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Fermenting Temperature

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I just started my very first batch of cider (or any thing) this week in my basement. The basement temperature is around 64 degrees. Through research this week This seems to be below the temperature that most yeasts are "supposed to be" fermenting at.

Now my question, it is better to ferment at lower temperatures or higher ones?

I see that there are "heating belts" for fermenters that warm the must to 72F. Is that the "Ideal" temperature? (I am using a light bulb under my fermenter on a stand to attempt to warm it up.)

Thanks for the responses in advance
CR
 

BobTrempe

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CiderRat,
I just brewed (or am in the process of brewing) my first batch of cider. I've been fermenting in both the primary and secondary at 65f. Bubbled like a son of a gun in primary and is still burping in secondary. I don't know about your yeast as I used a champagne yeast, but sounds ok. Are you getting any bubbling?
Bob
 

BobTrempe

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LOL!
Yup, if it is anything like mine, it will not stop for a while.
Sit back and relax.
Bob
 

Adolphus79

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65 isn't too cold really, but it is on the lower end of most wine yeasts (below 60 and you might start having problems). If anything, it just means a slower fermentation, with a more 'earthy' flavor. I would be careful using a light to heat with, first the basic electric/fire hazards, as well as light pollution disturbing your brew.
 

Adolphus79

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CiderRat said:
Mike -
The Light is plugged into a GFI. So, I have the fire/ life hazard covered.

"Light pollution disturbing the brew" can you explain this.

Thanks
CR
While it is well known that light causes hops oil to break down (skunking your brew), some people also believe that it effects wines in somewhat the same way. Depending on the wine you are making, it could effect the color and possibly the taste. While I am not 100% sure either way myself, I prefer to err on the safe side, and keep all my stuff in a dark corner of the house. You may want to check into a Brew Belt (for buckets & better bottles) or a FermWrap (for glass carboys) from your LHBS if you want to keep the brew warmer than room temp.
 

Yooper

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Wines and ciders don't skunk, but they do have some unpleasant effects from light. They will actually change color. I can't remember the chemistry behind it (I think David_42 actually posted what happens to wines and light) but I keep all my wines, beers, ciders, mead, etc. covered and out of direct light.
 
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With the temp going down in NJ, I've been looking into buying the Brewing belt. The supply houses say that the instructions that come with the belt say "Do not use on glass carboys" Two follow up questions:
1) Why not?

2) Has any one ever used it on glass carboys, what cautions do you suggest?

Thanks in advance.
CiderRat
 

sirsloop

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I just leave the primary behind thick drapes next to my sliding glass door... ends up being 62-64°F right next to the door this time of year. If it get REAL cold I just pull the bucket back a foot or so. I'd rather go low and slow with this stuff. My last belgian I went low and slow too... but when I noticed it slowing down I moved it on the other side of the apartment so it warms up to ~75° and finishes. With cider I don't think you have to worry.

Oh... if will likely be much warmer if you bring the fermenter up off the floor a couple feet. If its 64 on the floor maybe its 68 at waist level. Move the thermometer around at different heights to see where it is at what level.
 

Schmitz

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I pressed 30 gallons and left it on my porch in late October. The temperature swung down to mid 40's in the carboys. Action ceased.

I guess that's not shocking (pun?), but I do like to keep it around 60, in the mid 50's it seemed to bubble fine, of course they were still bubbling a bit 4 weeks later. After a while, I usually give up and bring em in the house to 70 degree temperatures to finish them up.
 
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Adolphus79 said:
65 isn't too cold really, but it is on the lower end of most wine yeasts (below 60 and you might start having problems).
My cider has been fermenting in my basement at 58 degrees for a month now. I read in a couple places (I can't remember where) that between 40 and 60 degrees is ideal for cider. I'm using champagne yeast. Do certain types of yeast ferment better in different temps? I hope I wasn't mislead. Perhaps you were refering to other wines besides apple Adulphus?...I hope...or else I could be screwed.
 

Tusch

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Hey harry, if you are brewing at 58, most yeasts in cider will work fine. It will most likely ferment quite a bit slower, but some argue it will ferment cleaner and some the opposite. But it is good to know that all yeasts have different optimal environments: temperature, acidity, alcohol tolerance, ect ect
 

Adolphus79

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HarryBlueHands said:
My cider has been fermenting in my basement at 58 degrees for a month now. I read in a couple places (I can't remember where) that between 40 and 60 degrees is ideal for cider. I'm using champagne yeast. Do certain types of yeast ferment better in different temps? I hope I wasn't mislead. Perhaps you were refering to other wines besides apple Adulphus?...I hope...or else I could be screwed.
No, 58 may still ferment, that's not far from the 'optimal range'. If anything, it will ferment much slower, and as I mentioned before have a more earthy flavor (in cider this means more apple flavor seems to keep through to the end). I think below 50 and you'll be lucky if any wine yeast works. Lager yeasts work that low though, so if you're in a pinch you may try those.
If it's fermenting, then you're not screwed, and if anything it will take longer, but be mellower and smoother than if it had been fermented at the higher temps.
 

termeric

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do i need to keep the must out of direct light when its in the white plastic bucket?
 

sirsloop

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I dont think its gonna hurt anything as long as there are no hops in there, but still I dont think its good. Keep it dark if possible.
 
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