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Old 08-28-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default Pitched at 90, and.... Bang !!

I brewed an IPA Sunday night and pitched at 90. I know I should let it cool more, but I've done this before with good results and needed the space to bottle my Dutch Dark, so I went ahead.

Last night, I came home to check on it and rotate my ice bottles out, and a little was coming out from under the lid of the bucket. It wasn't too much, so I didn't worry (this happened before also.) I re-secured the lid, cleaned out my airlock and changed the ice.

This morning, I went to change the ice again, and found a mess. The little guys were going nuts. Like on steroids. I'm not too worried about nasties getting in there, since the wind shear coming out of the bucket was so strong, I could barely get near it myself. When I took the airlock off, it was coming out faster than a shook-up can of Schlitz.

What I am concerned with, is that if they go on like this, am I going to have to re-pitch? Is it possible for the yeast to completely spend itself out?


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Old 08-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #2
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Yeast LOVE warm temperatures. It will finish up fermentation really fast at a warm temperature- often within 24 hours. You definitely won't need more yeast.

Unfortunately, a warm temperature fermentation means the yeast go crazy, and get more active. When they get more active, they produce even more heat. And when they get warmer, they get more active and so produce even more heat. That means a sometimes explosive fermentation.

The only side effect from a too-warm fermentation is off flavors. If you can live with the off-flavors, then no worries. I can't, so I always pitch my yeast at 60-65 degrees.


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Old 08-28-2012, 01:14 PM   #3
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Fermentation heats up. NO matter what.

You have to pitch low, like yooper said, to allow for at least a 3-4 degree warm up.

I am surprised you haven't had problems. First batch of banana IPA and you will unfortunately learn the hard way.

Vigorous fermentation is a bad thing.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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After the brew, the temperature was dropping steadily for 30-40 minutes or so in an ice bath in the sink. I pitched at 90, and transferred to the rope-bucket-where-magical-things-happen, with more ice around it. I figured that by the time the little guys took hold, it would be much lower.

The water temp Sunday night was upper 50-low 60s, and has been steady there.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dev110 View Post
After the brew, the temperature was dropping steadily for 30-40 minutes or so in an ice bath in the sink. I pitched at 90, and transferred to the rope-bucket-where-magical-things-happen, with more ice around it. I figured that by the time the little guys took hold, it would be much lower.

The water temp Sunday night was upper 50-low 60s, and has been steady there.
That seems alright to me and sometimes I pitch warm and then hit it with the ice if I'm feeling lazy. How big is that pail though? And how high did you fill it? Also, if this has been an issue before you should really think about rigging up an blowoff tube.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
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Ice bath is an ineffective chiller. The middle of the wort can be 120F while the outside of the bucket is cool.

I think the answer is in your blown bucket. Sorry, but you are wrong.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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It's a "5" gallon bucket, with the 5 gal mark about 2-3 inches below the top. I knew that the yeast would raise the temperature, but I had no idea it could be that much of a difference. Gotta work on patience.


I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:00 PM   #8
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I used to pitch dry yeast at 80 and then put the brew in a cold spot, around 68-72 and let it go...

I never had problem but I think that was mostly due to the fact that I was brewing average ABV beers,,, nothing high.

I had my first top pop off recently doing a Kolsch where I pitched at about 85 (way over recommended) because I could not get the wort cooled enough::: BUT I did place it in a Fermentation Chamber (Freezer with controller) and all that happend was the top came off... no beer loss.

My big beers I have cast at 60 and let them warm up into the high 70s low 80s but they only spend a little time there.

From my reading I found a few breweries (Belgian) that let temps up in to the 80s to speed up the process but I have never heard anyone over 90...

You may be fine since I think there is a lot of "wiggle room" when homebrewing since some of use are not trying to reproduce the same taste each time but just be aware you could end up with some "heat produced flavors" that will not go away with aging.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon3 View Post
Ice bath is an ineffective chiller. The middle of the wort can be 120F while the outside of the bucket is cool.

I think the answer is in your blown bucket. Sorry, but you are wrong.
So how do you control fermentation temps? There will always be a temperature gradient unless there's mixing or an internal chiller.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon3 View Post
Ice bath is an ineffective chiller. The middle of the wort can be 120F while the outside of the bucket is cool.
Do you have actual evidence that the center of a fermenter could be 50-ish degrees higher than the water bath? That sounds pretty extreme.


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