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Old 04-26-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation & Temperature

Long time reader, first time poster....

I started my first homebrew (ESB) yesterday - transferred to the fermenter at around 4pm. It's been almost 24 hours and there is no apparent activity.

After reading the numerous posts here, I know not to panic - however, I have a temperature issue that I am worrying about.

I have the fermenter sitting in a cupboard with a Brewer's Edge Space Heater - yet the ambient temperature in there is till coming up at ~58 degrees. It's cold here in Oregon!

My concern is this is still going to be too cold, and that I may not see fermentation start. Should I bite the bullet and invest in heating pads/belts and temperature controllers (can't really afford them right now) - or should I continue to be patient?

Thanks.

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Old 04-26-2011, 07:12 PM   #2
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You don't have a warmer spot in the house? Get it off of the floor. Heat rises. I'm pretty sure it's colder over here and I have a closet that is 62ish.

Screw the belts or pads. Turn up the heat a bit. Aren't you cold?

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Old 04-26-2011, 07:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWMushroom View Post
Long time reader, first time poster....

I started my first homebrew (ESB) yesterday - transferred to the fermenter at around 4pm. It's been almost 24 hours and there is no apparent activity.

After reading the numerous posts here, I know not to panic - however, I have a temperature issue that I am worrying about.

I have the fermenter sitting in a cupboard with a Brewer's Edge Space Heater - yet the ambient temperature in there is till coming up at ~58 degrees. It's cold here in Oregon!

My concern is this is still going to be too cold, and that I may not see fermentation start. Should I bite the bullet and invest in heating pads/belts and temperature controllers (can't really afford them right now) - or should I continue to be patient?

Thanks.
You're close to a decent fermentation temperature- for most ales, 62-68 degrees (beer temperature, not ambient temperature!) is fine. Often, an active fermentation will be a bit warmer than room temperature so just getting it to 62-63 degrees should help. Which yeast strain are you using? There are some strains, like nottingham, that will go to 57 degrees.

You must be freezing if you don't have a place in your house above 55 degrees! I feel for you, and I'm sorry that I thought my house was cold!
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:17 PM   #4
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You don't have a warmer spot in the house? Get it off of the floor. Heat rises. I'm pretty sure it's colder over here and I have a closet that is 62ish.

Screw the belts or pads. Turn up the heat a bit. Aren't you cold?
We live in a cabin (with cats). I could bring the fermenter upstairs (out of the basement) - the ambient temperature there is around 60/65 but we have curious cats.

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Which yeast strain are you using? There are some strains, like nottingham, that will go to 57 degrees.
I am using 1028 London Ale Yeast.

Should I wait and see, or take action now and figure out a different location for the fermenter? I could try convincing the wife to put it in her office. Not sure how well that'd go down, though.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:18 PM   #5
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It depends on the temp range of the yeast you used. Boy,you guys are fast! I was typing for the 1st post after reading,& bam! Gettin old sucks...
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:18 PM   #6
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Take 2 cats, wrap them in a blanket and tape to the outside of the fermenter. You should hit ideal ferm temps in no time.

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Old 04-26-2011, 07:20 PM   #7
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It depends on the temp range of the yeast you used.
Yeah, it says 60-72°F so I guess I need to talk to the Mrs.

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Take 2 cats, wrap them in a blanket and tape to the outside of the fermenter. You should hit ideal ferm temps in no time.
Hmmm... quite the decision. Upset the cats, or upset the wife. Maybe I need to start a poll!
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
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We live in a cabin (with cats). I could bring the fermenter upstairs (out of the basement) - the ambient temperature there is around 60/65 but we have curious cats.
I would bring it upstairs. I have curious cats too. They don't mess with it.

Where abouts are you?
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWMushroom View Post
We live in a cabin (with cats). I could bring the fermenter upstairs (out of the basement) - the ambient temperature there is around 60/65 but we have curious cats.



I am using 1028 London Ale Yeast.

Should I wait and see, or take action now and figure out a different location for the fermenter? I could try convincing the wife to put it in her office. Not sure how well that'd go down, though.
Cats or not cats, I think it'll be fine! I have a big yellow lab, a cat, a grandson, etc, and so far I've not had any problems.

The best way to figure fermentation temperature is to just look at the yeast maker's website. I assumed you were using Wyeast London ale yeast, which says:

YEAST STRAIN: 1028 | London Ale™
Back to Yeast Strain List
A rich, minerally profile that is bold and crisp with some fruitiness. Often used for higher gravity ales and when a high level of attenuation is desired.
Origin:
Flocculation: Medium-Low
Attenuation: 73-77%
Temperature Range: 60-72F, 15-22C

So, you can see you're within two degrees of the yeast strain's optimum range so I think you'll be fine!

A couple of points, though- first, you should always make a starter for liquid yeast because you're probably underpitching the yeast (I know, I know, the package says it's enough- but it's really not), and although I never usually recommend this, you can pitch when your wort is warmer, before it cools down so much after the boil. Say you pitched the yeast when the wort was at 65- that would help the yeast replicate before cooling down to 58. That's not the ideal way to do it, but if you don't have a way to keep the beer above 60 degrees before fermentation takes off, that would work.

Also, do you have a "stick on" thermometer, like for an aquarium? That would tell you the temperature of the beer, not the ambient and that is the most crucial.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
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uuuh,excuse me for asking,but isn't that how beer gets to tasting like louenwizz?!lolz But yeah,62-64F would be good.
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