first brew fermentation temp. too low?

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wadwrich

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I read a lot of stuff on here about keeping the fermenting beer down to between 60-70F and that the actual fermenting temp would be like 3-5F warmer than ambient temp. Well my house stays around 70-72 so I wanted to cool it down a little more. I read about people keeping it in a water bath with a bottle of ice in it. I did that before I went to bed last night and this morning the water temp is around 50 and there are no bubbles yet. I know that people say it can take up to 24 and even 36 hours before seeing that, but I am concerned that it is too cold for ale. I brewed an irish stout and used s-04 yeast that I rehydrated. It has been in the water bath about 14 hours now. With the water temp at 50F should I take the fermentor out? Or maybe just take the ice out? If my yeast went to sleep, will they wake up if the beer warms up?
 

Captain Damage

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50F is a little cool for an ale fermentation, but nothing to worry about, just take the ice out and let it naturally warm up a little. The yeast will wake up. The good news is that by keeping the beginning temperature down, you're cutting ester production.
 
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wadwrich

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So just take the ice out of the tub but leave the beer in there so that it won't warm up too fast?
 

BlindFaith

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Don't worry about it warming up too fast. Drain your tub and add some normal 60-70 degree water and then keep an eye on your temps. As it wakes up, it will start the ferment. Just try not to let it get too warm (70+) and you will be fine. Just add some frozen water bottles to keep it around 60-65. You will have beer anyhow. The lower temps will just make it better, but don't freak if it gets a little too warm or cold for that matter.
 
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wadwrich

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27 hours and still no bubbles. Starting to get a little worried.
 

BigFloyd

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It's going to take some extra time for all of that liquid to warm up and the yeast to begin their activities. Patience Grasshopper.
 

duboman

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wadwrich said:
27 hours and still no bubbles. Starting to get a little worried.
Could take up to 72 hours, no worries, it'll get going
 
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wadwrich

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62 hours now and still no bubbles. Looks like there is a bit of a krausen ring though. Really hope this worked. Don't know where I went wrong. I hate not getting things right. So disappointing.
 

RM-MN

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62 hours now and still no bubbles. Looks like there is a bit of a krausen ring though. Really hope this worked. Don't know where I went wrong. I hate not getting things right. So disappointing.
Bubbles mean.....that you have bubbles. A krausen ring means that you have fermentation. The slow start is a good thing as some of the compounds that produce off flavors form in that early part of the ferment if the temperature is too high. Start your ferment at the cool end of the yeast's preferred range and you make better beer. Once the ferment has slowed, temperature should be increased.
 

BigFloyd

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Bubbles mean.....that you have bubbles. A krausen ring means that you have fermentation. The slow start is a good thing as some of the compounds that produce off flavors form in that early part of the ferment if the temperature is too high. Start your ferment at the cool end of the yeast's preferred range and you make better beer. Once the ferment has slowed, temperature should be increased.
This ^^^^.
 

funnycreature

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I haven't seen bubbles during my past 3 fermentations and the beers turned out just fine. Lack of bubbles can be due to a leak in the fermenter (mine is most likely where I squeezed the temperature probe through the grommet where the air lock is). I see a nice Kräusen so I'm not concerned at all!
 
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wadwrich

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so I should just wait out the remainder of a week and then take a reading with the hydrometer?
 
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wadwrich

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Okay. I gently rocked the bucket back and forth in a circular motion. Going to leave it alone now for the next four days and then I will take a gravity reading. Speaking of gravity, when I took my first reading before pitching yeast it was around 1.090. I know that is way too high. All I can think of is that when I topped it up I didn't mix it well enough and got a bit of the concentrated wort. It was supposed to start at 1.045. Or maybe because when I topped it up to what I thought was five gallons it was actually 4.5. The other half gallon actually just turned out to be foam. Would that have made the OG higher? I am guessing yes, but not that much higher. And if that reading was correct, could that be part of the reason the fermentation is so slow and weak? Can I pitch more yeast after it has already sat for a week? Would I need to do that if the gravity is still high?
 
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