High Fermenting temp

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PHXCobra

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So I have 5 of the Dundalk Irish heavy in primary right now about halfway through the 2nd week. I'm afraid my ferment sting temps are too high. My house temps are around 82 at peak and that's the temp in the closet it hides in (I have a therm in there). It cools off to about 70-72 at night but slowly warms up. At this point I don't have a fermenting chamber and don't want to turn on my AC yet. $400 AC bills suck.

What would a high fermentation temp do to my beer?


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johnsnownw

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Yeah, those temps are FAR from ideal. You're going to have some fusel alcohols among other off-flavors.

There isn't anything you can do about it at this point, but next time you brew consider using a swamp cooler.
 
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PHXCobra

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Well soon enough it'll be a constant 72 in the house so I won't be as concerned but I may have to buy a mini fridge with temp control soon


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wtfDean

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You'll probably be surprised at how un-affected your beer's taste might be. I have had beers climb past 85* on me before, and they turn out fine. They might be a little fruity but it certainly won't be undrinkable.
 
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PHXCobra

PHXCobra

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You'll probably be surprised at how un-affected your beer's taste might be. I have had beers climb past 85* on me before, and they turn out fine. They might be a little fruity but it certainly won't be undrinkable.
This is good to hear. I will be putting it in secondary today or tomorrow and have a line on a cheap mini-fridge that should fit my fermenters. Would keeping it cooler at secondary make any difference?
 
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PHXCobra

PHXCobra

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Recipe calls for secondary at 2 weeks. That's today


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iamwhatiseem

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Unless you are making additions that truly call for secondary, I would skip the secondary and just leave in primary for a month.
Is it a Northern Brewer recipe? They say to secondary everything.
Unnecessary and increases the risk of infection/oxidation with little to no benefit.
I use to secondary too when I was a noob...stopped at the advice from folks here - and never have since. And my beers are as clear as you could desire.
 

iamwhatiseem

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Yeah it is an NB recipe, I am reading it.
As I am sure 100% of folks here will tell you - you can/should skip the secondary.
I love NB - but there brew instructions leave a LOT to be desired.
 
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PHXCobra

PHXCobra

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Correct on northern brewer. Would there be any benefit to cooling off the primary now?

Would I cold crash for an additional 4-5 days to clear it up and get some of the stuff out?


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ktblunden

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Secondary is largely unnecessary unless you are racking onto fruit or bulk aging. You also shouldn't transfer a beer based on a timetable, but rather on a stable FG. If fermentation is complete and the yeast has dropped out and the gravity remains stable several days in a row it is ready for transfer. Don't go by the timetables in printed recipes.

EDIT: Cold crashing is definitely beneficial to clearing. If gravity is stable go ahead and cold crash it for a few days and then bottle.
 

iamwhatiseem

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Correct on northern brewer. Would there be any benefit to cooling off the primary now?

Would I cold crash for an additional 4-5 days to clear it up and get some of the stuff out?


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No.
Not if you are only 10 days or after brew date. You said you were half way thru the second week?
If you do not have a hydrometer yet, and haven't got into reading gravities - don't sweat, you should get one...but you are ok without it for now.
As a general rule, I leave mind in the primary for no less than 3 weeks, usually 4 weeks. I will cold crash a few days before bottling.
As for your temps...you really need to control those swings, otherwise you will definitely have some off flavors. It will be drinkable, but not as good as it should.
 
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PHXCobra

PHXCobra

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I have a hydrometer and am dead on at 2 weeks of primary. I guess I'll yank a small sample tonight and see what happens.
 

iamwhatiseem

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I wouldn't bottle yet. Too soon.
What you are looking for is not that you reached expected gravity, but that it stays the same for several days.
Having said that, honestly you don't really need to take gravity readings when brewing extracts from a reputable place like NB. You will however want to for sure when/if you go all grain at some point. Not everyone will agree with this, but one thing to remember - every time you pop that bubbler off and inject something into the wort - you are risking infection.
In extract brewing you have the liquid and or dry extracts WHich is concentrated wort basically. Just add water. All the math has been done for you.
Just sayin.
 
