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Old 04-12-2008, 03:21 PM   #1
polamalu43
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Default Fermentation climbed to 82 degrees in two days-is beer ok?

Hello,

I'm fermenting my fifth batch - an imperial amber ale from Austin Homebrew Supply. It climbed to 82 degrees as it's gotten pretty warm here in DC the past few days. It's only been fermenting 1.5 days, but my guess is that it's consistently been fermenting hotter than 75 degrees.

Have I already turned my beer into a phenolic alcoholic mess?

Past experience with fermenting American ales at high temps would be appreciated!

Thanks.

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Old 04-12-2008, 04:31 PM   #2
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You won't be able to really know until it's finished fermenting. Then, keep it on the yeast an additional week as they will still clean up any off-flavours they may have produced.

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Old 04-12-2008, 04:45 PM   #3
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How long did it stay at 82f? I'd imagine you'll get some phenolics but like PC said, you won't know until it's done. In the future, keep your fermentation temps in check with a water bath and frozen pepsi bottles. Proper yeast pitching rates and proper fermentation temps are probably 75% of the battle when it comes to making great beer.

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Old 04-12-2008, 05:19 PM   #4
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Ditto the water bath and frozen bottles. Even just a t-shirt that wicks the water up from the bath onto the carboy can do wonders to lowering temps. I am going to have to start doing more of that now that the temps have turned up here in Alabama.

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Old 04-12-2008, 06:10 PM   #5
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It was probably at 82 for about 12 hours. However, I doubt it was ever much cooler than 75 degrees. Thanks for the replies, and I'll let you all know how it turns out.

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Old 04-12-2008, 06:19 PM   #6
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also...if you can, try to keep standard ales between 64 and 70f. You can ramp that up slightly to 74 or so towards the end of fermentation just to help the yeast go that extra mile and attenuate further (there's virtually no danger of ester/phenolic production that late in the game), but for the vast majority of the time, keep it below 70f.

Cheers!

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Old 04-12-2008, 06:25 PM   #7
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Nope,
Your beer is dead. Please bottle it up and send it all to me so I can dispose of it!

Seriously - it will very likely come out fine. Wrap a few wet towels around it to keep it cool, put a fan on the towels and change them out every 12 hours or so - you can cut 10-15 degrees F out this way.

Other than that there is nothing more you can do - as others point out you won't really know if you did any damage until it has finished fermenting and aging.

Cheers,
Brad

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Old 04-14-2008, 12:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnio
Even just a t-shirt that wicks the water up from the bath onto the carboy can do wonders to lowering temps.
To the OP: the wet tshirt trick really can help wick heat off, and you can start immediatley (nothing to freeze or maintain). I have found that a cheap walmart plast oil drain pan is just big enough for the fermenter and water reserve without taking up too much floorspace.

I'd say that the shirt wicks 5f off by itself, maybe 10f if there is a fan on in the room.

After years of fighting texas heat I finally got a spare fridge and controller which I usually set 65F-70F depending on the preferences of the yeast in question.
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