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Old 08-31-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
chillaxis
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Default Long, weak boil; temps after initial fermentation

Hi all,

I have a couple questions I wanted to run by you all. I've made a couple batches in the last few months (had a blast of course) but I've recently moved into an apartment with a fairly weak electric range. It's capable of boiling 4 gallons of water (I'm making 2.5-3 gallon batches) but not vigorously -- the water is circulating around and bubbles are reaching the surface, but it's not as intense as it was when I had a gas range. I know there are solutions like making a heatstick etc, but would it be all right to just boil for longer, like 90 or 120 minutes for a typically 60m recipe, to make up for it?

Second question: my apartment here gets pretty warm right now, getting to about 75-80 degrees in the late afternoon. I know that I absolutely don't want to let my brews ferment at that temperature, but I was hoping that I could avoid having to keep the bucket cool for the entire three or four weeks before bottling (I've done long primary/no secondary so far). Would it be enough to keep the beer at 65 for the first week or 10 days, until the FG is reached, and then let it finish at the warmer temperature when little active fermentation is happening?

Similarly, once I've primed and bottled, is it all right for the beer to condition at that higher temp?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 08-31-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
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The Boil: Yes, I would do a longer boil, but you are going to have to adjust your recipe accordingly. I assume you are doing extract, so be sure to account for the extra evaporation and add extra water. Also, do not begin adding hops until the 60 minute mark, the same way you would normally. If you are doing a 90 minute boil, which I would recommend to start with, add your 60 minute hops after 1/2 hour of boilng, and so on.

Fermentation: Yes, keeping it cool for the primary fermentation, and then storing warmer is fine. The real danger zone in fermenting warm is the first few days, during the lag phase, and active fermentation. After that, the yeast are just cleaning up after themselves, and will give off little or no undesirable flavors or alcohols. I actually do this myself many times, and I seem to notice a better floculation rate.

Bottling: Yes, let them condition warm. You actually have to do this, or your beer will either not carbonate at all, or take forever.

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Old 08-31-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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Awesome, thanks!

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Old 08-31-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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A boil is required- lengthening the amount of time doesn't "fix" the not boiling part.

You don't need a vigorous boil, though- just a rolling boil. If you can't get a rolling boil, then try reducing the volume so that you do. You need a rolling boil to properly isomerize the hops as well as to boil off DMS precursors and get a good hot break.

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