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Old 11-27-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
poppalarge
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Default Fermentation Confusion

I am a little confused about fermentation temps.

I've been listening to brewstrong and the BN in general (as its great). I've been listening to the advice of fermenting at 50-60f for a clean ferment (its more confusing for me since i'm metric) but i've been going on with the advice.

particularly today i read that fermenting at 70f was pretty bad.

Here's the thing, I have no temp control, and since its getting cooler here in the UK, i'm fermenting in my basement at around 56f with wyeast american ale and i'm getting a stuck ferment. this has happened on my last two brews. To restore fermentation i've had to bring it up into the house at around 72f to get it going again. its done that and actually produced good beer.

i seem to have trouble at lower temps.

As well as that,i keep reading about reaching final gravity within 3 days, wheras my ferment ( at perceived "high" temps) seems to take 14days at least.

Am i in the minority here?



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Old 11-27-2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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50-60F range might be a bit low for many ale yeasts. I generally ferment in the 62-68F range for most of my ales.

Do what works for you. If your basement is just too cold, ferment upstairs. Before I was able to control temps, I used to regularly ferment beers in the 70-75 range (room temp). Yeah, they came out a little strong on the esters, but they were still good beers. Not perfect, but plenty drinkable.



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Old 11-27-2013, 09:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppalarge View Post
Here's the thing, I have no temp control, and since its getting cooler here in the UK, i'm fermenting in my basement at around 56f with wyeast american ale and i'm getting a stuck ferment. this has happened on my last two brews. To restore fermentation i've had to bring it up into the house at around 72f to get it going again. its done that and actually produced good beer.
Much depends on what strain you use. For your 56*F basement, I'd go with Nottingham dry ale yeast. It has a cooler temp range than other ale yeasts. I typically pitch at 55*F and set my temp controller at 57*F (beer temp) for the first few days. I've done a batch with it at 55*F and it fermented fine. I do, however, slowly bring it up to 66*F to finish the ferment.

Another option is to rig up some sort of heat source (like a basic ceramic heater) plugged into a temperature controller and put that inside some sort of enclosure or closet. If you are OK with doing household-type wiring, an STC-1000 is an inexpensive yet very effective choice. If you are 220V, there's a version of the STC-1000 that will work for you. Also, there are pre-built units to choose from (not sure about voltage options) by Johnson and Ranco.
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:20 AM   #4
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brew belt!
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/the-brew-belt-1.html

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Old 11-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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You can damp out variations in temperature by partially submerging the fermenter in a tub of water which will increase the mass of liquid that has to change temperature. Adding a small heating element to the tub of water will allow you to keep the temperature warmer than the air temperature if desired. Some people report good results with an aquarium heater because they contain a thermostatically controlled heat element to keep the temperature constant. The hard part is finding one that allows control at the temperature range that makes the best beer.



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