Ferment Temp Question

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flagman

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I brewed a Pumkin Ale and a Blonde and put them in a 120 quart ice chest up to the 4 1/2 gallon mark with water and have been swapping out frozen two liter bottles. For the last five days I have kept the water bath at 60 degrees even though my house is 78. From what I can tell the beer inside has never got over 64 degrees. I have been checking with a laser type temp gun. This is my third and forth beer. The first two were before I found this site and were fermented at 78degrees room temp. They are both terrible, but I will get them drank some day.

How long should I keep this Up? I was thinking about letting them start warming up slowly and leaving them in primary for 10 to 14 days and then moving to secondary.

Do I have to keep the secondary this cool or can it stay at room temp 78 degrees?

Plan is to give the Blonde three weeks to clear and condition and the Pumkin ale a month in the secondary. I am going to keg the Blonde and Bottle the Pumkin. I figured it would take the Blonde roughly another week to carb from what I have been reading, that would roughly make it 6 weeks old. Wanted pumkin done by thanksgiving. 10 to 14 days Primary, 4 weeks secondary and three weeks in bottle, roughly 9 weeks old by thanksgiving.

Thanks for any and all comments.
 

FlyGuy

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What yeast are you using? Most ale yeast prefer a temperature in the range of 65 - 70 degrees. I am not sure why you need the ice bath???
 

elmetal

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with ambient temp at 78 he definitely needs an ice bath. maybe not so cold but it is for sure needed. improved my beers like you wouldn't believe
 

Mountainbeers

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A good way to reduce your temp without doing it so much is to soak a towel in water and wrap it around your carboy. Then blow it with a fan, consistently changing out the wet towel. I think you can search for this as the "swamp cooler" method.
 

elmetal

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I have ambient temperature of 76.

with a waterbath from tap (tapwater is 80degrees), and a shirt+towel wet one time and wrapped around, I ferment at about 70 degrees without needing to rewet or to change or ice anything

if I want to ferment at 65 I just throw in a few ice packs maybe once sometimes twice a day for the first 3-4 days of fermentation
 
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flagman

flagman

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One of the Yeast I was using was has a range of 56-70 (56-64 according to beersmith) degrees and the other was 60-72 degrees so I tried to ferment them at or around 62 degrees. I guess I am an over achiever went from one extreme to the other. From what I have read so far I have not found anything about ill side effects at lower temps? All of the hype is about being to high.

Will the cool temps have adverse effects? Both yeast were wyeast activator packs and had been activated 12 hours before pitching. I saw bubbles in both airlocks within 8 hours of pitching and by 24 hours they were both rockin and rollin. this morning on the sixth day I am seeing them bubble the airlocks about 3-4 times a minute.

So back to my question, now that primary is basically over can I let them begin to warm up to my room temp?

Will they be ok at warmer temps while in my secondary?

Thanks,
 

elmetal

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I usually ferment at 65-70 depending on the beer and then after fermentation is done I leave at room temp (78) for a week or so
 

FlyGuy

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The ice bath method is a PITA, and you won't be able to keep your fermenter at a constant temperature using this method.

It sounds to me like you should be choosing different ale yeasts, if possible, to suit your climate. As mentioned, a water bath with a wet towel or cotton sweater wrapped around the carboy should get you down about 10 degrees (especially if you put a fan on it). That will get you in the range of many good ale yeasts, and you should be able to hold that temp more easily (assuming you aren't in an area with high humidity or rapidly fluctuating humidity).

Otherwise, you are going to need to look to a fridge/freezer and a temperature controller, or start drinking Belgians!

:mug:
 
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flagman

flagman

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I ice thing is a pain but I watched it like a hawk for the last five days. I had a thermometer floating in the water and checked every four or five hours. I did wrap tshirts around them but no fan. I have been looking for a used freezer just havent found one yet. I live in the desert there is no humidity here. I just looked and it is 38% and it gets worse in the winter time. Funny you mentioned Belgians I was looking at the temps of yeasts this weekend and saw they ferment warmer. I went to the store and bought three different kinds, they are pretty good. I am going to do a Witbier next.

I took the ice out last night and have been letting them warm up slowly. Both are 65 degrees now. I think I am going to let them continue to warm up now on there own in the water until I transfer them into secondary.
 

permo

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maybe ferment with a yeast more tolerant to higher temps, or try a belgium style beer where fruity flavors from higher ferm temps contrbute to the styles character. I recently brewed a belgium amber with a nottingham ale yeast (i know its contradictory) and I let the ferentation get up to about 78 degrees before I cooled it down. the flavor is just right for a amber belgium ale.
 

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