fermentation temperature?

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fear992

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Hello All!
After high temperatures gave me off flavors for my first batch, I decided to make a styrofoam fermenting chamber (cooled via a 100watt mini fridge at its lowest setting). It's definitely cooling down the beer, but I fear that it may be too low.
I have a batch sitting in there at a constant 60-61 (constant 65 when most of the fermentation occurred), and I believe 63 is like the way-lower end of the allowable temperature range for ales.

Should I keep it the way it is, and just let it ferment longer (will it take significantly more time?), or should I turn off the fridge for half a day and turn it on for the other half to make it a bit warmer? Thanks!
 

Bricks41

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Fermentation is like BBQ... low and slow is the way to go.

After 5 or so days you could let it warm a bit to help facilitate with the cleanup if you so choose.
 

C-Rider

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Your 5 gallons of liquid are probably warmer by a few degrees than the air around the container. Relax have a home brew. :0)
 

h22lude

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Like C-Rider said, your beer will be higher than the ambient temp in the cooler. At peak fermentation your beer could be 10* higher than the ambient air. Yeast love making heat.

I like to ferment at the lower end of the range (which is different for every yeast). Right now I am fermenting an IPA at 63. During the first few days my fridge was in the high 50s.

You are right where you need to be. If peak fermentation is over you could raise it a few degrees.
 

unionrdr

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It depends on the particular yeast as to how low a temp it can tolerate & stay active. I think it's US-05 that can go down to high 50's. But yeast like Cooper's more like 64F. Look up the low end temp for the yeast involved to be sure. When initial fermentation is done,let the temp come up a couple degrees. Speaking of temps rising during initial fermentation,mine never rose more than about 3 degrees.
 

TopherM

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What yeast did you use?

I ferment most standard ales around 59F with a -2 differential, so it goes as low as 57F, and that's just about perfect. Like someone else stated, cooler, slower fermentations are the cleanest fermentations. You have to stay within the yeast's optimum range, but with very few exceptions (wheats/hefes/saisons), you definitely want to be at the lower end.

63 is pretty much dead in the middle of a common ale yeast's ideal temp. You're fine.
 

metanoia

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Yeah, let us know what yeast you used. You can easily search for your yeast strain on Google to easily find what the fermentation range is. Like others have said, fermentation seems to work best at the lower end of the range; it'll take a few more days to finish fermentation, but that's totally worth it to avoid any off-flavors that might occur from fermenting at the high end of the temperature range.

I brewed an ESB yesterday that's been around 65* in my home office; I cracked the window to try and get that down a few more degrees. I usually aim for lower 60s for fermentation of ales, increase to lower 70s after fermentation so the yeast cleans up the beer nicely, then crash in the low 40s for a couple days to drop the yeast.
 

unionrdr

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I like high flocculation yeasts,since when the sugars & by products are gone,they settle out clear in no time. I even go to sites like midwest & NB to look up yeast info. They have some good PDF's on them from the manufacturers.
 

metanoia

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I like high flocculation yeasts,since when the sugars & by products are gone,they settle out clear in no time. I even go to sites like midwest & NB to look up yeast info. They have some good PDF's on them from the manufacturers.

Do you have a resource for knowing which yeasts are what kind of flocculation, or do you just have to go to each individual one and look it up?
 

unionrdr

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You can either look up individual PDF's,or sometimes the description of the yeast will say what Floc rate it is. I know midwest's descriptions give that info. Haven't seen a whole list yet.
 

metanoia

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Yeah, I took a look through NB after reading your post. I've looked up what the different levels of flocculation means before, but what does it mean if the flocculation is "no"? There won't be any suspension at all?
 

unionrdr

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I hate it when they put "no" in the description column. That simply means the info isn't available. Try midwest. They do list floc rates & have PDF's. Midwest can be a great resource for R & D. You can contact them by phone or E-mail too. Theyre great at answering questions.
 

dadshomebrewing

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you can also look at the websites for white labs, and wyeast, etc.

they should each have information for their own products
 

unionrdr

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Yeah,those too. I do think that's where I found the same sheets as the PDF's on midwest. Good info to know in order to establish norms that are common to certain styles of yeast & the like.
 
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fear992

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Thanks for the reply guys!! really appreciate it
I don't know what yeast it is, as the package is all smeared up, but I can read that the range is 65-75. D: It's a dry yeast that came with the kit.
 
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