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Old 01-19-2011, 12:27 AM   #1
jvcjbl
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Default Fermentation temps over the duration of fermenting

Should they remain the same or should I increase them?

The reason why I ask is, this current brew was put into primary on Friday early morning (around 2am) and had a vigorous fermentation for the last couple days but seems to be slowing down (a tad). During the high fermentation activity the chiller fluctuated between 61-65'f for an average of about 63.5'f. Tonight I come home to see is cycling between 59-62.7'f. For a few degree cooler average. Should I bump the temps up or am I/is it ok? Mind you the temperature I am quoting is from a thermometer affixed to the carboy itself... not ambient.

Incase anyone needs to know. OG was 1.103 and I pitched Safale US-05 with a 2L starter. Pitched at 70'f

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Old 01-19-2011, 12:51 AM   #2
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With a beer that hefty, the yeast really need all the help they can get to finish it off well. I would bump the temp a bit if you can. Remember, they often have to use champagne yeast to fully attenuate barleywines in spite of best efforts; fermenting really heavy beers is tough on ale yeast.

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Old 01-19-2011, 12:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Skyforger View Post
With a beer that hefty, the yeast really need all the help they can get to finish it off well. I would bump the temp a bit if you can. Remember, they often have to use champagne yeast to fully attenuate barleywines in spite of best efforts; fermenting really heavy beers is tough on ale yeast.
Yeah that is why I double pitched two packs of US-05 in a 2L starter that I prepped a few days in advance. The last beer I did was ruined with esters from too high of a fermentation temp (prior to have a chiller) and I am a bit gun shy about temps.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:50 PM   #4
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Most of the yeast flavors in the beer are made during the first, vigorous parts of fermentation. Raising the temp later on has much less of an impact than having high temps early on. Also, a lot of off-flavors can be created by underpitching; not sure if you made a starter in your last beer, but that could be a source of off-flavors too. Sounds like you pitched well this time at any rate, so no problem there.

Also, by your report, the temperature has dropped somewhat. You were already on the low end for an ale fermentation; I would at least maintain low to mid 60's temps. Maybe bump to high 60's to low 70's when fermentation really slows down.

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Old 01-19-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Skyforger View Post
Most of the yeast flavors in the beer are made during the first, vigorous parts of fermentation. Raising the temp later on has much less of an impact than having high temps early on. Also, a lot of off-flavors can be created by underpitching; not sure if you made a starter in your last beer, but that could be a source of off-flavors too. Sounds like you pitched well this time at any rate, so no problem there.

Also, by your report, the temperature has dropped somewhat. You were already on the low end for an ale fermentation; I would at least maintain low to mid 60's temps. Maybe bump to high 60's to low 70's when fermentation really slows down.
I didn't make a starter the first time and just simply pitched the vial into the carboy (my first brew). I had the ambient temp set initially to obtain the 61-64'f fermentation temperatures. When the fermenting really took off I bumped it down to 58'f ambient to obtain what I said I was getting with the OP. Last evening I bumped the ambient up to 60'f again but fermentation has slowed so now the temps are swinging between 59-62'f on the carboy. I think I will check it when I get home since my thermometer logs highs and lows and see if I can get the range to the mid 60's and run with that. The krausen was so thick and so high it went all the way to the top and has fallen for sure but I can't tell because it has left a "shell" of gunk on the upper portion of the carboy.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:16 PM   #6
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I find it easier to just maintain the same the whole time instead of jumping around. Whether or not the temp after the initial phase matters or not. I think it may be a cleaner, better beer with less off flavors if kept the same the whole time.

At pitching have it at your set temp, and just keep it there for the 3 to 4 weeks it's going to stay. I just use a swamp cooler and without too much work can keep mid 60's the whole time.

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Old 01-19-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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Alright. If you keep it in the mid 60's you'll be just fine. I'm just nervous about lack of attenuation if you have the ambient too low when fermentation slows down. But you sound pretty on top of it.

joeunc: that may be true sometimes. But some beers/yeasts really drive internal temps up regardless of ambient temps, and if you don't want lots of esters - as you probably don't if you're using US-05 - it can be important to reign them in during peak fermentation. That's what the OP did. And now I'm recommending brining them back up again to get proper attenuation, so the yeast doesn't just crash out instead of finishing it's job.

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Old 01-19-2011, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyforger View Post
Alright. If you keep it in the mid 60's you'll be just fine. I'm just nervous about lack of attenuation if you have the ambient too low when fermentation slows down. But you sound pretty on top of it.

joeunc: that may be true sometimes. But some beers/yeasts really drive internal temps up regardless of ambient temps, and if you don't want lots of esters - as you probably don't if you're using US-05 - it can be important to reign them in during peak fermentation. That's what the OP did. And now I'm recommending brining them back up again to get proper attenuation, so the yeast doesn't just crash out instead of finishing it's job.
Thanks again Skyforger!! Here is a quick snapshot of where the stick on fermometer is telling me as far as temp in the fermentation chiller.



Recommendations?
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:35 PM   #9
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I would bump up temps if I had the ability to, IMO 60 degrees is a bit on the cool side.

Typically I keep mine on the cool side, about 64-65 ambient, while vigorous, the sticky usually reads 68, may creep towards 70. Once the sticky drops to ambient I bring it up to 68 and maintain that for the duration.

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Old 01-19-2011, 11:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by camus View Post
I would bump up temps if I had the ability to, IMO 60 degrees is a bit on the cool side.

Typically I keep mine on the cool side, about 64-65 ambient, while vigorous, the sticky usually reads 68, may creep towards 70. Once the sticky drops to ambient I bring it up to 68 and maintain that for the duration.
It's at 63'f as in the picture. It is bubbling about once every 2 seconds where before it was bubbling like 4 times every <second.
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