First brew, temperature higher than I anticipated.

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LegendOfDylan

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I started my my first IPA brew last night, and I (like further research has told me might be a common mistake) didn't take into account that fermentation generates some of its own heat. I have my beer sitting in the bottom of a fairly small pantry/closet, and now about 20 hours after start I went to check the temperature and although it's under 70 in my apartment, the stick on thermometer I have read 78 on the side of the fermenting pail. The only short term solution I found online was wrap a cool towel around it and let the heat evaporate off, my questions are about the severity of that temperature discrepancy (I know it isn't enough to kill the yeast but I want to know how much extra funk you get from the extra 8 or so degrees) , if I can expect the amount of heat generated to be around that much throughout this and the second fermentation, and if I manage to find a way to keep it cool (suggestions are welcome) for the rest of the brew if that first day too high will be mitigated?

I'm already turning down the heat in my apartment but if I set it below 66-67 my girlfriend might revolt, she already wasn't happy waking up yesterday to a house thick with hops.
 

GoodTruble

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It may matter, it may not. Don't lose sleep over it. There is no way to know how much difference it will make until later.

If room temps are notably lower, you can use a small fan to circulate cooler over the surface. That's one of the easier options.
 

RM-MN

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I find that setting the fermenter in a tub of water helps control the temperature during the fermentation. It takes energy to raise the water temp and the extra surface of the tub allows a little evaporative cooling too. If necessary you can even add ice or frozen water bottles to the tub to cool it even further.
 

hotbeer

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If you aren't brewing for an exact taste of something you or another did before, then it's not likely to be of any consequence. You might just get some more fruity esters for aroma or taste. Which is typically expected taste for many IPA's.

78°F isn't out of the optimal range for some yeasts. And certainly many yeast can stand temperature excursions well outside their optimal range.

If your floor is concrete slab, then that might soak a lot of the heat from your fermenter if you can set the FV directly on it. But check and see if your floor is actually cooler. A infrared thermometer can help with that.

Luckily, my wife doesn't seem to smell hops. So I get to experience all their marvelous fragrance for myself.
 
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LegendOfDylan

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The elephant in the room: Which yeast?
If you aren't brewing for an exact taste of something you or another did before, then it's not likely to be of any consequence. You might just get some more fruity esters for aroma or taste. Which is typically expected taste for many IPA's.

78°F isn't out of the optimal range for some yeasts. And certainly many yeast can stand temperature excursions well outside their optimal range.

If your floor is concrete slab, then that might soak a lot of the heat from your fermenter if you can set the FV directly on it. But check and see if your floor is actually cooler. A infrared thermometer can help with that.

Luckily, my wife doesn't seem to smell hops. So I get to experience all their marvelous fragrance for myself.

I came home today and it was down to 68 with much less bubbling in the airlock, but I cracked it open and there was a decent layer of foam
 

Miraculix

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I can't lie, I put the yeast in and tossed the packet, I've been searching and can't find what was supposed to come with it, and given that the instructions and items in my kit had different items I don't know if it would even help.
Ok, well.... One thing is for certain, you will end up with beer!
 

Beermeister32

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Brewing education is a process of improving your process, step by step, brew after brew. We’ve all made dozens of mistakes and improvements along the way. You will get better and better in the upcoming years.

A warm fermentation can produce a rough tasting brew, but not always. All you can do at this point is what you are doing already, get the temperature down. If it tastes off, you’ll learn the lesson and make it better next time.

The same holds true with relationships. Better you find this intolerance to beer process needs and smells now and make improvements. Gives you the opportunity to find a more beer tolerant female before you make the mistake of marrying one. Beer before Dear, Brau before Frau!

Brew on…
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hotbeer

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Knowing what kit you purchased will also give us some idea about your yeast. Though some kit makers just put the yeast in a very non-descript packet with only the word "yeast" written on it and consider it a secret. I feel that's a big loss to your beer making experience as knowing how different yeasts work in a particular brew is very much part of your learning experience for making beer.

Your brief temperature excursion to 78 is unlikely to be bad for your ale. However if you keep opening the lid to peek, then you might wind up with a cardboard like flavor.
 
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