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Old 08-01-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
KyleWolf
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Default "fermenation" vs "cleaning" fermentation temps

Hey everyone.

So this post has 2 parts, the question. and the story/question that led to the first question.

Part 1:

So, "fermentation" and "cleaning" I guess could also be switched to "primary and secondary" depending on your system. but for my case I am suggesting the time that the beer is actively fermenting (krausen/wk 1) and the "cleaning" period when the yeast are chewing up all the randoms and the beer is clearing/cleaning/etc (wk 2).

We all basically know that during the fermentation part (1st wk) we need to really keep the beer around 68 (assuming ale, non saison-type). or even a little cooler for high gravs. But what about the clearing/cleaning time interval? It is as critical? Can the off flavors still be produced from non-actively fermenting yeast?

part 2:

I ask because I can really only ferment 1 beer at a time at 68. So I tend to wait till the main fermentation time is done then let the beer sit at room temp during the 2nd wk. I did 4 batches at a time recently due to special circumstances (1 was a saison and another a hefe so I could afford them to be warm during primary), and I let them sit at about 77 during the week they were clearing but not actively fermenting.

There are certain flavors in one or two of the beers I have never tasted before and I wondered if this could have been the cause. The flavors are hard to describe. It isn't hot alcohol and it isn't the regular "butter scotch, green apple, sour, plastic, stale-ness" that most people describe, but I can say the in particular, my belgian tripel didn't have the same ester profile I normally get and it lacked a nice pilsner quality (almost made me think I used 2 row over pils). So I was wondering if letting it get that warm after fermentation is what caused it or something else. Part of me thinks I could have finally exhausted my yeast, as this is my true "house beer" and I make it constantly using trub from previous batches. (the yeast is ommegang, so I can't buy it, hence why I reuse the trub, that and I always wanted a "house strain" lol). The only real reason I noticed is because only only do I brew this a lot, but it is normally very, very consistent.

Just looking for some opinions.
oh PS. this isn't a RDWHAHB freak out, the beer is quite drinkable, just off enough that it pokes at my curiosity.

Thanks
Kyle


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Old 08-01-2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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I'm not sure, but is it possible that the yeast is pooped out after all these generations and with higher temps? Can you not use a swamp cooler to maintain a lower temp?

If I have not address what you are asking then I apologize, though I would be curious to see what others say.

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Old 08-01-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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I'm still pretty new to all this, but here's how I see it:
What you're describing is more or less a diacetyl rest, which works great for either ale or lager, but in my opinion, your temp swing is too great.
I try and never let the beer get more than 5 degrees F over the ferm temp. 10 degrees is just too much to keep the flavor profile you were otherwise shooting for with your fermentation temperature.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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Without tasting the beer it is a little hard to tell, things to think about

1) Although the krausen had dropped was the beer completely finished fermenting or did raising the temp encourage yeastise to go back to work when previously they could not be bothered, either way was the slight off flavor was due to high fermentation temp (all be it unintended). Countering that thought ester profiles are mainly developed when the yeast is multiplying so this should not have an effect.

2) How many generations old is the yeast and what was it last fermenting?

3) Did you taste it when you moved it sampled it did you notice any off flavors then?

Sorry I'm posing more questions that answers but I think these points will help the collective intelligence make a more informed response.

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Old 08-01-2011, 08:51 PM   #5
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The fermentation never kicked back up (atleast not enough to have any action in the airlock).

The yeast is 5 or 6 generations old, though I have taken it at times and frozen it down in my frozen yeast bank (the fact my other frozen samples work well indicated this is not the problem). and the last time I used it was approx. 4-5 wks before I put this into primary, so it sat in the fridge for 1-1.5wks.

I didn't taste it, but I did notice that the nose was much more mild compared to previous batches.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #6
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you should really take gravity readings to ensure its done before you transfer. but if fermentation is finished, warmer temperatures are supposed to have less of an effect on "conditioning" (cleaning, clearing etc.) beer, but i don't know to what degree. i would check the yeast. maybe its time to start fresh. i've always heard that you can reuse yeast up to six generations then it starts declining in quality.


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