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nrainey80 01-30-2013 01:55 AM

Temp fluctuation during fermentation?
 
I'm just 3 days into my first batch. Things seem to be going well, but I'm wondering if daily ambient temp fluctuations from about 63 - 70 F are acceptable. The recipe is a Porter from one of easy brew kits. Probably lots of info I could add but the temperature question is what I'm most curious about.

Bamsdealer 01-30-2013 02:05 AM

Do you have a sticky thermometer on your fermenter? This will give you a better idea of the temperature of your beer, which can be higher than ambient temps during active fermentation. If you have a pet store near you, get an aquarium thermometer and stick it to the side of your fermenter. 63-70 is probably fine as your beer has a lot of thermal mass and likely won't swing that much, but the more stable the temperature the better. Do everything you can to keep your beer below 70.

thadius856 01-30-2013 02:18 AM

63-70F swing is fine over the course of the day. Not optimal, but will make good beer. Like the post above, many feel that 70F is the upper limit for good fermentation. There are several strains that ferment well at or slightly above 70F.

For this batch, it's going to be more important what strain you used. Can you provide that info?

homebrewdad 01-30-2013 02:29 AM

Not perfect, but your beer will be fine. a 7 degree ambient swing is probably only swinging the beer 2-4 degrees.

Ogri 01-30-2013 02:30 AM

If you aren't already using one, do a search for "swamp cooler" and see if you can easily throw one together. This'll help you keep the brew at closer to optimum fermentation temperatures with very little effort.

nrainey80 01-30-2013 04:30 AM

Thanks for the advice. I do not have a sticky thermometer, but will get one ASAP. I will look into a swamp cooler for future batches and I don't know the yeast strain (total noob!). The kit is a Brewer's Best Robust Porter.

Bamsdealer 01-30-2013 12:35 PM

Its probably just an english or american ale strain. Fermenting in the temp range you indicated should be fine, but keep an eye on it till the airlock starts to slow down. Its this time period when the yeast could create unwanted flavors if left to get too warm. After that, temps really shouldnt matter much and you can toss your fermenter in a corner and forget about it for a couple weeks.

PsyDanny 01-30-2013 01:59 PM

Yikes. I am on my second batch of brew - being new to this all - a 1-gallon Everyday IPA from BBS.

It has been fermenting in my dining room since Sunday night, and the room temp is about 73F. Too warm? What might happen because of this?

I probably could put it downstairs where it is closer to 65F. By the time I get home tonight, it will be about 72 hours fermenting. Too late?

Bk2X 01-30-2013 02:33 PM

First few days are most important for fermenting temperatures.

Depending on the strain, it may have some off flavors as 73 ambient is putting the internal temp pretty high. For the first 2 years of my brewing I didn't control temp and many times hit those type of temps. Never was happy with the result...

Bamsdealer 01-30-2013 02:34 PM

Its probably fine, and will definately be beer... but you may or may not notice some warm alcohol notes or yeasty characteristics. 65 would be better. Not always the case, but i generally ferment on the low side of the yeast's temp range for a cleaner profile. On the positive side, its a porter and the flavor profile may help hide unwanted flavors from the fermentation processs.... that's if they exist.


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