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MPBeer

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Hi guys. I'm living in a small house, so I brew my beer at a homebrew store (it's common in my country). They have nice equipments and I'm always happy with it, but the problem is the fermentation room. They set the ambient to 21"C(70F) degrees all the time and they say because it's the most common temperature for fermenting ales. I agree with it, and had fermented 9 batches so far. And my beers, especially stouts, tastes weird. Well, they are not that bad, but they all tastes like "homebrew" to me. The taste is not clean, and have some kind of messy flavors (not one of the common 5~6 off flavors tho). Now I'm thinking it might be because of the fermentation room. Do you think that the ambient temperature is too high? If so, we have a small lager fridge that is kept around 15C(59F). Do you think putting my fermenter in the fridge at the start of the fermentation is a better choice? Thanks!
 

TwistedGray

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Could it be that the yeast you are using prefers a temperature range that is outside of the ambient temperature of the room? It seems unlikely, but I thought I would entertain the idea. I don't see 70F being an issue though.
 

FloppyKnockers

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Depends on the yeast you're using. 70°, although ideal, might be a bit on the high side. I prefer 68° for my ales. If the yeast you're using can work in 59° temps, I'd say go for it.
 

GoeHaarden

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58-60F is perfect for Nottingham, which is super clean and ferments aggressively. You could give that a try..
 
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MPBeer

MPBeer

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I mostly use S-04 and heard the fermenter temperature is higher than the ambient. I think that's why my stouts tastes a bit odd, while my ipas tastes ok. I'm brewing imperial stouts tomorrow and I'm not sure if I should ferment it normal, or a bit low at the start.
 

FloppyKnockers

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US-04 should ferment just fine at 70°. Maybe try the bottom shelf or the floor?
 

TwistedGray

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I mostly use S-04 and heard the fermenter temperature is higher than the ambient. I think that's why my stouts tastes a bit odd, while my ipas tastes ok. I'm brewing imperial stouts tomorrow and I'm not sure if I should ferment it normal, or a bit low at the start.
I use Nottingham in my stouts and fermented at about 65-70F; they come out fine...not helpful, just anecdotal.
 
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MPBeer

MPBeer

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Man I'm so sad that I can only get my hands on safbrew's, mangrove and white labs yeast in my country. I might try fermenting my stout at lower temperature for few days and see if that works.
 

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Man I'm so sad that I can only get my hands on safbrew's, mangrove and white labs yeast in my country. I might try fermenting my stout at lower temperature for few days and see if that works.
With MJ you got excelent choices on hand already. I wouldn't brew 04 at higher temperatures like you do now, as a lot of people (including myself) reported tartness and unpleasent off flavour in the higher ranges. I also ruined a stout this way, but only did make this mistake once.

I would try either US05 (workhorse yeast, fits almost every time somehow) or I would try from MJ the New World strong ale or the liberty ale yeast. All should work fine, I tried all of them at ambient temperature around 21 degrees, had no problems with those.

Or you Use MJ California Lager, and brew a lager with it at ambient temp. 21 c is pretty much spot on for this lager yeast. This is a brilliant yeast, you cannot go wrong with this one. Just give the yeast a few days longer to settle down before botteling. It flocks really well for a lager yeast, but still not as good as most ale yeasts.
 
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mongoose33

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Yeast is exothermic, meaning it produces heat while it ferments. The actual temperature of the wort can be 5-10 degrees higher than the ambient temp--and the warmer the wort, the greater the exothermic effect.

I think your fermentation temp is too high. Yeast has a preferred range, but IMO it tends to work better toward the lower half. A typical ale temp for me is 64 degrees. I have an Amber I do at 67 degrees,but the rest are lower. I have fermentation temp control so my temps stay within a degree of the set temperature.

I think that's much of what's going on here. Sounds like the equipment is good, and presumably everything is cleaned and sanitized. Thus, it's either the recipe (seems doubtful) or the fermentation temp.
 
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MPBeer

MPBeer

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With MJ you got excelent choices on hand already. I wouldn't brew 04 at higher temperatures like you do now, as a lot of people (including myself) reported tartness and unpleasent off flavour in the higher ranges. I also ruined a stout this way, but only did make this mistake once.

