is best not to be jostling things around. You using a glass fermenter? Not sure about the opaque but it's a messy looking process inside. Time clears things up. 20 burps per minute is perfectly normal after 48 hours. I suspect initially it was going much faster once it got cranking at that temp.

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Old 08-24-2006, 12:34 AM   #3
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It worms up durring the ferment but yours it getting too warm and you're going to end up with off flavors if ya dont cool it down.

best bet is put your fermentor in a tub of some type with cool water and a towel wrapped around it then put a fan to blow on the towel. You might even want to put some water in a few jugs and freeze them then throw them into the water as well (replacing them as needed) to keep your temp down a bit. The mid 70's is ez enuff to hit with that method.

You can shake the wort but no need to really do so unless you think you may need to give your yeast a kick in the head.

And yes opaque wort at this stage is common. There are actually a lot of currents in your wort right now keeping things all stired up and that yeast you put in there had a massive orgey and is what is making your wort look opaque. Once the fermentation ends and the currents stop that yeast will settle out and you'll be fine

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Old 08-24-2006, 12:44 AM   #4
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yes, the yeast will cause it to warm up a bit. Durning the first bit of fermintation, my carboy is usualy 3-4* higher than room temp.

I leave my beer as much alone as I can while it is fermenting, or bottle, or whatever. I leave it in a dark closet, and just check the temp here and there. You don't want to disturb things anymore than need be.

It is also normal to be rather opaque at the begining. You will notice as it ferminents, and sits, that you will have a lot of sediment gather at the bottom of the carboy (this is the "trub" that people speak of), the beer will really start to clear up as time goes on., and all the spent yeast, and other stuff settles at the bottom.

When you syphon this into your secondary try to leave the trub at the bottom, and not syphon it up with beer. Do the same when you bottle.

Hope that helps, and enjoy brewing! It is a great hobby.

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Old 08-24-2006, 01:12 AM   #5
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Default thanks guys!

Wow, this is an awesome resource, I didn't realize this forum was so big.

I love beer and I have been meaning to try to make my own for 3 years, finally got around to it!

Thanks for the tips, I live in San Diego and it is hotter than hello right now...

would it be bad to get a small refrigerator for the carboy (yes it is glass) and turn it on its highest temp setting while its fermenting?

I looked on craigslist and someone is giving away a kegerator.

I was also thinking I could put it on a timer if its too cold and just have it turn on and off throughout the day to keep a moderate temp...

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Old 08-24-2006, 02:09 AM   #6
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Wouldn't be a bad idea at all to get a small refrigerator for fermentation. A lot of folks use a 4.0 cu ft (give or take) for just that purpose. However, I highly recommend that you use a temperature controller that plugs in between the refrigerator and power outlet. You can get a Ranco ETC-111000 on eBay for around $35 that will allow you to maintain any reasonable fermenation temperature within 3 degrees. Just setting the fridge thermostat on high will probably still be too cold.

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Old 08-24-2006, 02:14 AM   #7
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Ease into your equipment purchases. Jump in too early and more than likely you'll want to replace most everything later. Learn the craft, do it on the cheap where you can. If you really are hooked, knowing the right stuff will come with surfing this place. Example, I built this to keep my fermentation at at optimal temp. It works great, but in hindsight I now want to purchase a chest freezer and controller (surf for that here) to be more flexible. But, hobbies are not here to save you money...

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