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Old 01-17-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
JHamm
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Default wort too cold?

I have an IPA recipe sitting in a primary fermenter since Friday night. The basement temp is 60F and I cooled the wort down to about 60F before pitching Nottingham yeast. I checked the bucket this morning and looked at the stick on thermometer which shows the middle colored number as 59F. Is this too cold to start fermenting? I have a brew belt so should I put it on for a day or so to slightly heat up the wort? I have no idea what is going on inside the bucket apart from a few bubbles in the airlock but it's not showing much activity either.

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Old 01-17-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
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It doesn't really matter whether your airlock bubbles or not, that's not a good gauge of fermentation, there's enough normal reason why airlockc don't blip to make it a faulty gauge.

(Your hydrometer is the only true way to gauge.) But having said that the fact that you have some bubbles means something IS happening under the hood.

But as it says in the sticky at the top of this section, "fermentation can take 72 hours to begin." There's still nothing to worry about.

You right near the bottom of the temp range for this yeast so they are going to be more sluggish than if it were slightly warmer. you may want to consider warming it a bit, or simply moving it to a slightly warmer space.

After you hit the 72 hour mark, you may want to take a hydro reading and see what's going on, but more than likely when you open the bucket you will see a nice krausen there, or the signs of one starting and you'll be relieved.

Just remember, fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

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Old 01-17-2010, 02:24 PM   #3
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It will start and ferment slower but will produce a cleaner tasting beer. Once it does start to ferment, it will warm up by itself. The belt shouldn't be necessary. I normally ferment at 63- 65*.

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Old 01-17-2010, 02:31 PM   #4
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Thanks, I had read the thread you mentioned and wasn't relying necessarily on the airlock, but the temperature was concerning me.

Of course now I have two different recommendations

Should I just leave it alone or use the brew belt I have to bring it up a few degrees? Perhaps I'll just use it to bring the temp around 65 or so...I have no clue, but it's still fun.

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Old 01-18-2010, 01:40 AM   #5
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OK so I used a brew belt and got it up to 68f. Airlock is much more active as well (not that it is an indicator). Should I unplug it now And let nature take over or leave the brew belt on?

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Old 01-18-2010, 01:47 AM   #6
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Once again you can get many answers. I would take it off as the natural exothermic condition of yeast should maintain the temp as long as it is needed. Then again I live in an area where the biggest problem is keeping it cool instead of keeping it warm.

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Old 01-18-2010, 02:11 AM   #7
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Leave it alone, the yeast activity will heat it up on its own. Check the gravity in a couple of weeks and if its not down near your target FG, then post another question. Also, search this site for 'stuck fermentation' threads. There are plenty of them and very rarely were they actually stuck. Nice job keeping it that cold, thats always the hardest part for me.

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Old 01-18-2010, 02:28 AM   #8
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Thanks all. I tend to overthink sometimes.

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Old 01-18-2010, 02:33 AM   #9
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It's too late now, but some of my best beers were fermenting with nottingham yeast at 59 degrees! Clean, clear and wonderful- 59 degrees is certainly withint nottingham's range. I believe it works well down to 57 degrees.

I have two beers in primary right now- one at 61 degrees, and one at 62 degrees. Lower temperatures (within the yeast strains optimal range) tend to make the "cleanest" tasting beers.

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