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Cold weather fernenting

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cdub2103

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Hey guys,

I'm brewing for a second time, an Irish Red extract brew. My concern is that it's about 8 degrees up here in the north east and my old, creaky Boston apartment can't keep my fermentation area (aka closet) much above 58 degrees at times.

My recipe call for a range of 60 to 70 degrees, so I'm not pushing it to far.

Should I just expect slower, less vigorous fermentation? Or should I make an effort to get that temperature up?
 

Stix

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The temps during fermentation rise as much as 10 degrees. You should be fine around 58. I just fermented in 48 degrees for an IPA with 1056 yeast. Was slower but its almost done after 1 week.
 

AWNbrewer

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Dont mess around with the temps to much. Just let it be and let it do what it does. With it being colder it may just take longer to ferment, adjusting the temps and causing big swings in temperature while fermenting can cause some serious "off" flavors (words of experience). The only thing that concerns me is I guess it could cause stuck fermentation. Just leave it alone and check the SG every so often to see if its getting to the appropriate gravity reading. The Irish Red ale is a dang good beer bty.
 
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cdub2103

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Thanks for the responses. I'll let it be for the time being, but in the event of a "stuck fermentation" do you have any suggestions?
 

JohnK93

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Another inexpensive option is to buy a 18-20 gallon bucket from Home Depot, fill it with water, and get yourself a fish tank heater. Put the fermenter in the larger bucket and fill the bucket with water so it's just below the level of the fermenting beer. This is what I've done (also cold here in CT...especially this week!) and I think it has been doing a pretty decent job of keeping the fermenting beer at a stable temp. Amazon has some pretty cheap heaters...mine is a 100 watt, and make sure it has temperature control, not just a single set temp. For 20-30 bucks you should be able to keep the temps a higher and pretty stable.

I may also put a little fish tank bubbler in the outer bucket to move the water around a little because the heater turns off when the water around it is at the set point, so the water on the opposite side isn't quite as warm.
 

ThePonchoKid

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Get one of the heat belt thingys maybe?

But really it sounds like with the lower temps you may have more of an opportunity than a hindrance
 

CTS

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From my experiences the lower the ferment temp the better the beer taste in the end.
 

tennesseean_87

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You want to keep it as clean as possible for that style. Fermentation will get you above 60 once it gets going. I'd pitch around 63 to let it start warm and wrap it with a blanket. Once fermentation gets going (only a few hours if you pitch properly), you can ditch the blanket and let it go cool to keep the clean profile the style is know for.
 
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