Continental Pilsner Fermentation Temps

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axr

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I've been scanning the various threads for some answers but am getting some conflicting info.

First batch has been in primary for 8hrs and no action. I know that it can sometimes take 24-72hrs. before fermentation tbegins but my question is about my fermentation temp.

My primary is in a dark room w/ a consistent temp of 52F. Is this temp too cold for the yeast to ferment? I also have a dark mechanical room w/ a temp range of 65-71F. IS this a better temp for fermentation? Should I give the carboy a swirl?? Should I wrap a towel around it?? Should I move it to the warmer room?? I thought I've read that cooler temps are better for fermenting??

Not worried - yet- but would rather correct any issues sooner than later.
 

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52 is perfect for a pilsner. Your lag time depends mainly on how you pitched. What temp did you pitch at? Did you make a starter? Your pitching procedures will have a huge effect on how quickly fermentation starts.
 

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I've been scanning the various threads for some answers but am getting some conflicting info.

First batch has been in primary for 8hrs and no action. I know that it can sometimes take 24-72hrs. before fermentation tbegins but my question is about my fermentation temp.

My primary is in a dark room w/ a consistent temp of 52F. Is this temp too cold for the yeast to ferment? I also have a dark mechanical room w/ a temp range of 65-71F. IS this a better temp for fermentation? Should I give the carboy a swirl?? Should I wrap a towel around it?? Should I move it to the warmer room?? I thought I've read that cooler temps are better for fermenting??

Not worried - yet- but would rather correct any issues sooner than later.
Cooler temps (low 60's for ale yeast) are usually best. I would move it somewhere a little warmer, 52 is pretty low.

Ah my mistake, it's late I didn't notice it was a pilsner.
 
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I made a starter of Ale yeast for 15 minutes and I might have pitched it at ~ 65-70F (can't recall and I didn't write it down). Given this, what should a reasonable lag time be?
 

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What type of yeast was it exactly?

52 is too cold for (most) ale yeast. You probably need to warm it up. Was this a kit? Many kits say they are "pilsners" or other lagers but then include ale yeast.
 

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As Beerrific said, if you used ale yeast, the fermentation should be done at ale temperatures. I've seen kits called Continental Pilsners that were really ales done in the pilsner style. If that's the case here, bring the fermenter to 65-68 degrees and keep it there.

What kind of yeast did you use? Some ale yeast strains can give you a very clean almost lager-like characteristic.
 
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I used an 11gram packet of Nottingham yeast (Danstar product) that came with the kit. As mentioned above, I rehyrdrated it for 15 minutes before pitching it.
 

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That's an ale yeast (and a damn fine one) but it is capable of fermenting at lower than avg ale temps. I've heard of people having good results with notty at 58, and simulating more of a lager character, so if you can get it to that temp I think it will do nicely. If you can't do 58, err on the higher side.
 
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Unfortunatley the only two temp choices, shy of assembling a warming tank, are 52F or 65-71 (boiler room). Should I transfer the wort to this higher temp room to activate the yeast? Is this temp too high for this starin of yeast?

Not paranoid just want my first batch as "right" as possible!
 

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Unfortunatley the only two temp choices, shy of assembling a warming tank, are 52F or 65-71 (boiler room). Should I transfer the wort to this higher temp room to activate the yeast? Is this temp too high for this starin of yeast?

Not paranoid just want my first batch as "right" as possible!
Since 52 is too cold, you'll have to go with the warmer temp. 71 is a bit too high, since the fermentation can cause the temperature inside the fermenter to climb quite a bit. I'd go with the wamer temperature, but try to insulate it somehow to keep it from getting too warm. Maybe in a bin with some water in it, with a towel on it to "wick" up some water. I like to ferment that yeast at 62-65 degrees for best results.
 

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Fermentation temps are so important, at least you're determined to get it right. It took me a while before I realized how important it is.

If I had to choose between those two temps for nottingham, I'd choose the 65-71. I'm just not sure it could keep going at 52. It might quit early. On the other hand, you may have more options than you realize...

Yeast actually create significant heat during fermentation; enough that the internal temp of a carboy might be 5 degrees above ambient, so if you put the beer in 52 ambient air temp and wrapped it up in a blanket, the yeast will likely warm themselves up. I think that's what I would do.
 
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OK, I think I might have one other room in my basement that is around 56-58F (clothes closet so the wife might pushback). I'm temping it now to confirm. Don't want to belabor this but this temp would still be lower than the recommended 62-65F you mention. Should I consider this or go w/ the 65-71F range and insulate the carboy?

Thanks for all the feedback and advice!
 

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OK, I think I might have one other room in my basement that is around 56-58F (clothes closet so the wife might pushback). I'm temping it now to confirm. Don't want to belabor this but this temp would still be lower than the recommended 62-65F you mention. Should I consider this or go w/ the 65-71F range and insulate the carboy?
If it still hasn't started, put it in the warm room until fermentation gets going, then transfer to the 58 degree room. Your beer will probably ferment around 63 in there, which is perfect for Notty (get a fermometer if you don't have one and stick it to the side of the carboy). I would then put it back in the warmer room once your brew is finished with vigorous fermentation (2-3 days probably). Most off flavors will develop in this vigorous fermentation stage. Let it finish in the warm temps and then, if your going to rack to secondary, place it in the coldest room for a couple weeks after racking to clear and condition. I know it's alot of moving, but this will give you the best result IMO.
 
