Originally Posted by Dedmon
I am a former brewer trying to get back into the hobby. I brewed 10 years ago, all extract brewing, and after a hiatus have decided to get back into it in a big way.
My question is this, is a 57 degree ferment too cool for ale? I have a walk in wine cellar in my house which is kept to 57 degrees year round. Much of what I am reading says that 60 is the lower limit of ale yeast. What do you folks think?
Nottingham and s-04 dry yeast can go to 57-59 degrees, according to the literature. I've fermented at 60, though, no lower. You have some choices, though. You can pitch when the wort is around 65, and allow it to cool. When fermentation takes off, the exothermic action actually causes the temperature inside to raise a bit higher than ambient temperature. Another choice is a "brew belt"- it's a little heater that wraps around the fermenter. The thing I do that is cheaper than the brew belt is just put my fermenter into a water bath in a cooler, and use a little submersible aquarium heater to keep it at 66 degrees.