Greetings, I'm a new brewer, currently in the stage of my first brew where I worry about everything!
It was the house-written extract Hefeweizen recipe of my brew shop. I believe my cleaning and sanitation were thorough, and that I did the recipe as directed, with one exception being that I put all of my extract in at the beginning of the boil instead of doing the dry at 60 minutes remaining and the liquid at 30. My brew shop owner advised me to make that change because I let him know I had a 10-gallon pot and could do the full boil.
The boil went as planned but turned out darker than I expected, though the wort still tasted like wheaty wort, so I'm fairly confident that it's still the makings of beer.
Now...what I was not prepared for was the reality that without putting a big bucket in my and my roommates' walking path, I can't really find a sweet spot in my drafty apartment that will consistently stay in the recommended temperature range for my Wyeast 3068 yeast (65-70 degrees). Like many apartments in NYC, the temperature swing between a spot by the window and a spot by a radiator can be drastic.
The smack pack swelled as expected, I pitched it at about 4 pm on a Monday afternoon, and I had vigorous airlock activity by the time I woke up in the morning.
But I also had the temp in my cabinet drop somehow to high 50s while I was at work. The bubbles were still going, though.
Would it be true to say that more off flavors are caused by too-high temperatures than too low? (I've read an article or two now on what causes off flavors, and there's much more talk about too warm than there is about too cool.) If the weather in my cabinet dips into the high 50's for a few hours a day, what is the worst that can happen? A somewhat-slowed-down fermentation?
Am I totally off base and should move it to a mid-to-high 70's spot? Should I just straight up not mess with it, at least while it's bubbling seemingly happily?
Thanks! Looking forward to getting some of these worries out of my system!