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Old 03-17-2010, 03:34 AM   #1
TL00Camaross
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Default First time brewer with some questions

Hi everyone, well I took the leap and started my first brew Sunday night and have a couple questions. I noticed Monday when I got home from work that the temp was at 73 degrees, and had plenty of activity from the airlock. Being a newbie I panicked thinking this was too warm and very carefully moved my 6.5 gal pail to the cooler downstairs. When I got home today the temp was down to about 61 degrees, but there was still some good activity about a bubble from the airlock every 3-4 seconds. After reading some more today I found out that the fermentation process actually causes heat, should have figured, so my first temp although not really controlled could have been alright? The recipe was for a blonde ale, how would this effect the overall taste of the beer? Being theres still activity at the colder temp I didnt damage the fermentation process did I?

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Old 03-17-2010, 03:41 AM   #2
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Changing the temperature of your fermentation too quickly is risky business but it's still bubbling so that's good. A colder fermentation will take longer and will produce less esters, so at the very worst the flavor profile won't be as complex but I'm sure it will be fine. 61 is pretty cold though for ale fermentation. You might want to get that back up to 70 or so.

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Old 03-17-2010, 03:45 AM   #3
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Yeah I didnt think it would drop that low, I have a space heater going in the large closet its in now to try and bump it up a bit.

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Old 03-17-2010, 04:00 AM   #4
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Well best of luck. The best thing is to just let it go and forget about it for three weeks. Put it out of your mind. The more you tamper with it the more likely you are to **** it up.

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Old 03-17-2010, 04:04 AM   #5
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Lol thats what I figure. Being my first I feel like a mother hen watching over it. Thanks for the input.

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Old 03-17-2010, 04:14 AM   #6
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I've definitely been there. I mean I still look at my fermenters daily and talk to them, encouraging the yeast to eat their fill and telling them just how happy they make me. Sometimes it feels like forever before it's done...

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Old 03-17-2010, 04:46 AM   #7
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yes but isnt the end result so worth the paranoia

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Old 03-17-2010, 06:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mightynintendo View Post
Changing the temperature of your fermentation too quickly is risky business but it's still bubbling so that's good. A colder fermentation will take longer and will produce less esters, so at the very worst the flavor profile won't be as complex but I'm sure it will be fine. 61 is pretty cold though for ale fermentation. You might want to get that back up to 70 or so.
agree with the changing temperature too quickly but i think you should be aiming for 60 as close as possible with the style of beer you are fermenting. keep in mind that if the temperature in the room is 70 your beer is probably more like 73-75 especially early in the stages of fermentation there is a lot of activity. Keep this in mind when checking the temp....i had a friend who kept his in his bathtub and he would always just check the water the fermenter was sitting in to get the temp little did he realize it was actually 3-4 degrees warmer than that inside the bucket. i personally like to keep the surrounding temperature of my fermenting vessel whether it be water or just open air at about 62-63 that way i know the beer isnt any warmer than 68 degrees...my two cents i believe there are a lot of posts with arguments for starting cold then going warm or starting warm then going cold ive always found a happy medium seems to provide the best of both worlds....and stability as well makes a huge difference. My first few batches i wasnt to keen on watching the temperature and im sure those beers changed 10-15 degrees from day to night
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:17 AM   #9
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Personally I'd much rather ferment at 60 then 73.....I would have left it (well, depending on the yeast I guess), especially since it was still active. My brew closet stays a pretty constant 62 to 64 degrees during the winter and works perfectly.

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Old 03-17-2010, 06:22 AM   #10
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Yeah temp does depend on the yeast you're using. I assumed belgian blonde but if it's a light hybrid blond and you're using an american ale yeast, well that's a different story and ambient temp should be as loxnar recommends.

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