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PHXCobra

PHXCobra

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Hadn't really planned on bottling yet. I've got to get the mini fridge and I don't have the bottles yet anyway (still finishing up my Weizenbier). I'm just thinking I might leave it alone for another couple weeks.


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wtfDean

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I'm going to be the unpopular voice of opposition and say go ahead and secondary your beers if you wish. I secondary most of mine and am always satisfied with the results. I have NEVER had O2 or contamination issues with this method. People who say not to must be bad at siphoning or sanitizing because they seem to get O2 and contamination issues a lot. Either that or they NEVER had a problem with secondary themselves, and are simply echoing some advice some dude/dudette typed on a forum because it appeared to be credible. Do not stress too much about all that nonsense, because it is mostly nonsense.
 

Flipadelphia

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I'm going to be the unpopular voice of opposition and say go ahead and secondary your beers if you wish. I secondary most of mine and am always satisfied with the results. I have NEVER had O2 or contamination issues with this method. People who say not to must be bad at siphoning or sanitizing because they seem to get O2 and contamination issues a lot. Either that or they NEVER had a problem with secondary themselves, and are simply echoing some advice some dude/dudette typed on a forum because it appeared to be credible. Do not stress too much about all that nonsense, because it is mostly nonsense.
Cool
 

johnsnownw

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I'm going to be the unpopular voice of opposition and say go ahead and secondary your beers if you wish. I secondary most of mine and am always satisfied with the results. I have NEVER had O2 or contamination issues with this method. People who say not to must be bad at siphoning or sanitizing because they seem to get O2 and contamination issues a lot. Either that or they NEVER had a problem with secondary themselves, and are simply echoing some advice some dude/dudette typed on a forum because it appeared to be credible. Do not stress too much about all that nonsense, because it is mostly nonsense.
Doing a secondary when it's unnecessary is a waste of time, and absolutely raises the chances of oxidation or contamination. Doing a secondary doesn't mean you will run into either of those issues, but the risk is greater...and for absolutely no benefit.

I'm glad you enjoy your process, but secondary is superfluous with any beer not being aged on something.
 

wtfDean

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Doing a secondary when it's unnecessary is a waste of time, and absolutely raises the chances of oxidation or contamination. Doing a secondary doesn't mean you will run into either of those issues, but the risk is greater...and for absolutely no benefit.

I'm glad you enjoy your process, but secondary is superfluous with any beer not being aged on something.
This is just like the "decoction mash vs no decoction mash because grains are more modified than they used to be" argument. "It has no benefit" is always the battle cry. Go ahead and take that advice. Or do whatever you want because it doesn't matter and your beer will taste fine.
 

johnsnownw

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This is just like the "decoction mash vs no decoction mash because grains are more modified than they used to be" argument. "It has no benefit" is always the battle cry. Go ahead and take that advice. Or do whatever you want because it doesn't matter and your beer will taste fine.
It's really not the same thing, because there is a mechanism at work with your example.

What is it about a secondary that you feel is important?
 

iamwhatiseem

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I'm going to be the unpopular voice of opposition and say go ahead and secondary your beers if you wish. I secondary most of mine and am always satisfied with the results. I have NEVER had O2 or contamination issues with this method. People who say not to must be bad at siphoning or sanitizing because they seem to get O2 and contamination issues a lot. Either that or they NEVER had a problem with secondary themselves, and are simply echoing some advice some dude/dudette typed on a forum because it appeared to be credible. Do not stress too much about all that nonsense, because it is mostly nonsense.
Ah c'mon, too quick to judge friend.
I tell people not to secondary because I lost 5 gallons of beer that was infected. It was fine in the primary, after opening secondary I immediately noticed an odd smell. It tasted like dried cow dung. I went ahead and bottled it - hoping. I ended up with 46 bottle bombs.
I never done so since.
Ended up I believe I did not properly prepare the siphon or the tube. Only thing I can figure.
At any rate - the point is there is no appreciable benefit of doing it. None.
Cloudy beers are a not a result of not using a secondary, and doing so in no way ensures your beer will have clarity. Cooling the wort as fast as possible with a chiller is what makes clear beer, primarily.
 
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