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Transfered the primary to the 58F room and insulated it with a towel. There is some activity in the airlock - bubble action every 8-9 seconds right now. Looks like the warmer temp has activated the yeast. Hopefully vigorous fermentation begins soon; will continue monitoring.

I do plan on racking to a secondary and appreciate the recco on transferring and finishing in the colder room (52F).
 

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Transfered the primary to the 58F room and insulated it with a towel. There is some activity in the airlock - bubble action every 8-9 seconds right now. Looks like the warmer temp has activated the yeast. Hopefully vigorous fermentation begins soon; will continue monitoring.

I do plan on racking to a secondary and appreciate the recco on transferring and finishing in the colder room (52F).
Depending on how much head space you have, you may need a blow off tube. Notty can ferment pretty violently and you don't want to find your airlock on the floor tomorrow. My guess is that your within hours of vigorous fermentation. In a few days you can transfer back to the warm room to finish. Let us know how it goes.
 
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Depending on how much head space you have, you may need a blow off tube. Notty can ferment pretty violently and you don't want to find your airlock on the floor tomorrow. My guess is that your within hours of vigorous fermentation. In a few days you can transfer back to the warm room to finish. Let us know how it goes.
Checked on it this morning and it's picking up steam (more bubbling in the air lock but not vigorous as some of the threads I've read -- yet). You mention transferring it to the warmer room to finish. My plan was to complete the entire primary fermentation process in the 58F room. Should I leave it in the cooler room (58F) for 3-4 days for vigorous fermentation to complete, transferring it to the warmer room (65-71F) to finish off primary, racking to secondary and placing in coolest room (52F) for 2 weeks to clear and condition?

BTW, primary is 6.5g carboy. Batch was 5g. I was told I would have enough head room for fermenting
 

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I made a starter of Ale yeast for 15 minutes and I might have pitched it at ~ 65-70F (can't recall and I didn't write it down). Given this, what should a reasonable lag time be?
This is not a starter.

A starter is where you give the wort and yeast at least 12-18 hours to grow more yeast. There may have been a bit of foam starting, but no real yeast growth.

You simply re-hydrated in wort.
 
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This is not a starter.

A starter is where you give the wort and yeast at least 12-18 hours to grow more yeast. There may have been a bit of foam starting, but no real yeast growth.

You simply re-hydrated in wort.
That's correct. I misstated what I meant. I rehydrated the Nottingham yeast for 15 min. prior to pitching.
 

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You'll notice when fermentation slows down that the temp of the wort will probably drop a bit and approach the ambient air temp (58f). This is the time you want to put it in the warmer room to help the yeasties finish fermenting and clean up after themselves (like a diacetyl rest I suppose). Once you've reached terminal gravity you can rack and condition in the cold room for a couple weeks. This will result in a nice clean, clear brew, perfect for summer. :mug:
 
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My wife just clobbered me in the head with a reminder that we are out of town this weekend. Can I rack to the secondary after only 6 days in primary (Friday)? Can I over ferment the primary if I wait until Monday to rack to secondary?
 
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Don't rack early. I average 10 to 14 days in the primary, but I'd go 30 days without blinking.
Whew! This is good to hear.

Since I was trying to follow the 1-2-3 timeline, if I keep the wort in the primary for 10-14 days before racking, should I then reduce the amount of time the wort stays in the secondary or should it still stay for 2 weeks?
 

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Whew! This is good to hear.

Since I was trying to follow the 1-2-3 timeline, if I keep the wort in the primary for 10-14 days before racking, should I then reduce the amount of time the wort stays in the secondary or should it still stay for 2 weeks?
2 weeks is still fine for secondary. I know it's tough to wait that long, but your beer will be better for it. You'll still have plenty of yeast is suspension for bottle carbing.
 
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2 weeks is still fine for secondary. I know it's tough to wait that long, but your beer will be better for it. You'll still have plenty of yeast is suspension for bottle carbing.
Excellent. This will give me a reason to brew my second batch of homebrew while I wait. :ban:

I'm interested in brewing an IPA, any recco's on this for a second batch??? Is too soon for this style beer?
 

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there a bad time for IPA!?
Never! IPA is the one style I'll brew year around.

axr, there are so many variations on this style, let us know what you look for in an IPA and we can give you some recipe recommendations.
 
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Never! IPA is the one style I'll brew year around.

axr, there are so many variations on this style, let us know what you look for in an IPA and we can give you some recipe recommendations.
Since I can pretty much control this now I'd like to brew a nice hoppy IPA with an ABV of around 6-7% (I've probably described a ton of IPAs but I'm looking for a hop finish similar to that of Goose Island). Not sure if I'm ready to go AG on this batch but if you have a recipe you can share that would be awesome!
 

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