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Old 04-01-2013, 10:34 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation at 84*F

I am writing this for posterity, so anyone who searches later and does not come up with a resolution (as I did) can find this. I will update the posting at all notable intervals so the future searcher may find possible answers.



My wife (a budding enthusiast) brewed a "Brewers Best" American Cream Ale yesterday. Edit* Using Nottingham Ale Yeast


In my rush, we did not measure the temperature of the boiled wort + pre-boiled water combo. The wort itself was 75*ish after chilling with the immersion chiller.

We pitched the yeast starter into said Wort and took it upstairs.

It was at this point that I checked the gravity (1.049) and the temperature (it read off the top of the scale which ends at 82*). I didn't panic as the house is kept at 60* at night when we sleep and 68* when we're awake, and assumed that there would be some lag time as I usually don't get fermentation for about 36+ hours after pitching.


When I woke up, I heard an odd sound... turns out the krausen was popping through the econolock. I quickly ran downstairs and star-sanned a blowoff tube and swapped out the econolock.

Checking the temperature, I found it reading 82* and bubbling FURIOUSLY. I turned down the heater, and put a fan on the carboy. It was down to 75* within the hour. (This was roughly 14 hours after pitching)

I came home for lunch to check the status and the temp was 72*. Still bubbling but significantly slower. The bubbling smell is 25% Rhino fart, 75% usual sweet beer smell.

When I came home (24 hours after pitching) it is still bubbling 2-4 per second. Smell is the same. Temperature is now 68* (62 in the house) and I left the fan on it.


Am looking into a chest freezer for future brews... but this is where I am at the moment.




Like I said, mainly posting this so that others can either read and relax (assuming a good outcome) or learn and take immediate corrective actions (in just about all situations). (and as I mentioned, I will be updating as frequently as the situation dictates).



HOWEVER, if anyone has any good input, I would be more than happy to listen/read.

But for now, I'mma go Relax and drink a homebrew.

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Old 04-01-2013, 10:37 PM   #2
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HOWEVER, if anyone has any good input, I would be more than happy to listen/read.

But for now, I'mma go Relax and drink a homebrew.
Not much input, except to reiterate what you already know- fermentation increases the temperature of the fermenter.

A good technique is to cool the wort to 65 or less, and then add the yeast.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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I've done the same thing. Had an off flavor, but after being in the keg for about 3 weeks, it was fine. Flavors back to normal, and it was great beer.

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Old 04-01-2013, 11:18 PM   #4
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Not much input, except to reiterate what you already know- fermentation increases the temperature of the fermenter.

A good technique is to cool the wort to 65 or less, and then add the yeast.

Yooper,

My thoughts exactly..... I just wasn't paying attention. My own fault. I am going to make notes so that I do not make this mistake again.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:20 PM   #5
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I've done the same thing. Had an off flavor, but after being in the keg for about 3 weeks, it was fine. Flavors back to normal, and it was great beer.

This is encouraging.

I am prepping to be tolerant of an extended wait to fully enjoy this brew.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:33 PM   #6
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Probably don't need to go all the way to buying a chest freezer yet. im the future, try putting the carboy into a Rubbermaid tub, adding cool water and putting a t shirt over the carboy, hanging into the water. The capillary action will pull cold water up the carboy and work wonders for keeping fermentation temps under control. If its really hot then add some ice to the water but this method really is effective wit just water, with most fermentations you can add ice at peak action and that will be enough.

Sure, its not ideal but I doubt pitching the yeast at 75 degrees had much effect on the ferm temps going so high, if your starter was ready to roll when it went in it just got busy fast and hard (hey now!)

I did the t shirt trick with a Belgian Strong a few weeks ago. Fermenting with ambient temps a consistent 66 degrees I was able to hold it at 72 at peak fermentation and 64 once fermentation activity subsided, and I only added ice once.

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Old 04-01-2013, 11:41 PM   #7
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Probably don't need to go all the way to buying a chest freezer yet. im the future, try putting the carboy into a Rubbermaid tub, adding cool water and putting a t shirt over the carboy, hanging into the water. The capillary action will pull cold water up the carboy and work wonders for keeping fermentation temps under control. If its really hot then add some ice to the water but this method really is effective wit just water, with most fermentations you can add ice at peak action and that will be enough.

Sure, its not ideal but I doubt pitching the yeast at 75 degrees had much effect on the ferm temps going so high, if your starter was ready to roll when it went in it just got busy fast and hard (hey now!)

I did the t shirt trick with a Belgian Strong a few weeks ago. Fermenting with ambient temps a consistent 66 degrees I was able to hold it at 72 at peak fermentation and 64 once fermentation activity subsided, and I only added ice once.

Gotcha.

The main reason behind the chest freezer is that SWMBO wants to brew all the year long... and we get 80+ ambients in the summer time and from my perspective it would be nice to more accurately control the ferm temps.

My main issue with the swamp cooler concept is that I do not have an ice maker, much in the way of spare tub space... and an engineer's inclination to over complicate everything.


BTW: I have been lurking on this forum for over 2 years, reading everything I can get my hands on... going to be a contributing member (financially... and eventually intellectually) as soon as all the bills are paid. This website has been in one word, INVALUABLE, to my experiences through my 5 batches since I started.


Note: My wife actually purchased my beginner's brewing kit (not Mr Beer) following a rather sad family event, to keep my mind off of it all... and since she has stated that our brew days are "one of her favoriate activities together"
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:10 AM   #8
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and an engineer's inclination to over complicate everything.
I've got the same problem. I'm in the middle of a fermentation chamber build. I chest freezer would have been cheaper, but I'll need a new kegerator. Guess that's what the chest freezer will be.

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Old 04-02-2013, 03:21 AM   #9
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A good technique is to cool the wort to 65 or less, and then add the yeast.
+1.

I'm afraid of what you're going to end up with a those temps and Nottingham. It's a excellent dry yeast, but it likes cool temps (down to 55*F) and is quite intolerant of ferment temps above 68*F. The only thing to do is bottle and see if it resolves over time. It may take several weeks or even months.

Time to get going on that fermentation chamber, huh? FYI- you can put together a dandy chamber with a used freezer (check Craigslist) and a controller box made with an STC-1000 dual temp control for around $100 total.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:27 AM   #10
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Since it always gets cool here in the mountains, I try to time it so that the yeast gets going in the night, when it cools down. Room temp is low 60's in the morning, but brew temp is usually around 65-66. Even then, the yeast is trying to go crazy (Nottingham especially).

I'd hate to see 84, better get a blowoff tube or something

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