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Old 01-22-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
glenholster
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Default Three days in and the signs are good but...

Rookie home brewer here, three days in to my first brew using an American
IPA kit. The airlock started bubbling about 18 - 20 hours in and after three days I have about an inch of foam in my fermenting bucket, stored in a 68 degree dark room.
My question is I fear the wort was not cool enough when I added the yeast and while I stirred vigorously in subsequent reading I could have done more. The wort was between 82 and 84 degrees (instructions said under 85 was ok) when yeast was added. So, even though the fermentation appears to be going well should I be concerned? is there any remedial action I should take at the end of 14 days (or now) to correct the cooling issue?

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #2
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You'd prefer it to be cooler than that - 70 or less - but what's done is done. That's not nearly hot enought to kill the yeast; worst thing might be some ester production.

Nothing to do now but let it ride. Relax, you'll end up with beer.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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Youre good, dont worry about it. If your caould get the temp down a couple degrees that would be good but not nessisary at all. For redmedial action I would go buy another kit and plan my next brew day!

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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The action of the yeast (gassing and krausen) tells you everything is fine. Yes, it could have been cooler and probably should have. The worst that could happen now is some slight off tastes, but this shouldn't be a problem because for the first few hours all the yeast are doing is reproduction. You have it as a good temperature now. The initial temperature when pitching is mainly to make sure it isn't hot enough to kill the yeast--which it obviously hasn't since you have krausen. Resist the urge to keep peaking and give the yeast some privacy to finish their work.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:58 PM   #5
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If you had good layer of foam (krausen) then all should be fine.

Just FYI for most ale yeasts you want your fermenter in a room or chamber that is in the low 60's. 68F is too warm because the beer temp rises as it ferments, sometimes as much as 8 degrees above ambient air temp and if the beer temp gets over 70F ester production and off flavors develop.

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
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I would definitely leave your beer on the yeast cake for at least 3 weeks under this scenario to give the yeast time to clean up after itself given the high starting temp. You may get some fusel alcohols (hot alochol taste) at those temps which won't dissipate with time, but the yeast can convert them to esters which are usually better tasting (fruity) and tend to lose potency over time. once you take it off the yeast, youre stuck with those fusels. The good thing is you brewed a hoppy beer, so a lot of those flavors will be masked anyway.

Next time try cool closer to fermentation temperatures before you pitch.

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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You may have some off flavors, but it's far from ruined. Just give it time...time heals most things when it comes to brew

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Old 01-22-2013, 09:29 PM   #8
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It's better to pitch the yeast at a low temp & let it warm up slightly than the other way around. Once it cools from 84F down to,say,68F it could go dormant from the rapid cooling. I like to pitch about 66F & let it come up slightly. The yeast are happier that way.
The off flavors you'll get will be eaten by the yeast after FG is reached & they go looking for more food. It usually takes 3-7 days to clean them up & settle out clear or slightly misty from my observations up to this point.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
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All -

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I'm officially back from teh edge of the cliff and shooping for my next recipe. To clarify, I watch incessantly but have not committed the cardinal sin of removing the lid. Still bubbling in the air lock four days in so apparently I'll end up with beer. Building on one of the suggestions here, would there be benefit to going an extra few days or week beyond the two-week fermenting period?

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:05 PM   #10
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absolutley, just because your primary fermentation is done doesnt mean the yeast wont continue to improve your beer. Once they are done eating sugars they will move on to their waste byproducts. I go 3 weeks from pitch to bottle/keg.

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