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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Secondary temp
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
jacefive
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Default Secondary temp

Hi. Making an IPA and it's hot hot hot this summer. I was able to keep fermentation at 68 degrees the whole time (using wlp001, iced water bottles and towels), the beer is in secondary now, dry hopped, i haven't looked in a week and a half but now it's sitting at 78! Way hot, wondering if this will affect flavor. Guessing it won't matter since yeast's work is done, but curious just the same!

Thanks!

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Old 07-09-2010, 09:19 PM   #2
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It's still good practice to keep it relatively cool, but you're right, the yeast are done so the heat isn't going to bring out the typical off-flavors.

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Old 07-09-2010, 09:31 PM   #3
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If you truly fermented out before you put it in secondary then all that's happening is that your beer is going stale. Charlie Bamforth talks about staling reactions happening much quicker at warmer temperatures. If the yeast are done then they can't take up that oxygen that you introduced when transferring.

So if you've actually fermented out already then your 'secondary' is actually 'conditioning' and you should be doing this cold and under CO2.

If you've still got yeast action happening, which you probably do. Then this is similar to a diacetyl rest. But yeah that temp is much too high. A common fermentation is to keep the beer at 64f for a week or more. Let it ferment out almost completely (yeast starting to drop out), then push it up to 70 or so (SLOWLY). Maybe as high as 75, but 80 seems to hot to me. During this step the yeast won't be making esters or off flavors, because they do this when they're using up sugar. At this point you're trying to get them to take up diacetyl and other byproducts (and they will if they're still healthy and there isn't anything else for them to eat). Do this for a couple days and then cold crash it for bottling. Note there's no secondary step in this. I don't do secondary ferments and you'll find that most people here don't either.

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Old 07-09-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathani View Post
If you truly fermented out before you put it in secondary then all that's happening is that your beer is going stale. Charlie Bamforth talks about staling reactions happening much quicker at warmer temperatures. If the yeast are done then they can't take up that oxygen that you introduced when transferring.
Keep in mind that Charlie Bamforth is typically talking about brewing on a commercial scale and that 78 degrees in a carboy is not necessarily what he means by high temps that cause staling.

I agree with marubozo, it would probably be better practice to keep the beer cooler but on a homebrewing scale you're not really causing yourself any problems by letting it heat up a bit.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:04 PM   #5
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Staling reactions happen all the time, everywhere. After the ferment is done it's a race to keep your beer from going stale. Properly packaged and cooled, your beer can last years with no detectable staling at all. Letting it sit at 80f for a month in a carboy with no yeast activity and oxygen and you're already doomed.

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Old 07-10-2010, 12:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Staling reactions happen all the time, everywhere. After the ferment is done it's a race to keep your beer from going stale. Properly packaged and cooled, your beer can last years with no detectable staling at all. Letting it sit at 80f for a month in a carboy with no yeast activity and oxygen and you're already doomed.
Yikes! This whole time I thought my beer tasted delicious...but its been doomed all along!

Obviously staling happens, but your concerns are based on hyperbole and not reality at the homebrewing level. There are plenty of examples on these forums of people having beer sit at the OP's temps after primary without complaining of stale beer.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:46 AM   #7
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Well, regardless I really can't re cool it as my primaries are in my only water bath tubs. We just got hit by a heat wave, so it's crazy hot now, but all the yeast are done, and it's in secondary just to dry hop. We shal see, it's going to be drank one way or the other. Hopefully it will be good!

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Old 07-10-2010, 06:32 AM   #8
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Yikes! This whole time I thought my beer tasted delicious...but its been doomed all along!

Obviously staling happens, but your concerns are based on hyperbole and not reality at the homebrewing level. There are plenty of examples on these forums of people having beer sit at the OP's temps after primary without complaining of stale beer.
I believe I addressed the OP's question pretty good. If you let a beer fully ferment out and then put it in secondary. I would highly recommend not letting it sit at 80f. In fact I wouldn't even put it in a secondary at all, introducing all that oxygen after your ferment has completed is bad news.

On the other hand if you still have fermenting to do then this is fine. But I still wouldn't push up the temp that high.

@jacefive: That is the true test. If the beer tastes good, that means you don't have to go looking for ways to improve the beer. If the beer tastes off in some way, then I might look at keeping that temp down a bit. Or ditching the secondary. I even dry hop in primary, works just fine.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:52 PM   #9
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Hi. Making an IPA and it's hot hot hot this summer. I was able to keep fermentation at 68 degrees the whole time...
I brewed Austin's Sierra Nevada clone in mid-May and let it ferment on the 1st floor instead of the basement. I thought the basement was too cool at about 65F. First floor room temp was typically in the low to mid-70s. I bottled it after only 13 days (no secondary fermentation) and it tastes just fine.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:47 PM   #10
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are you suppose to prime when you transfer to secondary or wait til you bottle?

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