Primary temps and time need to maintain it at that temp?

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jojomonkey

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Hello everyone,

I have a question regarding maintaining primary fermentation temps.

I'm brewing a standard IPA and I know that with ale yeast that you should keep your fermentation temps within a range, 62-65 +/- a degree during active fermentation. Especially during those first critical days of active fermenting.

I started using a fermentor chiller (the "son of a fermentation chiller" box). It keeps the primary perfectly at 62-63 degrees. I used it perfectly during during active fermentation (the first week) and it has kept the desired temp perfectly.

My question is, now that the weather has warmed up, should I keep the brew at the desired range of 62-65 during the entire primary fermentation, even after the active stage is done? What about when I transfer to the secondary? Should I keep that at the desired range the entire time as well?
(I know ideally you should but I am a beginning home brewer with limited resources) Note: Primary 2 wks, secondary 3 wks.

I ask because I want to brew more beer and want to use the chiller space for my next batch, but I would like to ask you guys what effect my brew would have if I take it out of the chiller after the primary (after all fermenting is done) and let it age in the secondary at basement temps (about 68-70)?

So basically I'm asking, if the active fermentation is done and it's aging, is it ok to let the the batch warm a few degrees until it's ready for bottling?

I wonder about the off flavors, yet only have room for one temperature control batch at a time.

Thanks,

Jojo.
 

WortIfied

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I've transferred to secondary and let the vessel reach 70f, but not over, using a swamp cooler. That was after a 21 day primary. Turned out just fine for a IIPA.

I think you'll be a ok, in fact I remember reading somewhere that letting it warm up a tad allows the yeast go back and clean up more effectively. I could be imagining that though...
 

BrewinHooligan

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I have let batches get up to almost 75f after primary fermentation is done with no detectable ill effects.
 

TopherM

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Temp control is really only a big deal during the most active part of fermentation - what newbies would refer to as the "bubbling period" :cross:

Remember that temps are ALL about the yeast. Temperature is a CATALYST to yeast activity - they consume sugars more rapidly at higher temps. HOWEVER, a slower fermentation is a CLEANER fermentation, as yeast start to impart off flavors at higher temps.

Each yeast strain has their optimum fermentation temps on the back of the package and/or on the manufacturer's website. Remember that the actual core fermentation temp is always going to be 3-6 degrees F higher than the ambient temp, so if the yeast's optimum temp range is 59-68F, like most generic ale yeast, you really want your ambient temperature in your cooler to be closer to 57-63F to get a good, slow, clean fermentation.

After the most active part of fermentation has completed, there is nothing wrong with going ahead and completing those last few points of gravity at room temp, as the yeast will no longer impart any noticable off flavors!

When I'm running out of space in my fermentation cooler, I generally let each brew ferment at proper temps for about a week, then move them to an interior closet for about another 2 weeks. That's a good rule of thumb for most brews under 1.06 or so OG.
 
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I gotta agree with Topher, temp control's pretty important, but less so towards the end of active fermentation.
Personally, I think the most important time to control temps is from pitch to high krausen. This is when the bulk of reproduction happens and it's during this phase that you want to limit the amount of esters, phenols, etc., that the yeast impart in the beer.
With a beer like DIPA, I like to let them start off quite cool, at or below the bottom of the yeast's temp range, and then let it slowly warm up to ~67 by the end of active fermentation (active meaning seeing the beer churn in the carboy, not by watching airlock bubbles). The cool 'kick off' produces a clean beer, the warmish finish allows the yeast to knock out the last few gravity points and attenuate the beer fully.
 
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