Originally Posted by twbalding
I just did some reading and it sounds like dry yeast with little aeration shouldn't be a problem but what about high temps? The fermentation temp is at about 74 right now but the kit instructions are telling me that Danstar Windsor Ale Yeast has an optimum temp of 65-70. Is this going to have a major impact on my final beer? Yooper mentioned the high temp fermentation will often leave some fruity or "hot" flavors if it got too warm. What is to warm?
It's handy to have a "stick on" thermometer on the outside of the fermenter so you can see the temperatures at a glance. You generally want to keep ales at about 63-68 degrees. The problem can be that fermentation itself produces heat, and can be up to 8-10 degrees higher than the room temperature!
It can really be a vicious cycle, especially if the yeast is added to the wort before the wort is down to the low 60s. Some kit instructions say to add the yeast when the wort is as high as 80 degrees- and then the beer never cools down enough. Since yeast love warm temperatures, they'll start up fast and furious. And since fermentation itself creates heat, it'll get hotter. And the yeast will get more active, producing even more heat. It's an issue all brewers have to deal with.
For next time, chill the wort to 62 or so before adding the yeast. If your room temperature is 68 degrees, you could try placing the whole fermenter in a water bath and adding frozen water bottles as needed to drop the temperature. That's what I do in the summer.