fermentation temp question

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shady oaks

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Getting ready to brew my first batch this afternoon, an Irish Stout from the home brewery, and had a few lingering questions. I was going to place my fermentor in the basement, which is dark, 63 degrees F and sub 30% humidity. Will this climate be okay, or should I move it upstairs, with a temp around 69 degrees F, still low humidity but with more ambient light?
Next question is about rehydrating the yeast. I have been reading How To Brew and am slightly confused when to do it. I gathered this: 1 cup of water @95-105 degrees, sprinkle yeast on top, cover and let sit 20 minutes. Then stir in and recover for 15 minutes. How long can it sit, covered before you pitch it?
 

llazy_llama

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I'd say basement. Pushing close to 70 degrees can be a bit high for some yeast strands, although some do flourish in that range. In an Irish Stout, I'm guessing you wouldn't want to risk the esters, so your basement is probably ideal. Don't be surprised if fermentation takes up to 48 hours to start though.

If you're planning on rehydrating your yeast before you start brewing, then pitching after you've cooled your wort, I don't see a problem with leaving it (covered, of course) for a few hours. I probably wouldn't leave it overnight, but that's just personal preference.
 

brewmasterpa

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i probably wouldnt worry about rehydrating the yeast, as long as your wort is cooled to a proper pitching temperature (65-70 for this style of beer). your fermenting temperature is a little low at 63, you might consider bringing it to between 68 and 75. you can ferment at 63, it'll take a little longer to ferment and you might not get proper flocculation of the yeast. you would be fine with safale 04 in this particular brew under your conditions though if you have no other choice. i have brewed several irish ales and porters under these conditions and theyve turned out just fine. i wouldnt worry about it too much.
 

llazy_llama

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If you ferment in your basement, then bring the beer upstairs after fermentation is complete, flocculation isn't going to be an issue. The gentleman from Arizona is correct that fermentation will be slower at this lower temperature. If you're worried about the light upstairs, you can simply put a dark t-shirt over your carboy.
 

woollybugger2

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once fermentation starts it will add a couple of degrees to the wort, you should insulate the carboy in the basement and you should end up @ 65*
 
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