Originally Posted by justincredible
I brewed my first batch of beer last night, an Irish Red Ale kit from Midwest Supply. Everything went well with the brewing process. I transferred it to the primary fermenter (plastic bucket) and took it down to my basement. The temperature seems to range from 73-75º, though. Do I need to figure out a way to drop that temperature down below 72º or will it be okay? If so, is the wet towel/fan option the easiest way to do it?
Thanks in advance!
You definitely need to get your fermentation temps down. The cheapeast/easiest/most accessible way for most people is the towels/fan method. Works a treat.
If you ferment hot, you're going to get a lot of unusual flavors ranging from bananas and fruit (weird) to fusel alcohols and medicinal tastes (awful) which can make your beer not so tasty and even unpleasant to drink. My first batch, fermented from 78-80F in my apartment, gave me headaches and made me a little nauseous, not to mention tasting like potato starch water sweetened with robitussin.
That said, time heals (almost) all wounds. After a month in the bottles, that first batch was rapidly approaching drinkable. If your beer comes out of the primary (which should be long, say 3 weeks, if your first day or two of fermentation was hot) tasting a little funky, bottle it up, let it sit for a long, and get to work on your next back. That beer will be tasty yet!