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Old 05-28-2010, 03:01 PM   #1
outdoors76
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Default Re: Keeping the Beer Cold during Fermintation

Hello everyone. I am new to brewing my own beer. Brewed my first batch last night a Blonde Ale. Had it at 70 degrees when I put it in the spare bathroom tub. This morning I went to check and see if it was fermenting. It was going crazy so I checked the temp and it was at 82 degrees. I immediatly grabed a tupperware tub and filled it with water and iced it down, only had enough ice to get it back to 70 degrees. Then I had to leave for work. Will get more ice on it at lunch. My question is have i hurt the beer in the fermentor or am I ok. Also I have a spare fridge in the garage and was wondering if it is possible to keep it at 60-70 degrees for the fermentation process.

Thanks in advance.

Erik

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Old 05-28-2010, 03:03 PM   #2
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You can swap out frozen water bottles a few times a day to keep the temp down, along with a swamp cooler. OR get a temp controller for about 60-120 bucks to keep the extra fridge at the desired fermentation temp.

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Old 05-28-2010, 03:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the insight, but did I ruin my first batch by it being at 82 degrees overnight.

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Old 05-28-2010, 03:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by outdoors76 View Post
Thanks for the insight, but did I ruin my first batch by it being at 82 degrees overnight.
Ruin is a strong word, you've still made beer in any case. You will probably have a bit of an estery/fusely beer but I'd imagine that it will still be good, just not exactly what you were shooting for. If it's a more complex malty beer like a Stout/Porter the esters may fade with some time to the point that they are no longer noticable.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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Yeah, at that temperature, you are definitely going to have some fusel alcohols hanging around. Keeping the temperature somewhere around 68 is the best for most typical yeast strains and the first few days are the most important.

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Old 05-28-2010, 03:30 PM   #6
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Would running it through the secondary help with that or not.

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Old 05-28-2010, 03:55 PM   #7
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Putting in the secondary really won't impact anything at this point. Many people would likely suggest leaving it in the primary a little longer (like 3 or 4 weeks) on the yeast cake to allow the yeast to continue to work on the beer. It might help. Putting it in a secondary likely won't "fix" the beer anymore than just bottling and letting it sit for a while.

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Old 05-28-2010, 04:08 PM   #8
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As a follow up to this thread, during the winter i normally just ferment in my aparment since it stays pretty cool and in the summer I was planning to use a swamp cooling technique and fermenting in my basement. The problem being that my basement is three floors down and I don't always want to climb the stairs.

I know that the first few days of fermentation are the most important for flavor development so my question is, is it okay to let the temperature creep up after those first few days as long as I keep it cool in the beginning?

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Old 05-28-2010, 04:48 PM   #9
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As a follow up to this thread, during the winter i normally just ferment in my aparment since it stays pretty cool and in the summer I was planning to use a swamp cooling technique and fermenting in my basement. The problem being that my basement is three floors down and I don't always want to climb the stairs.

I know that the first few days of fermentation are the most important for flavor development so my question is, is it okay to let the temperature creep up after those first few days as long as I keep it cool in the beginning?
You want your temps as stable as possible. If you're creeping from 62-68 you will probably be fine, but it all depends on the yeast strain you're using and how vigorous the fermentation is. Letting it go higher after the initial stage isn't as detrimental, but you can have issues like over attenuation and even some higher alcohols. Just because most of the off flavors are from the first few days doesn't mean that temperatures should be ignored after that.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:52 PM   #10
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With 6 batches of beer under my belt I am still pretty new to all this as well. But I am happy to share some lessons learned from my expierences. I use to pitch my yeast in the low 70's but whatever temp you pitch its going to only climb from there. Since most ale yeast strains are happy in the mid 60's range I try to pitch in the low 60's and let the fermentation climb to a happy 66-68 or whatever strain I'm using is most happy with. Evey batch I had until now has Fusels in it but it did not "ruin" the beer really. Everyone I gave it too still enjoyed it, I was actually the only one complaining about it.
Now that summer is almost upon us I realized I need a more reliable way to keep my beer fermenting happily and made a Fermentation chamber based on the SOF designs.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachme...r-dscn1827.jpg
I love this thing. If you have the space for one I recommend it.

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