Fermentation Temp, is my beer okay?

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cpbrockman

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I finished brewing an IPA yesterday afternoon and placed my fermentation bucket into a temperature controlled fridge, or so I thought.

I purchased a thermostar dual temperature controller and connected my fridge to it, set the set point to 73degrees and let it go.

When I put the wort in the fridge yesterday evening the temp was 63. I didn't think too much of it since it takes some time for a fridge to change temperatures and thought by morning the temp would be up to 73 where it would maintain for the fermentation process. When I woke up this morning I checked in it and the temp decreased to 53! I immediately took the bucket and placed it on a 2x6 on the concrete floor in our unfinished basement. Within a couple hours it had worked its way back up and close to 60. I haven't checked for the last few hours but am expecting it to reach 68-72 where it may be okay.

Is my yeast okay? Can or should I add more? I'm going to be really disappointed if I lose this batch! I'll worry about making the temp controller work the way it is supposed to later, right now I want my beer saved!

Thanks~
 

CamG

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Ok in my opinion I would say your beer will be just fine. The yeast is normally stored in a fridge or even a freezer so it likes the cold. You basically just put your yeast to sleep. They will wake up and start doing what they do best as the temperature rises.

However I would suggest re-thinking your fermenting temperature. I personally feel 73 is too high for an IPA. I set mine to 65 and take the temperature from the side of the fermenter not the air of the chamber.

What yeast did you use ?
 

billl

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The yeast will be fine. Just swirl it around a bit to make sure the yeast isn't just clumped on the bottom and keep it around 68.

And just for clarity, are you measuring beer temp or air temp?
 
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cpbrockman

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CamG~ okay on the temp, I was just following the suggestion on the yeast for the suggested temp. I used Wyeast 1335 British Ale II.

billl~ I had stuck the temp probe in small bottle of water that was sitting just above the top of the fermentation bucket.
 

CamG

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Hey Cbbrockman,
Looks like you’re going to be ok and your beer should turn out great.

I would like to try to explain something about your fermenting temperature for you, as my beer has increadibly improved since I learned this.
I may not explain it clearly so please ask questions if it doesn’t make sense. I will do it in point form as it will be easier for me.

Lets say you want to ferment your beer at 70 degrees
You set your temperature controller to 70 degrees
You place your temp probe in a bottle of water.

When beer ferments it gets very active and generates heat.
The beer that you think is at 70 degrees can actually be 75 or much higher
The temp probe in your bottle of water will still be at 70 degrees because it’s not fermenting.
Your temperature controller will think everything is fine because it sees a 70 degree reading in the water and will not turn on the fridge.
Your beer can be fermenting well over 75 degrees the whole time and you wont know it because the water reading still says 70.

This is why I now tape my temperature probe to my fermenting vessel. It reads the temperature of my beer and controls the fridge appropriately.

There are many other ways to do this, You can also put the temperature probe in your beer while it ferments.. I will leave this up to you to decide what is best,
But please consider getting rid of the water bottle. It has no idea what is happening in your fermenter.

Oh and by the way I am not suggesting you ferment at 70. I was just using that as an example. I would still shoot for 65 -68 with Wyeast 1335 , but that again is just my opinion.

Hope this helps,
Cheers,
Cam
 

RM-MN

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CamG~ okay on the temp, I was just following the suggestion on the yeast for the suggested temp. I used Wyeast 1335 British Ale II.

billl~ I had stuck the temp probe in small bottle of water that was sitting just above the top of the fermentation bucket.
Most of us are concerned about the temperature of the fermenting beer, not a bottle of water. Tape your temp probe to the fermenter and cover it with some bubble wrap or cloth for insulation and let the controller control the fermenter temperature.:rockin:
 

Yooper

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CamG~ okay on the temp, I was just following the suggestion on the yeast for the suggested temp. I used Wyeast 1335 British Ale II.

billl~ I had stuck the temp probe in small bottle of water that was sitting just above the top of the fermentation bucket.
Are you talking about the generic instructions on the package? I like that yeast strain a lot, and ferment it much cooler. I generally start it at 63 degrees or so, and go up to about 68 degrees as fermentation slows.

The website says:

Wyeast 1335

A classic British ale profile with good flocculation and malty flavor characteristics. It will finish crisp, clean and fairly dry.

Origin:
Flocculation: high
Attenuation: 73-76%
Temperature Range: 63-75° F (17-24° C)
Alcohol Tolerance: approximately 10% ABV
 
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cpbrockman

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CamG: That makes perfect sense. I guess I didn't realize that fermentation creates heat. I thought I was smart and placed it in liquid in the fridge versus just let it hang out in the fridge. I will definitely try taping it to the vessel and like RM-MN mentioned, probably insulate a bit too.

Update: I went to go check it out just a moment ago and it was sitting around 65 degrees and actively bubbling through the air lock. My intent was to give it a stir but since it was fermenting so well I left it alone.

Thanks all for your advice and help. It is much appreciated.
 

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