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Old 10-17-2008, 04:53 PM   #1
Hanr3
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Default What tempurature information to track?

Newbie to brewing here.
Starting with an extract Pilsner.
I brewed up my first batch Tuesday and its sitting in the fridge lager fermenting at the moment.

My questions mostly stem around what temperature information should I be tracking? I want to be able to repeat the process or figure out what went wrong later in life when I brew this kit again.


Which temperatures should I track?
Steeping temp, rolling boil temp, yeast pitching temp, temp of bittering hops, temp of aroma hops, temp during fermentation, temp during kegging, and serving temp? I haven't seen a brewing thermometer in any of the kits I looked at. However while brewing teh kit it dawned on me that temperature should play some role in the process. I did read that too hot will carmalize the beer, scortch it (twang taste), or burn it to the bottom of the pot. So obviously temp plays some sort of role.

Based on my reading, lager fermenting/conditioning temps should be around 50-55 degrees. While ale temps are higher, 60-70 degrees.

Which of the other processes temperatures are important, what should they be, and why?


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Old 10-21-2008, 01:49 AM   #2
Zymurgrafi
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For extract brewing:

Steeping temp for specialty grains not so important. You are not converting any starches to sugars. Merely extracting some flavors and colors. In the case of caramel/crystal malts they are already converted and those you are just releasing the sugars/dextrins into solution. Do not go too hot for a long time but do not worry about it. I think Papazian's method works well and is what I used to use. Place the grains in the kettle with cold water, turn on the heat and then remove them once it is just about boiling.

Boiling is boiling. It will measure the same. How vigorous it is boiling will not really change the temp. If you are concerned about scorching when doing a concentrated extract boil (especially in the case of light colored/flavored beers like a pilsner) You can add some of the extract at the beginning of the boil and hold the rest until the last 10-15 minutes or so. That will help with 2 things. Less caramelization and better hop utilization.

Fermentation definately. Not only keeping an eye on it but controlling it the best you can to keep it from fluctuating too much is extremely importnat to making good beer.

Kegging, if you are force carbing you will need to know what the temp of the beer is to know what to set the pressure at.

Serving, that is up to you how you like.

Do you need to take note of every temp fluctuation EVERY STEP OF THE WAY? Only if you want to. Sounds like to much work/frustration to me.

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Old 11-19-2008, 12:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Great information and answered a few of my questions.

Thanks!!!

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Old 11-19-2008, 07:19 AM   #4
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If I can just add my smart a.. answer.
Fermentation temperatures are very important, log it as often as you can. Major spikes can add esters that your don't like, drops can shock your yeast.
Record every note you can, even though you think it totally unimportant, 6 months to 10 years from now it just may be.
My brew logs are longer than I care to read, until I make that beer that just turns out fantastic then I'm reading that log like it was instructions to defuse a nuclear bomb about to go off.
And that was not a newbie question, I keep reminding myself to record everything I can even though it gets so boring.

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