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Old 01-23-2013, 01:00 PM   #21
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I generally ferment all beers at 65. My basement keeps 50-60 year round so I could start fermentation in there and just assume it's going to take longer due to the lower temp. I rarely ferment anything above 70F
You may be surprised at the actual temperature you're fermenting at. If what you're actually saying here is that your fermenter is placed in a room that's 65 degrees ambient, then you are, in fact, fermenting at 70-75 degrees at the most active stages of fermentation, which would be a big factor in the blow-offs you've been seeing.

Fermentation is an exothermic process; it creates heat. During the most active stages of fermentation, your fermenter is 5-10 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature around it, due to the heat generated by fermentation.

If your basement is holding around 60, then that might be a better place to keep your fermenter, at least until activity starts to subside - then you can move it back up to that 65 degree room/closet/wherever to make sure if finishes up OK.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:11 PM   #22
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Fermentation is an exothermic process; it creates heat. During the most active stages of fermentation, your fermenter is 5-10 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature around it, due to the heat generated by fermentation.

If your basement is holding around 60, then that might be a better place to keep your fermenter, at least until activity starts to subside - then you can move it back up to that 65 degree room/closet/wherever to make sure if finishes up OK.
I added 2 pounds of honey to a batch once, condensation from it brewing so hot compared to the room temp. I think I ended up with 7.7 ABV from that batch, couldn't hardly drink it. May have even developed fusels, gave me a headache trying to drink it. The temp of the brew was nearly 80 degrees... in a room temp controlled for around 68 degrees. That's 12 degrees higher. Big difference.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:18 PM   #23
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I added 2 pounds of honey to a batch once, condensation from it brewing so hot compared to the room temp. I think I ended up with 7.7 ABV from that batch, couldn't hardly drink it. May have even developed fusels, gave me a headache trying to drink it. The temp of the brew was nearly 80 degrees... in a room temp controlled for around 68 degrees. That's 12 degrees higher. Big difference.
Hello, A swamp cooler really helps to close the temp gap for me, fermentation temps only run about 2 to 4 deg warmer than the swamp cooler water for me.

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Old 01-23-2013, 01:50 PM   #24
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I ferment 5 gallon batches in 6.5 gallon carboys, in the low 60's, and have never had anything but bubbles pass through my blowoff tube. Granted my gravities so far have maxxed out at 1.050, but I'm inclined to suggest it's a combination of carboys that are too small, and temperature that's too warm.

You said you're fermenting at 65° F - is that the ambient room temperature, or the temperature of the wort itself? Because if it's the room temp, then your wort will be a good 5° F above that, and fermenting at 70° F will certainly produce a much more vigorous fermentation than fermenting in the low 60's.

I'd suggest using 6.5 gallon carboys, and try to drop your fermentation temperatures a little.

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Old 01-23-2013, 01:57 PM   #25
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You guys must be pitching bucket loads of yeast to get temps 10-12 degrees higher & Blow offs that waste tons of beer. Not only is a bigger fermenter needed,but make sure you're as close to ideal pitch as possible so as not to create an initial fermentation that irrupts in no time flat.
I can pitch 7g of rehydrated yeast on 5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon ale pail & have it blow the blow off & lid clean off. Or blow off a ton of gas & krausen to where a second fresh blow off jug is needed. So amount of yeast actually needed is questionable to me. If a program says to use 18g of rehydrated or starter yeast,& I don't weigh it & pitch 24g,then there's the problem.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:26 PM   #26
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Guess I'll start fermentations in my basement from now on as well. Ambient temp will be averaging about 55 degrees. I'm not in a rush to drink my beer so don't mind if a 15 day fermentation turns into a 30 day one due to the lower temperature.

This is great info

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:49 PM   #27
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55 degrees ambient may be too low, depending on the wort temperature when pitching. This might be the time to consider putting your fermenter in a tub of water with an adjustable aquarium heater so you can keep the fermenting beer in the proper temperature range so your yeast don't go dormant on you. Also to note is that once the initial ferment slows, you can bring the temperature up to encourage the yeast to complete the ferment. If you don't you can get a stuck ferment which will lead to bottle bombs if you bottle.

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Old 01-23-2013, 03:03 PM   #28
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Adam - sounds like you need to brew some aging beers to tie up your carboys. Maybe a mead, a wine, a tripel and a bourbon-barrel porter. Forget about them for a few months.

Buckets are cheap, so that's a solid option for primary. That's what I use. Also makes top-cropping your yeast a piece of cake if you want to reuse it.

Another option would be to split your batch. If you have 5.5g or wort, just put it into two 5g carboys. No harm in that. They'll throw off enough CO2 to purge the headspace. Awesome for experimenting/blending strains too.

As for the temps, I might suggest switching your routine - start at 65 ambient, then as the yeast ramp up move to 55 ambient. Depending on the strain, they should generate enough heat to keep the beer temp in the 60s. Then move back to a warmer spot as activity slows. Either than or invest in fermentation chamber to keep the beer temp constant.

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Old 01-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #29
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I used to breed tropical fish & those heaters only go down to about 68F. That's a bit cool by tropical standards. Wish they made one for northern latitude fish that'd go down to 50-60F. That'd be perfect for home brewing. Change the rheostat in the top of the device & recalibrate the nob. Wouldn't take much. I agree tat 55 is too low for many ale yeast. You can't count on internal temps going 10-12 degrees higher. Mine absolutely never did. No more than 2-3 degrees higher than ambient. since the fermenter stand is right next to the comp hutch,I can do a lot of observational science. And by the by,my man cave has a Southern exposure. Maybe that has something to do with the total package. Something else to think about.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:14 PM   #30
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You don't see most people complaining about this because most of us primary in the fermenting buckets. Use a bigger primary problem solved.

*edit
Seems that has been solved didn't read too far into it

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