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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Primary set a 78*F for first 24 hours
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:28 AM   #1
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Default Primary set a 78*F for first 24 hours

This is my first brew. I am fermenting a 5 gal batch of Real Ales Fireman #4 (blonde ale) clone. I was aiming for OG 1.050 and hit 1.056. I dropped the wort to 80*F and pitched White Labs - Dry English Ale 007.

It dropped to 78*F (temp strip on my primary). It has stayed at that temperature for 24 hours. I dropped a 8lb block of ice on one side of a 48 qt tub, my primary on the other. I hope this cools it with out stopping fermentation. I'll update with temp readings in a few hours.

My question: Was my wort at too high a temp for too long? Any advice or past experiences shared would be much appreciated. Thanks

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:32 AM   #2
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80F was too high of a pitch temp. If you're still topping off,keep a couple gallons of water in the fridge a day or two before brew day to top off with. I chill my wort down to 75F or so,then strain into the fermenter & top off with the really cold water. It gets it down to 64-65F & gets a lil cold break too. Then pitch yeast.

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:38 AM   #3
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Awesome. . . Well what should I expect? It was active within 12 hours. I did aerate well.

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:41 AM   #4
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The problem is,even at 78F when the yeast visibly started fermenting,it'll produce higher levels of fermentation by products that are recognized as off flavors. It'll need an extra 3-7 days after FG is reached to clean them up. Then it'll settle out clear or slightly misty as it cleans up.

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:44 AM   #5
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yes, it was too high. put some water in your tub so that the fermeter sits in the ice bath, this should cool it down. Fermenting too warm can give off some fruity off-flavors and a "hot" alcohol taste, among other things. The yeast you used is one of my favorites, I'm sure this will turn out fine even with the higher temp.

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:48 AM   #6
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It's crucial to keep ferm temps in range, particularly during the first few days. Fermentation can increase the temp several degrees above ambient, so getting the temp down at pitching keeps you ahead of the game.

Make a swamp cooler. Set your fermenter in the bucket and add cold water. Use frozen water bottles to keep the water cold. I always have a half dozen or so 16oz. plastic bottles filled and in my freezer. Be sure to change out the water bottles a couple times a day.



Some people use a towel or old t-shirt with their swamper and run a fan to drive down the temps even more.

In the summer I can keep my fermenter down in the low to mid 60s, while the rest of the house is well over 70.

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Old 11-12-2013, 01:18 AM   #7
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Its down to 75. Should I even rack to secondary at any point?

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Old 11-12-2013, 01:24 AM   #8
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forget the secondary, focus on getting it down to about 62.

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Old 11-12-2013, 02:13 AM   #9
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You'll still have beer at the end of the process despite the high temperature

For most ale yeasts mid 60's is a very good place to keep your fermentation. I disagree with trying to get this particular fermentation down into the low 60's though--I would aim for high 60's since the yeast has gotten used to a higher temperature (and honestly, most of the 'off' flavors you might have are already there). I would be concerned that dropping it ~20deg. from pitching would stall the fermentation out.

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Old 11-12-2013, 02:22 AM   #10
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It is probably too late for this batch so keep at as cool as possible to the low 60's and hope for the best.

For the next one get the wort to the mid sixties before pitching a proper amount of yeast* then control the temperature to the low to mid sixties until fermentation has finished.

* If you are using liquid yeast you should make a starter. Look at mrmalty.com and yeastcalc.com for starter information.

Do these things and you will progress from making beer to making good beer.

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