I would try either US05 (workhouse yeast, fits almost every time somehow) or I would try from MJ the New World strong ale or the liberty ale yeast. All should work fine, I tried all of them at ambient temperature around 21 degrees, had no problems with those.

Or you Use MJ California Lager, and brew a lager with it at ambient temp. 21 c is pretty much spot on for this lager yeast. This is a brilliant yeast, you cannot go wrong with this one. Just give the yeast a few days longer to settle down before botteling. It flocks really well for a lager yeast, but still not as good as most ale yeasts.
Man thanks for the tip. I had problem with S-04 about souring my beer... I should try the liberty ale yeast since I like my stout to be sweet...
 

flars

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Can you entice the person who decides the ideal ambient temperature of the fermentation room to become involved in this forum?
 

Miraculix

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Man thanks for the tip. I had problem with S-04 about souring my beer... I should try the liberty ale yeast since I like my stout to be sweet...
Liberty Bell has still some decent attenuation. None of those yeasts I mentioned are low attenuating yeasts. I would just give it a go and try it. Just mash around 71C to get a bit more longer sugars involved, then the attenuation might be lower.

Wrote the MJ names wrong, to clarify, I meant M36, m15 and m42. According to MJ, the M36 should do best of those three at 21 C or higher.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Someone may have said this already, but I'll risk saying it again. Active fermentation produces heat, so the temp of the fermenter is going to be higher than the room temp, and may not be ideal for the yeast.
 

kh54s10

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IMO your problem is likely the fermentation temperature with S-04. From Fermentis: FERMENTATION: ideally 15-20°C (59-68°F) So at 70 degrees you are already above the recommended optimum range then there is the exothermic action of the fermentation adding even more heat.

You want to control the temperature of the wort itself not the room that the fermenter is in.

If your IPAs are all OK and Stouts all bad, I would also suspect water chemistry. Do you do pale ales. These do not have heavy hop or malt flavors that would mask off flavors. If you do and they are good it seems that your water is good for lighter beers. This may be accentuated by fermenting too warm.
 

jordanfrenzy

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A lot of folks have already said this, but 70F/21C ambient is much too high for many ale yeast. In order for you to get good ferm temps, that room would probably need to be around 60F. I'm assuming that is not possible, so I would look into brewing a lot of saisons/Belgian beers. If that's not what you're after, there are a lot of heat tolerant strains coming out for clean ales, such as HotHead from Omega. It sounds like you may not have access to that however.
 
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MPBeer

MPBeer

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Can you entice the person who decides the ideal ambient temperature of the fermentation room to become involved in this forum?
I wish haha... lots of brewers here are obsessed with some old conventional wisdoms. They all do 2 hours of step mashing for every beers, be very concerned about HSA, boils their beer at least 60 min and etc... and I think the fermentation room temperature is one of those.
 
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MPBeer

MPBeer

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IMO your problem is likely the fermentation temperature with S-04. From Fermentis: FERMENTATION: ideally 15-20°C (59-68°F) So at 70 degrees you are already above the recommended optimum range then there is the exothermic action of the fermentation adding even more heat.

You want to control the temperature of the wort itself not the room that the fermenter is in.

If your IPAs are all OK and Stouts all bad, I would also suspect water chemistry. Do you do pale ales. These do not have heavy hop or malt flavors that would mask off flavors. If you do and they are good it seems that your water is good for lighter beers. This may be accentuated by fermenting too warm.
My water chem for my last stout was a bit low, since I use a very soft water. I'll add more chalk this time and see!
 
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MPBeer

MPBeer

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A lot of folks have already said this, but 70F/21C ambient is much too high for many ale yeast. In order for you to get good ferm temps, that room would probably need to be around 60F. I'm assuming that is not possible, so I would look into brewing a lot of saisons/Belgian beers. If that's not what you're after, there are a lot of heat tolerant strains coming out for clean ales, such as HotHead from Omega. It sounds like you may not have access to that however.
That's a good idea! Just brewed a saison yesterday and I was so concerned about the low temperature... now I should worry about if adding a heat belt was too much.
 

couchsending

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60 ambient would be soooo much better than 70 ambient. I wouldn't brew with any yeast other than some Belgian strains and Kveik yeasts at that high of an ambient temp. S04 is especially gross above 68 and it probably hit at least 75 if not higher in a 70 ambient room. You might be able to pull off US05 or Bry-97 that high.

