Originally Posted by illinifan
I made the Northern Brewer Sierra Madre Pale Ale kit about 10 days ago. I used Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) and have been keeping it in the mid-low 60 degree range using a swamp cooler. I'd like to keep it on the yeast for 3-4 weeks. Do I need to maintain the temp for that entire period, or just until I reach FG? Ambient temps in the basement right now are right at 70 and I'd like to free up my cooler for something else.
The Brew Strong podcast on fermentation temp control might be a good listen for you.
From what I remember, temp control is the most important during the first 24-36 hours, while there is yeast growth happening. After that, a reasonable temp increase wouldn't be a big deal.
You could probably control the temp for the first 24-36 hours then let it ramp up to 70 or so over a few days. From there, the 70 degree ambient temp of the room would probably be fine. I've used a similar fermentation for my last few batches with 001/1056/US-05. 68 for the first 36 hours, ramp to 70 for 2 days then 72 for 2 days. They finished out in about 5 days and were very clean.
Listen to the podcast and give it a shot.