Better to ferment at low temperature or high temperature

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apisgallus

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I really did try and search for this.....
I'm a beginner brewer and last week made a Brains bitter clone. I used lallemand Windsor yeast temp range 59F- 72 F.
I would like to repeat this brew but, my basement is 61F and living space is about 70F
What is the best , basement or upstairs? I have no other way of controlling temperature (yet) and would only invest in it if the current batch (batches) tasted like watney's red barrel in Mallorca.Attach files
 

RM-MN

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I'd ferment it in the basement. The yeast activity will warm the beer to keep it in the lower middle of its preferred range. If you try this upstairs, since the starting temp is higher the yeast will get more active and likely warm the beer 5 to 7 degrees and that would be too warm.
 

PCABrewing

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I would say basement.
You don't mention if you have a thermometer on your fermenter but if you do, did you notice that the wort temp rises during fermentation?
With that in mind, at 61 degrees you have 11 degrees that you can afford to have as an increase whereas at 71, you only have one degree and you are outside the optimal range of the yeast.
Make sense?
I'm not saying a brief venture outside the range is necessarily doom, but you stand the best chance of getting the intended performance out of the yeast if you stay in its optimal range.
 

hotbeer

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Keep in mind that if you sit it on the bare floor in the basement or any slab floor in your home, it might get considerably cooler than the ambient air temps.

Carboys probably more so than other fermenters with legs.
 
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apisgallus

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Thanks to all. I was leaning towards the basement (really need to stop drinking down there) but being new, any advice is most welcome. Have a stick-on on some fermenters but not the one currently in use.
 

davidabcd

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As mentioned, do the basement and then bring the fermenter upstairs after three days and leave upstairs for ten more. The logic being that you'll generate decent heat in the beginning, offset by your basement temp. Then as fermentation slows/comes to a stop, it's safe to have a higher ambient temp.
I do something similar, never had temp control and don't plan on it.
Edit: As an aside, I wouldn't worry about starting a thread topic that's already been discussed; it happens but it's not a big deal. Also, that other thread was 14 years old or something like that.
One thing that's appreciated (which you did just right) is putting your question under the most appropriate heading (like Beginners Beer Brewing Forum).
 
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ncbrewer

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As mentioned, do the basement and then bring the fermenter upstairs after three days and leave upstairs for ten more. The logic being that you'll generate decent heat in the beginning, offset by your basement temp. Then as fermentation slows/comes to a stop, it's safe to have a higher ambient temp.
I agree, and will even suggest that warming it up after a few days is not just safe, but also recommended. This is from Zainishef and White's Yeast book.
 
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apisgallus

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As mentioned, do the basement and then bring the fermenter upstairs after three days and leave upstairs for ten more. The logic being that you'll generate decent heat in the beginning, offset by your basement temp. Then as fermentation slows/comes to a stop, it's safe to have a higher ambient temp.
I do something similar, never had temp control and don't plan on it.
Edit: As an aside, I wouldn't worry about starting a thread topic that's already been discussed; it happens but it's not a big deal. Also, that other thread was 14 years old or something like that.
One thing that's appreciated (which you did just right) is putting your question under the most appropriate heading (like Beginners Beer Brewing Forum).
Thanks for the aside. The search function doesn't always work well does it.
 

lumpher

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I ferment most of my ales at 62. After a couple weeks, I raise them to 70 degrees and let them sit for a few days. That means the 61/70 combination you have naturally is what I do with a temp controller. Basement, then warm up.
 

davidabcd

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I agree, and will even suggest that warming it up after a few days is not just safe, but also recommended. This is from Zainishef and White's Yeast book.
Yeah, that's how I think about it. I'm glad there's someone who's done the legwork (Zainishef) to back up my anecdote.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I agree with the advice to start off the the basement. An aggressive fermentation can push the temp up 5F or more above ambient. Controlling that spike helps to produce more consistent beers.

I have found that ramping up fermentation temperatures once fermentation starts to slow is a good way to ensure that the fermentation finishes off strong as well. I have not used Windsor lately myself, but lots of the English strains drop out very quickly. Some times before they have finished up all the sugar. Warmer temps and a gentle swirl to keep some yeast in suspension can help.

I will add that it is much easier and cheaper to add a little bit of heat to a fermenter than it is to cool. I picked up a seedling mat and heat temperature controller combo off Amazon for around $25. If your basement is consistently cool, then with a heat wrap might give you a lot of control over fermentation temps.

Thanks for the aside. The search function doesn't always work well does it.

...but after you have made a post all the threads that you were looking for magically appear in the "Similar Threads" list below! Also, the search will default to "This Thread" if you start from a thread. That gets me often when I forget to change it to "Everywhere".
 

Steveruch

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I would say basement.
You don't mention if you have a thermometer on your fermenter but if you do, did you notice that the wort temp rises during fermentation?
With that in mind, at 61 degrees you have 11 degrees that you can afford to have as an increase whereas at 71, you only have one degree and you are outside the optimal range of the yeast.
Make sense?
I'm not saying a brief venture outside the range is necessarily doom, but you stand the best chance of getting the intended performance out of the yeast if you stay in its optimal range.
It depends on the yeast. Over the summer I brewed a couple of beers over the optimal temperatures with no issues.
 

laurentobias

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I'd ferment it in the basement. The yeast activity will warm the beer to keep it in the lower middle of its preferred range. If you try this upstairs, since the starting temp is higher the yeast will get more active and likely warm the beer 5 to 7 degrees and that would be too warm.
Thanks for this (and other similar) reply. I’m a beginning brewer also and have never seen anything in instructions about considering the rise in temperature due to the fermentation when trying to maintain optimal temp for the yeast. It’s never even occurred to me that I’m automatically fermenting at a 5-10 degree higher temp than the temp of the room/space I’m using.
 

Steveruch

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Thanks for this (and other similar) reply. I’m a beginning brewer also and have never seen anything in instructions about considering the rise in temperature due to the fermentation when trying to maintain optimal temp for the yeast. It’s never even occurred to me that I’m automatically fermenting at a 5-10 degree higher temp than the temp of the room/space I’m using.
Maybe, maybe not. A lager fermenting in a 50f cooler and gently burping every 5-10 seconds is not going to generate that much heat.
 

Golddiggie

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I typically set the ferment temperature by what the yeast will give me at said temperature. Some list different characteristics/flavors when fermenting at different temperatures. If they don't list any changes, then I typically select the middle of the range. Having temperature control for the fermentation opens up new possibilities for your fermentations. I've also played with fermenting under pressure and have selected that depending on the recipe and what I want from the yeast.

Most noticeable would be ester production of the yeast changing at different temperatures/pressure levels. If you're going to pick a different yeast for everything, then you have to trust information provided by the yeast lab. I'm using one yeast for the majority of my beers. Picking one other for higher ABV beers (above 10%) that I've used in the past with solid results. IME/IMO, going with one, or two, [at least for ale strains] means you'll KNOW what you'll get.
 

laurentobias

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Maybe, maybe not. A lager fermenting in a 50f cooler and gently burping every 5-10 seconds is not going to generate that much heat.
Fair enough. Sadly, I don't have a setup to cold ferment lagers. These beers are just hanging out, fermenting in my basement.
 

Golddiggie

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There are people fermenting lagers at higher temperatures, under pressure, with good results (from what I've seen/read). I'm not brewing lagers, so no skin in that game.
 
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