Fermentation temperature ~77F, problem?

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jgohean

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I'm fermenting my first batch at around 77F. I'm a little worried this is too warm (the recommended range on the liquid yeast package was 66-70).

Could this cause any problems? Explosion? Off-flavors?

Is there any recommended methods for keeping the bucket cool in the summer?
 

JMcManaway

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You may want to search around - there's a few threads on this (though you do have to know what you're looking for).

Too warm fermentation temperatures run the risk of producing Esters which produce fruity flavors (usually banana). Your beer won't explode at 77 degrees (unless you put something wicked volatile in there).

There are a variety of things you can do from very expensive fridge set-ups, to buying a 60qt Igloo cooler, to building a little box out of insulation.
 

Mirage

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Put a wet t-shirt or towel on/around it and blow a fan on it. It helped me keep my temps down. The warmer temps will create off flavors, for hefes like JMcManaway said, banana flavors. Not sure what ale yeasts produce but the beer will not be as good as it could be. Hope this helps. Good luck!
 
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jgohean

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Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm using just an in house thermometer for the ambient temperature reading - so I'm sure the fermentation temperature is higher.
 

Soulive

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Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm using just an in house thermometer for the ambient temperature reading - so I'm sure the fermentation temperature is higher.
Yeah, your fermentation temp is probably more like 80-82F which isn't ideal. Depending on the strain, you could get some off-flavors and/or fusel alcohols. You won't really know until its ready to drink, so start planning your next batch and don't worry about it...

edit - also make sure you have a blowoff going rather than an airlock
 
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jgohean

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I have an airlock - hope it doesn't paint the closet walls before I get home - that's asking for a load of trouble.
 

Soulive

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I have an airlock - hope it doesn't paint the closet walls before I get home - that's asking for a load of trouble.
Setup the blowoff when you get home. Then proceed to bury you airlock for eternity. No big deal...
 

JoMarky

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Make a fermentation box out of insulation. I used a styrofoam cooler my omaha steaks came packaged in and cut a whole in the top for the airlock to stick out of. Put a 24oz bottle of frozen water in and I had the opposite problem, the temp in the cooler was 55* and the bottle stayed frozen for 8 hours. This was with ambient temps at about 75 mid-day.
 

gimmebeer

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As noted above, an active fermentation in a room that's 77 is going to be well into the 80s. Sad-but-true reality is that you will probably get significant off-flavors. You might limit them by slowly bringing the temp down with the old wet T-shirt approach.

If you can find a plastic tub or some such thing, put the fermenter in the tub with the wet towel or whatever and add a couple of frozen liter bottles around the edges. Since heat rises, most of the cool air from the liter bottles will stay in the vicinity of the fermenter and slowly lower the temperature. Keep a couple of fresh bottles cycling between the freezer and the tub.

Good luck.
 

Bobby_M

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+1 to the last post. Big rubbermaid bin filled half way up the carboy with water. Then swap out 1liter bottles of ice to maintain it at about 65-70F. This is most important in the first 3-5 days.
 
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jgohean

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Big rubbermaid bin filled half way up the carboy with water. Then swap out 1liter bottles of ice to maintain it at about 65-70F.
Advice heeded. Thanks everyone!

 

944play

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I'm a big fan of the Rubbermaid 10 gallon cooler:

Which awesomely doubles as a MLT:

Edit: Don't put a full glass carboy in a 10g round cooler. It fits, but it's a scary ordeal getting it back out.
 

bernerbrau

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For what it's worth, off flavors do tend to mellow out with bottle aging. Since the gasket on my bathtub drain started leaking I haven't been able to fill the tub to regulate temps. Still, my last sample of the porter was out of this world. So I suppose it goes without saying that when all else fails, RDWHAHB.
 

stuartm

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As noted above, an active fermentation in a room that's 77 is going to be well into the 80s. Sad-but-true reality is that you will probably get significant off-flavors.
I had about 2 days of temperatures very similar to yours on a porter I just brewed. I have not noticed any off flavors (although there could be something I'm missing). I would cool it down and reserve your judgment for after the beer's been in a keg or bottles for 3 or 4 weeks.
 
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