You should ask the guy that controls the room to perform a little experiment with you. One week ferment a beer at 70 ambient then the next week get him to turn it down and ferment the same beer at 60/62 or even 65 ambient and have said person taste each beer side by side. It should be readily apparent that 70 is a bad idea.
 
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MPBeer

MPBeer

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60 ambient would be soooo much better than 70 ambient. I wouldn't brew with any yeast other than some Belgian strains and Kveik yeasts at that high of an ambient temp. S04 is especially gross above 68 and it probably hit at least 75 if not higher in a 70 ambient room. You might be able to pull off US05 or Bry-97 that high.

You should ask the guy that controls the room to perform a little experiment with you. One week ferment a beer at 70 ambient then the next week get him to turn it down and ferment the same beer at 60/62 or even 65 ambient and have said person taste each beer side by side. It should be readily apparent that 70 is a bad idea.
Thanks! That's a brilliant idea! I'll ask him if he is willing to change the temperature.
 

Dland

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I second on the Safeale 05, it is very reliable and works good at a a little higher temp then 04.

Also, watch your oxidation, a common cause of ''homebrew flavored'' homebrew.
 
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So guys. I used US-05, and started very low (fermenting in a 50F fridge with a heat belt on). It's a imperial stout so I might move it to outside after a week or so. Will report back if my beer still tastes like a homebrew. Cheers!
 

danielthemaniel

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From my experience and knowledge, which is only a few years of homebrewing, I find that the fermentation temp can very much impact the cleanliness of beer. From my understanding, the higher the fermentation temp, the more phenols and esters are produced which can contribute both desired and undesired flavors. By keeping a lower temp (62ish), those flavors are muted and produce a cleaner tasting brew.
 

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Thanks! That's a brilliant idea! I'll ask him if he is willing to change the temperature.
Perhaps this was mentioned and I missed it, but how sure are you the ambient temp stays at 70 throughout the day? If the ambient temp goes up a few degrees, you may actually be fermenting closer to 78 for a few hours a day.

I like your lager fridge idea better. I’m betting you have much better results.
 

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So guys. I used US-05, and started very low (fermenting in a 50F fridge with a heat belt on). It's a imperial stout so I might move it to outside after a week or so. Will report back if my beer still tastes like a homebrew. Cheers!
S05 is a weird yeast strain to me- I only like it at 66-68 degrees. Cooler than that, and it gets weirdly peachy and I don't know if it would ferment at all at 50 degrees. With a heat belt, I have no idea what the temperature would be throughout the beer. If you want to ferment at 50 degrees, or a little higher, a lager yeast would be perfect. If you want to ferment in the low 60s, a yeast like S04 might work well for you.

Do you have a "stick on" thermometer? You really need that, to tell what the fermentation temperature is, and not the ambient temperature. An aquarium thermometer would work well, or you can get home from a homebrew store. Low 60s is great for most ale yeast strains and high 60s for S05.
 
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MPBeer

MPBeer

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S05 is a weird yeast strain to me- I only like it at 66-68 degrees. Cooler than that, and it gets weirdly peachy and I don't know if it would ferment at all at 50 degrees. With a heat belt, I have no idea what the temperature would be throughout the beer. If you want to ferment at 50 degrees, or a little higher, a lager yeast would be perfect. If you want to ferment in the low 60s, a yeast like S04 might work well for you.

Do you have a "stick on" thermometer? You really need that, to tell what the fermentation temperature is, and not the ambient temperature. An aquarium thermometer would work well, or you can get home from a homebrew store. Low 60s is great for most ale yeast strains and high 60s for S05.
My fermenter is a un-see-through-able, so I'll buy it when I get my glass carboy. The temperature outside of my fermenter right now is around 60 degree, so I'm just hoping that the active fermentation makes a lot of heat inside. I'll check how the fermentation is going tonight, and planning to move it out of the fridge, and keep it at 70F ambient for a few weeks.



Perhaps this was mentioned and I missed it, but how sure are you the ambient temp stays at 70 throughout the day? If the ambient temp goes up a few degrees, you may actually be fermenting closer to 78 for a few hours a day.

I like your lager fridge idea better. I’m betting you have much better results.
The brewing room is located under floor, controlled with air conditioner. It's pretty stable.





Will report back how my fermentation goes.
 

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