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Old 09-11-2011, 05:17 AM   #1
DFuller
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Default Temperature question

O.K. Newbie questions here...

brewing a Scotch Ale Wee Heavy from a Brewcraft kit.

it took a lot longer to cool the Wort down to below 80 degrees before pitching the yeast. (close to 2 hours)

placed the glass carboy into a 75 degree garage but the heat in the carboy was above 80 degrees 24 hours later. (I did not take into account the heat from the yeast fermentation)So when I realized this I placed it into an old fridge in the garage and have been alternating the fridge on / and / off to try and maintain a temp around 65 degrees

so question #1
The instructions recommend temps 62-68 and DO NOT exceed 80...will this batch have an off taste since it was probably above 80 the first 24 hours?

question #2
I activated the yeast in distilled water during the boiling process as the instructions in my book stated...yet cooling took 2 hours not 20 minutes. The first 24 hours had the beer bubbling up out the airlock (very active) but since I moved it to the fridge at 65 degrees there seems to be zero activity. Is this normal? Did I mess up the fermentation with the 2 hour wait?

The instructions say that for the best results I should move it to the 5 gallon carboy after 1 week and refrigerate at 42-48 degrees for 4-6 more weeks. With my above mistakes is this still good advice?

Sorry for the newbie questions but I do appreciate the time you take to help!



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Old 09-11-2011, 05:35 AM   #2
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Answer 1: You may have created some off flavors. Only time will tell.
Answer 2: The longer cooling time has nothing to do with your fermentation in this case. If the airlock was bubbling and you had an active fermentation for the first 24 hours, the yeast was good when you pitched it. What may have happened is that the higher ferm temps caused the fermentation to become more active, and therefore finish sooner. You gotta take a gravity reading to know for sure. If you dont have a hydrometer, try to keep the beer at around 68. Leave it in the primary for three or four more days, then putting it in the secondary and finish as the kit instructions say to.



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Old 09-11-2011, 05:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFuller View Post

question #2
The first 24 hours had the beer bubbling up out the airlock (very active) but since I moved it to the fridge at 65 degrees there seems to be zero activity. Is this normal?
The cooler temperature will cause the gas to contract which is probably why the activity of the air lock slowed down
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:41 AM   #4
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Hitting the right temps for your yeast are key to making good beer.Too high or too low and you may have problems.I made the mistake of not knowing as it said below 80,but usually try to hit 70,depending what yeast and your ambient temps, you want to maintain a constant temp if possible.
Why so long to cool? Dont worrry about airlock activity just ferment it for 3 wks assuming under 1.06 ish gravity.

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Old 09-11-2011, 05:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jonmohno View Post
Why so long to cool?
'

Well I had two sets of instructions...the kit and the "how to brew" book I bought. One said to transfer to the carboy and place in an ice bath...I took that advice.

The glass holds heat VERY well. Even after emptying my freezer of all of its ice I had trouble getting the temp down. The glass portion of the carboy that stayed above the water stayed hot for what seemed like an eternity.

For the future brewing ...I will either buy more ice or begin saving ice from my freezer a week in advance. I will also cool the wort in the stainless brew pot. The thin walls of the kettle will cool more quickly than the carboy did and will transfer the temps to the wort more easily. (plus I can stir the pot but not a carboy)

Live and learn right?
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jonmohno View Post
Dont worrry about airlock activity just ferment it for 3 wks assuming under 1.06 ish gravity.
Oops missed this in the first response....Original gravity was 1.076 (5 days ago) I won't be taking another reading until I transfer to the secondary on Monday. (unless I delay that with the advice here)

Thanks again for everyone's time you are taking to respond!!
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:24 PM   #7
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Next time with your ice bath: I always run cool water 3 times, stir your water while cooling until it warms then drain,do this twice then on your last cold water fill add the ice, unless you have enough ice to do this twice.I just use a full bin of ice from my freezer ice maker this way on the third cold water fill in my sink.Although i have only 2 gallons to cool, you may want to use a tub that fits it or something,if i was doing 5 gallon batches i probably would end up getting a wort chiller if it took more than an hour.

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Old 09-13-2011, 04:42 AM   #8
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Well I moved it to the secondary tonight. Original gravity was 1.076 today was 1.026

Did a taste test with what was used for the gravity test and it was pretty good already. Obviously not very full bodied yet but with another 4 to 6 weeks before bottling I think it will be great. Looks like the one day over temp didn't kill it

Looking forward to the finished product now

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Old 09-13-2011, 04:59 AM   #9
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You may have created a stall with your yeast. Take measurements and it needed, repitch

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Old 09-13-2011, 07:13 AM   #10
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It is very important to get that wort down to 70* as quickly as possible. Most people will forego the ice bath, for as you experienced it is hard to move boiling wort to a tub of cold water, and it is one of the most inefficient ways to cool down after flame out. Also with an extended cool down like you experienced you run the risk of wort contamination. I strongly recommend getting either an immersion chiller or a counter flow chiller. Immersion chillers are the easiest to sanitize and clean. They can look kind of pricey, but they are essential in any home brewery.

As far as the temp control of the fermentation and the yeast temp, this too is vital to making award winning beer. The style you chose to make is actually a pretty advanced one. My wife won a BJCP competition with her Scottish wee heavy, but that was after a lot of feedback from other brewers and judges. The Scottish wee heavy yeast strain is designed to ferment at about 60*. That is room temp for Scotland. If the yeast get up in the 70 range they will still flocculate, but they will also create a lot of phenols and fruity esters that are inappropriate in that style.

You mentioned you used distilled water to hydrate your yeast. I would avoid doing this, for distilled water does not have the nutrients needed for viable yeast health. Yeast need zinc, calcium carbonate, and calcium chloride to thrive. The brewing water used in the scottish breweries is what we would call "soft water," and that is a lot of what determines the flavor profile of the beer and the style. Water chemistry can be intimidating to new brewers, so don't fret too much about it now. I would however, do a large yeast starter three days before you brew using tap water boiled with DME for 20 min. That way you know you have some minerals the yeast need, and the water is sterile from the boiling. This will ensure the yeast propagate enough by the time you pitch them to munch all the malty goodness and attenuate down to the 1.010 range.

I know all of this may sound a bit frightening being new to the hobby, but don't worry too much about it. I'm sure you made good drinkable beer. I also recommend the book "How to brew" as a place to start.

Let us know how it turns out.

Lukehenslick@facebook.com



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