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Old 11-27-2011, 06:11 AM   #1
Mar 2010
Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 74
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(5 gal. all-grain ale) My research is conflicting.

This link talks briefly (and has links) regarding optimal wort temp for pitching homebrew.

(Temperatures below are used as RELATIVE examples – not etched in stone – which of course varies based on your beer/yeast types.)

My understanding is that it’s best to take your yeast out of the fridge and let it have plenty of time to get to room temp and be there for a bit – “2-3 hours” [or a starter that is already at room temp – or a cold crashed starter where you racked the DME beer off the cake] – let’s say to 72 degrees – and then pitch to a slightly cooler 70 degree chilled wort. Because it’s better to pitch to a slightly cooler wort and let the yeast temp come up, which is generally much healthier for the yeast [cell walls] than being “shocked” by warmer liquid. (This is important. You may have more “action” in 75-80 degree wort, but that inhibits the proper 'visually silent' lag time phase, and ultimately your yeast will be less healthy for it in the long run [attenuation].) Then stick that 70 degree primary in your bathtub of water and cover with an old t-shirt and let it all come down to ~68 or whatever’s optimal for the recipe fermentation temp.

(This example of course assumes many things, not the least of which is that the yeast type has a recommended temp range of at least 68-72 degrees.)

So, as I understand it, it’s a three-setup downward kind of thing. That is “best practice” to keep ale yeast happy. True?

(This is NOT to say that beer won’t turn out just “fine” pitching 60 degree yeast into 80 degree wort stored in the 75 degree garage for 2 weeks. That will work. That always works. That might actually be more fun. But what is “best practice” for great tasting homebrew, via considered relative ale yeast/wort temps?) Any info is appreciated!

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:56 PM   #2
Double_D's Avatar
Feb 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,945
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I'd try them side by side, not exactly of course. But try the easy way on half and try the hard, superstitious, "best practice" way and see which you like better. And have a homebrew while doing this. As an experiment in relaxation. Which is what I tell people I'm doing while drinking a beer at 10 am.

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