stepped fermentation, 65 to 77 F
Had great success with this recently with my ginger beer. Made a Belgian Golden Strong Ale, *sort of*, with Ginger, Grapefruit and honey.
I used Wyeast 1388, the Duvel yeast, and decided to sort of emulate Duvel's fermentation process. Brew Like a Monk says they pitch at 61 to 64 and let it rise to 79 to 84 and it lasts 120 hours.
While I didn't copy this exactly, I did the following:
Pitched the yeast at 65 and maintained 65 for 12 hours. Each 12 hours, the temp was raised by 2 degrees F, ending at 77 F. It was then left at 77 until the 2 week mark.
The OG on the beer was 1.071, FG 1.012.
Drinking it now after 2 weeks in the bottle at 73, and it's very carbonated already. The carbonation needs to settle in (it's very burpy) but the beer's great. AND, there's NO hot alcohol from this one. I think this worked great. The beer is super clean but very spicy. It's hard to clearly discern ester contribution separately because this has a lot of grapefruit zest and ginger in it, but the beer doesn't have any hot alcohol, which I'm quite happy with. Tastes great. I'll post the recipe soon.
Anyway, I'd encourage anyone using 1388 to go ahead and give something similar a try. Worked great for me.
BTW, for those who'll ask: The starter was a full 4 liters stepped up starter (1 liter, 2.5 liters, then 4, I think). The reason I did this MASSIVE of a starter was that the yeast was from February and I wanted to make sure it'd do the job. Chilled the starter a couple of days ahead of time and poured off the liquid, pitching only slurry. Worked great.
Anybody else done stepped up fermentation temps?
HOMEBREWING SINCE 1997