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Ambient temp vs fermenter temp

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Jrwhite6779

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Ok, my first batch has been fermenting steadily since Dec 13. The fermenter is in a shower/tub in a small unused bathroom with a ceiling vent that has a thermostat controlled heater fan in it. I have had the heater set at around 70 degrees. I have a concern. The temperature on the LCD thermometer on the vessel has now dropped down below 60, yet it is still fermenting...(ive read that yeast goes dormant below 60). The yeast is us safale 05. I turned the heater up above 70, but vessel temp has not changed. I just now have wrapped the fermenter in a fleece blanket and stuck a new adhesive thermometer on it in case the first one was faulty(but the new one just dropped down to 58 as well). I feel as if since its still actively fermenting i shouldn't really worry, but still would like some friendly advice and/or reassurance that everything is going to be ok. Thanks!
 

billl

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Ale yeast certainly slow down the lower the temp, but they don't just all pass out at 60 degrees. You should try to get that up to 65 though for a nice clean finish. Do you have a way to doublecheck that temp?

Is your house temp in that 60 degree range? The beer shouldn't be any colder than the room itself.
 

worlddivides

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I believe US-05 will technically ferment as low as 55, but its ideal range is 64-70F. I usually ferment with US-05 around 66-68.
 

PADave

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How cold is your house? How cold is the room that the fermenter is in? The beer isn't going to be any colder than the room it's in. Fermentation produces heat. During active fermentation the wort is going to be 5+ degrees warmer than the surrounding air.
 
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Jrwhite6779

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The room is definitely warmer than 65. I believe that the tub is conducting cool temperatures from outside. I live I a very old(100+yrs) building. The fleece should help insulate. Also my of was 1.059. The fermentation has been fairly active. The kit said primary should take 7-14 days. I was curious if there are visual cues besides airlock activity to determine a good point to take a sample for gravity reading.
 

brew_darrymore

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I feel as if since its still actively fermenting i shouldn't really worry, but still would like some friendly advice and/or reassurance that everything is going to be ok.

I would normally keep fermentation temperature low for 3-5 days (depending on OG) and then let temperature rise to allow yeast to clean up after themselves.

You say your OG is 1.059 and you're fermenting at around 60F. Give it 7-10 days at that temperature and the fermentation will very likely be done by that time. Can you then move the fermenter to a warmer place (65-72F) for another week for yeast cleanup?
 

PADave

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The room is definitely warmer than 65. I believe that the tub is conducting cool temperatures from outside. I live I a very old(100+yrs) building. The fleece should help insulate. Also my of was 1.059. The fermentation has been fairly active. The kit said primary should take 7-14 days. I was curious if there are visual cues besides airlock activity to determine a good point to take a sample for gravity reading.
Airlock activity is not a good indicator of fermentation. Time is your friend. Don't touch it for 2 weeks. Every time you sample you expose your beer to infection. Personally, I only open the fermenter once, to dry hop. I do 3 weeks in fermenter, then take one FG reading, when I'm bottling.
 

Sadu

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Since this is the OPs first batch, it will get drunk quickly and oxidation is a lesser concern than not knowing what the beer is doing. If you need reassurance, open the lid and take a gravity sample. If you are near or at FG, you can stop worrying about it. In terms of visual clues this will come with experience. Fermenting in glass makes this a lot easier but you can peek through the airlock hole to see what the krausen is doing. It will start to drop away near the end of fermentation and this is a good time to raise the temperature a few degrees.
Once you have more experience you will have confidence in your yeast process, can spot what a healthy fermentation looks like, and won't be in such a hurry so it gets easier to leave the beer 2-3 weeks. Until then, take gravity readings as required to ease your mind :)
 

brandonlovesbeer

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The back side of Bathtubs typically are exposed to the outside. Or the space between the walls that is not insulated.
If you've ever felt the bathtub it's usually VERY cold.
 

ncbrewer

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The room is definitely warmer than 65. I believe that the tub is conducting cool temperatures from outside. I live I a very old(100+yrs) building.
Since the tub seems to be cooling the beer too much, you could put the fermenter on a blanket, or set it on the floor it that's warmer than the tub.
 
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Jrwhite6779

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I wrapped the fermented in a fleece blanket and the temp rose to around 62. All good now. Is moving to a secondary fermentor after 2 weeks a waste of time and too risky for contamination or are there worthy benefits of doing so. I will be dry hopping for at least 2 weeks I think. Also beer will be going to keg not bottles.
 

PADave

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I wrapped the fermented in a fleece blanket and the temp rose to around 62. All good now. Is moving to a secondary fermentor after 2 weeks a waste of time and too risky for contamination or are there worthy benefits of doing so. I will be dry hopping for at least 2 weeks I think. Also beer will be going to keg not bottles.
Don't waste your time or risk infection with a secondary. Just dry hop in primary. If you dry hop too long, you can get grassy flavors. Most do it for 3-7 days.
 
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Jrwhite6779

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Ok so the kit I have recommends conditioning for 3 weeks. I've read that postprimary beer should not stay on the "yeastcake" for that long.. I'm certain it is in the first week if conditioning now... Do I need to worry about the yeast cake and rack to second vessel or wil the beer alright for the full 3 weeks of conditioning in the primary fermented?
 
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Jrwhite6779

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Also is temperature during conditioning ok to be cooler now so that i can floc out as much of the yeast as I can? What is the recommended temp for 3 weeks of conditioning. Like I said before... Beer will be going to keg.
 

JONNYROTTEN

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Forget what the directions in the kit say. There usually old and outdated.
Do this and you will be fine:
At 10 days dryhop in primary.
Dryhop for 4 days.
Pull hop bag if you used one
Cold crash if you can for 2 days. If you don't have a way to cold crash and its around 32 deg outside just leave your bucket outside for 2 days.
If not forget the cold crash altogether.
Rack to keg
PURGE KEG 5 or 6 times
Set to 30 psi DONT SHAKE
Leave it there for 36 to 48 hours
purge keg and set to 12 psi
Drink!!

Timing doesn't have to be exact. You can dryhop at 10,11 12, 2 weeks whatever.Same with cold crashing. 2,3,4 days is fine. Stick to 30 psi for 36 to 48 hours.Its proven correct time without over carbing
 

Morrey

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You mentioned you'll be kegging. A keg is in fact a secondary so treat it as such. Rack from primary and fill your keg with beer and dry hop right in the keg.....retrieve the dry hop bag later; look up ways to dry hop in keg.

Large breweries call their huge kegs brite tanks and they can dry hop, carb and/or condition all in this tank, or in your case, the keg. Saves an extra step, reduces oxygen exposure and the risk of infection.

Various opinions exist, but after a couple of weeks in primary (most beers), the yeast has fermented out and cleaned itself of off flavors, so at this time its best to condition off the yeast cake by taking it to keg. I sometimes carb and condition simultaneously cold at 35F, or you can always condition in a cool place lower than your ferm temps, then apply gas later. Some even carb naturally in the keg.
 
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