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Old 10-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
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Default What should I expect if I pitched at a low temp?

Hello all,

I brewed last night (caribou slobber-extract with danstar windsor ale yeast). I used some new methods and equipment. I wont go into too much detail. However, when pitching it was approx 60 degrees and the fermentation chamber was at 61 degrees when I checked this morning, now 63....controller set at 67.... The fridge ran yesterday as a "normal" fridge with no controller, so its slowly warming up.

I am getting small signs of fermentaion

I know is to late too change what has already happened. Will this low temp begining effect the flavor at all, or just slow down the yeast for a bit. Just curious about what I should expect ?

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:06 PM   #2
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60F isn't too low for most yeast particularly if you're referring to the ambient temp (not the actual temp inside the fermenter). You'll probably want to set your temp controller about 5 degrees less than what you want the beer to ferment at; fermentation creates heat, sometimes a lot of heat. If I want my beer to ferment at 67, I usually set the temp controller at 60F to start, then monitor the fermentation temp with a stick-on fermometer and adjust the temp controller up or down as needed.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
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Better too cold than too warm. It'll be fine, and probably have no effect. It may slow things by a tiny amount, but I'm thinking by a couple hours out of the weeks it'll be fermenting---i.e., nothing you'll notice. Different yeasts and different batches take off differently, so even if it does seem slow, you can't immediately blame it on the temperature.

Many people advocate pitching below the target temperature because the yeast will warm themselves up when they go active. This is especially true with lager yeasts, but it's not going to hurt an ale yeast, either.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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You will actually benefit from this and should make it a habit. It is recommended that you pitch slightly colder than fermentation temperature and allow to rise to desired temp. This is discussed at length by Jamil and Chris in the book "Yeast" as it creates a steady controlled growth phase of the cells.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
You will actually benefit from this and should make it a habit. It is recommended that you pitch slightly colder than fermentation temperature and allow to rise to desired temp. This is discussed at length by Jamil and Chris in the book "Yeast" as it creates a steady controlled growth phase of the cells.
I totally agree! It's always my goal to pitch at about 60 or so for ales, and then let it rise to my desired fermentation temperature. It makes for happy and healthy yeast.

Pitching warm and then cooling stresses yeast (they don't like to be cooled), but the opposite optimizes healthy yeast reproduction.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:07 PM   #6
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I think I feel like the guys who discovered penicillin by accident !!

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Old 10-06-2012, 09:26 PM   #7
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I'm another one who pitches at about 60F. It really doesn't even seem to slow the yeast down, and my beers taste great!

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Old 10-07-2012, 06:21 AM   #8
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So just to clarify. Its better to be too cold then too warm. Is there a "bottom" ? Like dont go past 50. Obviously it wouldnt go past 31...

Frodo: I actually use blue painter tape and attach the temp probe to the side of the glass primary. So, hopefully this is a more accurate reading then just an ambient temp.

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Old 10-07-2012, 10:48 AM   #9
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No harm in getting colder temps like down to 50 other than that is that much sooner you could have had the yeast pitched and starting to do there thing.

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Old 10-07-2012, 12:45 PM   #10
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Slightly off topic question, but would the stick on thermometers be a better indication of fermentation taking place? The reason why I asked is because I brewed a 1 gallon batch of Caribou Slobber Friday night and I'm not seeing as much airlock activity as I have with the IPA I brewed two days earlier. Funny thing is the IPA is showing at 60F while the Caribou is at 62F.

I'm tempted to have a looksee, but better judgement is telling me to just wait it out the next two weeks and take a gravity reading.

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