how cold for ale yeast.

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bkfran69

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I just made my first batch of beer in 10 years, anyway I thermo probe fell out of thermo well and temp dropped down to 59 deg. I am using a conical fermentor and water chiller with cooling coils. is my yeast still alive, it was less than 8 hours. still trying to bring temp up.
 

Gadjobrinus

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I just made my first batch of beer in 10 years, anyway I thermo probe fell out of thermo well and temp dropped down to 59 deg. I am using a conical fermentor and water chiller with cooling coils. is my yeast still alive, it was less than 8 hours. still trying to bring temp up.
Sounds like it starter warmer and dropped to this? Regardless, 59F-61F for ales is the range recommended by the writers of the text, Malting and Brewing Science. A lot of brewers pitch colder then allow a free rise.
 

Bilsch

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If they have dropped out you might have to rouse them back into solution but depending on the strain more then likely 60f is just slowing them down a little.
 

mongoose33

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It's fine. When the yeast get going you'll probably have a 5-10 degree increase due to the exothermic action of the yeast--i.e., they make heat. You'll want to account for that.

I control my ale fermentations at about 64 degrees in a ferm chamber (refrigerator). That's needed to offset the exothermic action of the yeast.

EDITED TO ADD: I typically do 64 degrees for the recipes and yeasts I use. As RM-MN notes below, not all ale yeasts would benefit from that temperature.

Just brewed an Amber based on someone else's recipe. It specified 67 degrees for fermentation, which I did because it's being entered in a throwdown and we're all supposed to brew the same recipe and compare. Left to myself, I'd have had it a little cooler.
 

MadCnty

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Ale temp should = yeast temp(its posted)... You are fine pitching at any temp thought... It may take a while to get going, but it will I promise... Yeast is good like that...
 

RM-MN

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I just made my first batch of beer in 10 years, anyway I thermo probe fell out of thermo well and temp dropped down to 59 deg. I am using a conical fermentor and water chiller with cooling coils. is my yeast still alive, it was less than 8 hours. still trying to bring temp up.
Telling us what yeast you used would help a lot. Nottingham dry yeast will ferment just fine at 55 deg, Belle Saison would not.
 

mongoose33

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Telling us what yeast you used would help a lot. Nottingham dry yeast will ferment just fine at 55 deg, Belle Saison would not.
This^

One step further would be to go to the yeast supplier's site and look at the data sheet for the yeast; they will have a recommended temperature range for that yeast. For instance:

http://wyeastlab.com/yeast-strain/california-lager

This is Wyeast's 2112 California Lager yeast. The page notes a ferm temp range of 58-68. I use this yeast a lot (for a California Common as well as my Funky Rye), and I typically will ferment this one at 64.

Or try this one:

http://wyeastlab.com/yeast-strain/british-ale-ii

Recommended range is 63 to 75.

It's hard for me to say I do something "as a rule" as I don't have that many brews under my belt (40), but what I typically try to do is hit the middle of the range or maybe a bit under.
 

65C

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So far I've only had issues with high temps - on the low temps the ferment might be (much) slower but you get good beer consistently - with higher temps it's roulette and more times than not it'll taste like mango juice for the first month in the bottle

I think a lot of brewers would be jealous you can get a consistent temp that low
 

mongoose33

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So far I've only had issues with high temps - on the low temps the ferment might be (much) slower but you get good beer consistently - with higher temps it's roulette and more times than not it'll taste like mango juice for the first month in the bottle

I think a lot of brewers would be jealous you can get a consistent temp that low
It isn't that hard to do this. All you need is a refrigerator in which the fermenter will fit, and a controller like an Inkbird.

I recently bought this small 4.4 cu ft refrigerator off Craigslist for $60:

minifermchamber.jpg

In fact, after I bought that I saw another one, same size, that someone wanted $35 for. Grrr....

Anyway, if you get one of those, you can put a fermenter in there. Use a controller like an Inkbird ($35) and you have a controlled fermentation chamber.

Inkbirds:

newsetup7.jpg

The Inkbirds control both the refrigerator (turning it on when the temp as measured by the temp probe) is too warm, and they'll also turn on a heat mat if too cool. In the pic above I have a fermwrap around my fermenter so I can bump up the temp to 71 for the yeast to finish. If you don't have a heat mat, you can just take it out and let it warm to room temperature. :) Make sure if you did that you cover it so light isn't skunking the beer.

The inkbird vendor here puts them on sale from time to time. I bought my last one for $28 shipping included from Amazon.

If you know what you're looking for, you can spend a little time on Craigslist, or maybe a local Facebook for-sale group, and look for one of those minifridges. Get one cheap. Or you can get a larger one, like the green one in the picture, which works just as well.

At the same time, look here on HBT and see if the Inkbirds go on sale. If you're patient, I'll bet you can have GOOD fermentation temperature control for....$80? More or less?

Many have said, and I'd agree, that fermentation temp control is one of the biggest leaps forward a new brewer can take. If you start squirreling money away now, and keep an eye out for a fridge and the Inkbird, you can have the same thing I do--and many, many others here have as well.

PS: I can also ferment lagers at 50 degrees using this. A ferm chamber opens up a lot more recipes to the home brewer.
 
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65C

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Really nice set up mongoose33

I just use an old cheap fridge (because I'm a tight bastard) on it's lowest setting it ferments at 17C - one day I'll upgrade to some mongoose33 type set up - either way those first 4 to 5 days ferment are critical on temp - along with the mash temp - it's most important part of brewing
 
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