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Old 12-08-2011, 12:07 AM   #1
stratman471
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Nov 2011
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So, for the first day or so of fermenting my first batch of beer (American Red Ale, OG 1.049), the temperature read 64 F. Unfortunately, the recent change in weather has lead to a temperature drop. It now fluctuates between 58-60 F and I'm afraid that it will continue to drop (it's been 5 days since fermentation has started). Should I be concerned? And if so, how do I go about reaching the correct temperature?

 
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:15 AM   #2
badbrew
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In4replies.

One option is this and a small heater in a closet or small room.

Amazon.com: Lux WIN100 Heating & Cooling Programmable Outlet Thermostat: Home Improvement

Also remember your carboy is like 5 degrees hotter than the room.

 
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:21 AM   #3
msa8967
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Which yeast are you using? This can be important in answering your question since ale yeast will have different temperature ranges for best results.

If the fermentation is continuing then the reaction will be producing heat so you might just wrap your fermentor with a blanket or two. Also be sure the fermentor is not sitting on the concrete floor or have the bottom insulated from any thing that will draw heat away from it.

Do you have any external thermometer strip on your fermentor?
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
jonmohno
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Your main concern now is if its starting.If it hasnt you may want to adjust the temp until it does. What yeast? What temp did you pitch your yeast at?

 
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:38 AM   #5
squirrelly
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I think this may actually be a blessing in disguise. If you are using Wyeast 1056 then it really does well about 59*; that's not ambient temperature, but the actual temp of the beer inside the fermenter. At 58-59 it takes a bit longer to finish out, but you are left with a crisp dry clean beer which is right in style guidelines for that beer.

I ferment all of my ales at 59* no matter the ambient temp or season. The only exception is Belgian ales which like to be up in the mid to high 60s. Those styles are typically pretty "funky," and the high fermentation temps are a part of the esters which make the styles so popular.

 
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:46 AM   #6
stratman471
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Nov 2011
redwood city, ca
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Yes, I do have an external thermometer strip (attached to 5 gal. plastic carboy). The carboy is sitting in my closet on top of a towel. I wrapped the carboy with a towel but made no difference. Today, I wrapped it in a heavy blanket, so hopefully that helps.

I don't remember what the name of the yeast was, but according to the recipe and the books I've read, the ideal temperature should be around 65-70 F.

 
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:11 AM   #7
msa8967
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Since it has been 5 days since you pitched the yeast try taking a gravity soon to see if there is any change in gravity that shows activity. You could also place a heating pad (turned on low)in the folded section of the towel to see if that raises temp or you could get a small desk lamp with a 40-60 Watt bulb to place in the closet and check this every couple of hours or put it on a timer.

I wish I could keep many of my ales fermenting at the 58-60 F range. It takes longer to finish fermentation (3-4 weeks) but the beer comes out great.
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