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Old 11-20-2008, 04:26 AM   #1
json2001
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Default Noob Fermentation Temp Question

I've been listening to The Jamil Show some and they mentioned that an Irish Red should ferment at 66F. I have always worked to do my fermentation above 70 degrees as the WLP bottle says it should be above 70.

Would anyone mind telling me what fermenting at a lower temp will do for my beer and will fermentation begin at 66?

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Old 11-20-2008, 04:31 AM   #2
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I'm sure the Show was referring to a yeast that specifically does well at that temperature, as do most English and Irish yeasts. Lower temperatures will generally give you a more crisp and less fruity finish, whereas higher temps tend to impart somewhat of a fruity upper palate. On the surface that sounds nice, but it's not good with all brews.

If I were you, I'd focus on what White Labs says. If they say keep it above 70, then that's probably where you should keep it.

...but this begs the question, what strain are you using? All the good Red strains I'm aware of top out at about 70, although I do believe some brew up a Red with American yeasts, which do perform up into the 70s.

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Old 11-20-2008, 04:34 AM   #3
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Well they were referring to WLP 004 Irish Red which is what comes with my recipe kit. I haven't gotten it yet, so I'm not sure what the packaging says.

I'm sure you're right though - I haven't used an English/Irish yeast before so this would be new territory.

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Old 11-20-2008, 04:35 AM   #4
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Jamil has mentioned on the show several times that White Labs and Wyeast are focused on optimum yeast health and he focuses on making good beer. While 70 might be optimum for the yeast, 66-68 degrees makes for a better beer. The yeast shouldn't have a problem performing well at that temperature. It's just not the "optimum" temperature for them.

I've been fermenting all my ales at 67 or 68 and the yeast does fine. I think it makes for better beer too. It is definitely cleaner tasting.

Also, keep in mind that he's talking about the temperature of the beer, not the air temperature. While it's fermenting, the beer can be 5-8 degrees hotter than the air around it, from what I have noticed. He keeps the beer around 67 degrees when fermenting.

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Old 11-20-2008, 04:37 AM   #5
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Here we go...should have just gone to the source - I figured all ale yeast was equal when it comes to temps, guess I couldn't be more wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Labs
WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast
This is the yeast from one of the oldest stout producing breweries in the world. It produces a slight hint of diacetyl, balanced by a light fruitiness and slight dry crispness. Great for Irish ales, stouts, porters, browns, reds and a very interesting pale ale.
Attenuation: 69-74%
Flocculation: Medium to High
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 65-68°F
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium-High
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdburg View Post
Also, keep in mind that he's talking about the temperature of the beer, not the air temperature. While it's fermenting, the beer can be 5-8 degrees hotter than the air around it, from what I have noticed. He keeps the beer around 67 degrees when fermenting.
Yeah I've noticed that as well I assume its from the yeasts churning away- good thing its finally getting cold around here! Turn off the heat for a while :P The girlfriend will love that!
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:46 AM   #7
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My fermenter is always between 65-72. My IPA is very crisp, and turned out extremely good for a first timer.

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Old 11-20-2008, 07:27 AM   #8
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Yeah, I figured a strain recommended for a red would be in that range. So 66*F is probably a good target to shoot for.

That said, most ways of measuring wort temperature (reads, stick on thermos) are indirect and semi-accurate at best. I ferment all my beers in the basement with a powerful fan running full tilt against the side of the fermenter. Try to have your room temps at about 60-65 and have a fan on high blast pointing directly at your primary. That should wick away most or all of the heat the yeast produces.

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Old 11-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelikan View Post
Yeah, I figured a strain recommended for a red would be in that range. So 66*F is probably a good target to shoot for.

That said, most ways of measuring wort temperature (reads, stick on thermos) are indirect and semi-accurate at best. I ferment all my beers in the basement with a powerful fan running full tilt against the side of the fermenter. Try to have your room temps at about 60-65 and have a fan on high blast pointing directly at your primary. That should wick away most or all of the heat the yeast produces.
Cool. I should easily be able to do that this time of year. How would you achieve this during the summer months without going broke on A/C. Is this where a fridge with external temp controls comes in to play?
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by json2001 View Post
Cool. I should easily be able to do that this time of year. How would you achieve this during the summer months without going broke on A/C. Is this where a fridge with external temp controls comes in to play?
Check out the link in my sig for my fermentation chiller...

Last time I used the Irish ale yeast I fermented at 66*F. You could get away with 68*F to 70*F for a stout, but for a red you want to stay cooler since too many esters will push it out of style.
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