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Can I raise fermentation temps based on gravity for an ale?

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nasmeyer

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A while back I read about someone wanting to fully attenuate a lager by increasing their fermentation temps a few degrees based on the current gravity of their beer, somewhere around 50% of terminal gravity, then raise it a few more degrees when the gravity hits around 75% of terminal gravity, and again at 90% and I think again at 100%. I think they started the fermentation around 55* and ended around 65*. Can something similar to this be used for ales? I would think with ales you would have to start around 62* and not end above 70* but am only guessing. Would the 50% 75% 90% 100% targets be safe points to raise a degree or two for an ale and common ale yeast?
 

Stauffbier

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Lots of people raise the temp on an ale after the first few days of fermentation. I usually start at about 64 and end up at about 68 on most of my ales. The reason people do it on lagers is for diacetyl rest..
 

BigFloyd

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Can something similar to this be used for ales? I would think with ales you would have to start around 62* and not end above 70* but am only guessing. Would the 50% 75% 90% 100% targets be safe points to raise a degree or two for an ale and common ale yeast?

Forget about those specific percentages for ales. They don't really apply and you'd be driving yourself nuts messing with all those unnecessary gravity readings. In fact, the only ones that are important for lagers is about 75-80% (when you bring it up for the diacetyl rest) and then reaching a steady FG (I suppose you could call that 100%-ish).

Much depends on the strain being used. For many ale yeasts, pitching into 60-62*F wort, starting the ferment at 63-64*F and later (once it slows down) raising it slowly to finish around 67-68*F is an excellent temp profile. Some strains are different. With Nottingham, it starts great in the mid-upper 50's to finish in the mid-60's. You might start a Belgian abbey ale off at 65*F for a day or two then bump it 2* each day until you're in the mid-70's.
 
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nasmeyer

nasmeyer

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Bigfloyd, I use 1056 liquid or 05 dry, and usually just brew pale ales and IPA's. If it would be a waste of time and beer doing gravity checks, would you recommend a one degree increase every day for 5-6 days, from 62* ending around 68* starting after high krausen?

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BigFloyd

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Bigfloyd, I use 1056 liquid or 05 dry, and usually just brew pale ales and IPA's. If it would be a waste of time and beer doing gravity checks, would you recommend a one degree increase every day for 5-6 days, from 62* ending around 68* starting after high krausen?

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Yep, except that I'd start it at 64*F. Chico strain is known for kicking off some peachy notes below that temp.
 

RM-MN

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There doesn't seem to be any science to back up the idea of the one degree per day of temperature rise. Once that fermetation has slowed, you don't get any off flavors from letting the temperature rise without that fine control. Your time when off flavors are introduced are the lag period into the fast ferment. Control the temperature for that time and you're good. Read this article by Chris White. The only change he has made to it is to include the lag phase in the time that yeast can throw off flavors. http://www.brewgeeks.com/the-life-cycle-of-yeast.html
 

Stauffbier

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Yeah I leave my Chico at 64F for the duration of the initial fermentation (4-5 days), and then I let it free rise to 68F. Depending on ambient temps that might be a day or it might be a few days..
 
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