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Old 12-05-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
mtrogers14
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Default Fermintation temps

Ok so I now have a few brews under my belt and I must say so far so good. Here is my question. Until now I've been keeping the fermentation vessel in my basement while fermenting, problem is now that its colder (I'm in a northern burb of NYC) on average it's only 60 degrees in my basement. Is this too cold and is there any way to "insulate" the fermenter ?

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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60 seems it would be okay as long as you aren't doing any saisons or anything that requires temps to rise about 70F.

If you are worried about heat, I have heard fermentation actually raises the beers temp by a few degrees (up to 5) that may be a myth though. You could always use a blanket

or this bad boy http://morebeer.com/view_product/166...ermWrap_Heater

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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Too cold for what? It's probably too hot for lager yeast, and pretty low for ale, but it should work just fine with an ale yeast, just take a bit longer. I have my fermenters in the house now with a wet towel around em to keep it around 66 (wort temp), the house is almost 70. In the back where it's getting cold (much like your basement), I'm using Cali Lager yeast and as winter gets colder probably some other lager yeasts.

You can wrap a blanket around your fermenter to keep it warm. It'll likely be fine at 60, just check your SG and if the yeast don't finish the job then warm it up.

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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No myth, fermentation raises the temp, normally 3-5 degrees for me. I had a porter where the wort was 8-10 degrees above air temp!

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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Take a look at this handy-dandy yeast strain chart on BYO's web site (make sure to play with the drop down and check out different styles!), and pay close attention to the temperature column. What you'll notice is that there are many ale yeasts that really dig cooler temperatures, and will perform well at 60F ambient temperatures.

Also, as has been pointed out, there is absolutely no myth - fermentation is an exothermic process, and during the most active stages of fermentation your fermenter can sometimes be 5-10 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature! Of course, once activity starts to calm down a little, you may want to wrap the fermenter in a blanket or something similar to keep the yeast from going dormant before they completely finish their work.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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I think my basement might be less than 60f (root cellar), my fermometer says the bucket is 59 and I just added more ice to the swamp cooler. It is bubbling away happily. I would say that is the perfect temp for many, many ales. As was mentioned, it is a bit warm for a lager.

The yeast you buy should have a range listed. My latest practice has been to cool to 5*f below that range, pitchy yeast, and let it warm up into the low end of that range over 12-24 hours, then hold at that temp for a week to 10 days. It works well for me. After that I pay a little less attention to the temp, knowing it won't rise much in a swamp cooler in my basement.

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