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Old 03-02-2012, 01:45 AM   #1
GreenDragon
 
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So I passed around one of my beers at the local homebrew club meeting last month and pretty much everyone at the same time asked if I was using temp control. I wasn't.. just the hall closet which normally stays a constant 72F (I know that's too high but I can't swamp cool).

The beer I brewed tonight I just left in the garage. We're supposed to have a high around 65 for the next 2-3 days. The trouble is at night it drops down to the upper 30's.

I know too high of a ferment temp will cause off flavors, but other then possibly put the yeasties to sleep, will a low temp cause any issues? What about the beer going from 45-60F everyday, will the change in temps cause off-flavors?

When summer hits I'll be fine. I've got a johnson controller but it's useless in the winter here in KS.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:49 AM   #2
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Well if it goes down to below the yeasts dormancy temp then it can halt fermentation...Check out my ghetto lagering thread for some ideas on how to keep a fermenter warm. You might want to invest in and wire up a cheap ebay temp controller like I did.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Well if it goes down to below the yeasts dormancy temp then it can halt fermentation...Check out my ghetto lagering thread for some ideas on how to keep a fermenter warm. You might want to invest in and wire up a cheap ebay temp controller like I did.
Revvy, correct me if I'm wrong - to answer the OP's question, and add to your fix of the problem - lower temperatures can cause off flavors, depending on style and yeast. Hefeweizen yeast is said to produce Clove flavors when fermented closer to 60F, and more pronounced Banana at 70F and slightly higher. We might be splitting hairs here, but it does exist, no?

Edit: (Example) - If someone were going for a more Banana Hef, and could only ferment at 58-60 degrees, the Clove over-powerment could be an 'off-flavor'.

 
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:40 AM   #4
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I've never heard of low temps causing off flavors. I don't brew hefs, so I can't comment on that. But generally, the cooler we can run most ale yeast within it's temp range, the LESS chance of off flavors you get.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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This was Nottingham so I should be safe then, as long as it didn't go to sleep last night.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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Wide swings in temperature con affect the quality of your beer. Best to keep temp as stable as possible.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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Why not wrap the fermenter in a sleeping bag every night and remove it during the day to minimize the temperature fluctuation?
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayhem View Post
Why not wrap the fermenter in a sleeping bag every night and remove it during the day to minimize the temperature fluctuation?
Interesting idea.. I do have an old sleeping bag in the garage.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
I've never heard of low temps causing off flavors. I don't brew hefs, so I can't comment on that. But generally, the cooler we can run most ale yeast within it's temp range, the LESS chance of off flavors you get.
Hmm...I remember reading this a while back, and no one contested it. Assumed there was some truth to it.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/get...2/#post2230510

 
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:24 PM   #10
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You're looking for stable or slightly increasing temps. As Revvy said - static cool isn't a problem (to an extent), but a dropping temp is. Falling temps can put the yeast to sleep and they can drop out prematurely.

In my head I think of it like a one-way valve. I can always keep the temp the same or slightly increasing, but never falling until I crash cool. So +1 for insulation to keep it from dropping.

For hefe's, you still get plenty of banana at the lower end (62)...its just a much cleaner banana flavor and quite balanced with the clove. At the higher temps you get some other esters that may taste good, but aren't necessarily ideal. If you're getting "off" clove flavors it's not the temp...possibly chlorine/chloramines making chlorophenols that kinda resemble cloves. Bad, medicinal cloves.

 
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