Quantcast

Question about Ale fermentation Temp?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

O'Houlihan

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Port Huron, MI
Hello all, I'm new here & a new brewer - 3rd batch. I recently brewed up a batch of Irish Red Ale f/ Midwest Brewing, I used the liquid smack pack.

I ferment in my basement & it's about 64 degrees farenheit down there. I know it says to stay around 70 - 75 for most ale yeasts. I seemed to have a somewhat slow/steady ferment & just transferred to a carboy after a week.

Does anyone think the lower temp could negatively affect my brew? Appreciate the feedback!
 

Dude

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
8,768
Reaction score
116
Location
Ramstein-Miesenbach
O'Houlihan said:
Hello all, I'm new here & a new brewer - 3rd batch. I recently brewed up a batch of Irish Red Ale f/ Midwest Brewing, I used the liquid smack pack.

I ferment in my basement & it's about 64 degrees farenheit down there. I know it says to stay around 70 - 75 for most ale yeasts. I seemed to have a somewhat slow/steady ferment & just transferred to a carboy after a week.

Does anyone think the lower temp could negatively affect my brew? Appreciate the feedback!

I think the only real drawback with a lower temp is you won't get a fast ferment, which could have very limited drawbacks to your beer, but IMHO a lower ferment temp is better than a higher ferment temp.
You want to get as close as possible to the particular yeast strains' optimum temp.

Keep in mind as well it was probably a few degrees warmer inside the fermenter than your outside thermometer was showing, so you were closer to your target temp than you think.

I think for a more vigorous fermentation next time, use a starter.
 

Sasquatch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
539
Reaction score
1
My understanding (which is pretty limited) is that you are safest to ferment at as low a temperature as your yeast will work at, the reason being that warmer temperatures allow other strains/cultures/bacteria to compete.

My fermentation room is on the coolish side too, and certainly without making a starter, it takes a good 2 or 3 days before any real action starts... but I haven't had any temperature related issues that weren't directly related to my own stupidity. :D
 

SwAMi75

Banned
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
2,458
Reaction score
10
Location
Midwest City, OK
Here's what I'm beginning to think: You want the majority of your primary fermentation to occur towards the low end of the temp. spectrum for your yeast.

BUT...you also want as short a lag time from the time you pitch your yeast to the time it starts to work, and this usually requires higher temps (as Sasquatch alluded to above).

So, if you can get it going in a little warmenr temp then move it to a cooler area, I think you'd have the best of both worlds.

~Edit: Almost forgot....welcome to the forum, O'Houlihan!!
 
OP
O

O'Houlihan

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Port Huron, MI
Thanks for the welcome & the advice! The first week seemed ok, the airlock did bubble with pauses between, I racked to secondary in a carboy on wednesday & it bubbled occasionally w/pauses for the first night, but I haven't seen much action since. I figure I'll bottle a this upcoming wednesday since, Midwests instructions state that 2 weeks in the fermenter everything ought to be fine.

I do plan on ordering a yeast starter w/ this weeks paycheck, they sound invaluable.

Thanks again! :p
 

Dude

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
8,768
Reaction score
116
Location
Ramstein-Miesenbach
O'Houlihan said:
Thanks for the welcome & the advice! The first week seemed ok, the airlock did bubble with pauses between, I racked to secondary in a carboy on wednesday & it bubbled occasionally w/pauses for the first night, but I haven't seen much action since. I figure I'll bottle a this upcoming wednesday since, Midwests instructions state that 2 weeks in the fermenter everything ought to be fine.

I do plan on ordering a yeast starter w/ this weeks paycheck, they sound invaluable.

Thanks again! :p

You can make oyur own yeast starter very cheaply. Pint of water, 3/4 cup of DME, boil it 5 mins, cool it, pitch your yeast with the starter wort in a sealed container that you can put an airlock in (I use a sanitized milk jug with a hole poked in the cap) and let it ferment out for a day or 2 before you brew. You'll see bigtime yeast multiplication. Pitch the whole mess into your carboy/bucket full of wort. Simple. Cheap. Better beer.
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
O'Houlihan said:
Thanks for the welcome & the advice! The first week seemed ok, the airlock did bubble with pauses between, I racked to secondary in a carboy on wednesday & it bubbled occasionally w/pauses for the first night, but I haven't seen much action since. I figure I'll bottle a this upcoming wednesday since, Midwests instructions state that 2 weeks in the fermenter everything ought to be fine.

I do plan on ordering a yeast starter w/ this weeks paycheck, they sound invaluable.

Thanks again! :p
welcome aboard!
for sure, go with a starter. you can use a growler, 2 liter coke bottle, the milk jug mentioned, or the Pyrex flasks. your lag time will go from days to hours. mine start in 4-6 hours easy. sometimes quicker. Sam's right about being close to your lower optimum temp due to activity in the primary. i've noticed that all the White Labs vials have the 70-75 temp range on them, but the web page has the optimum temps listed with each strain they have. i'm sure Wyeast has the same info? you just don't want those long lag times. it's just a welcome sign for nasties to move in and party with your wort :eek:
good luck!
 
OP
O

O'Houlihan

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Port Huron, MI
ORRELSE said:
You can make oyur own yeast starter very cheaply. Pint of water, 3/4 cup of DME, boil it 5 mins, cool it, pitch your yeast with the starter wort in a sealed container that you can put an airlock in (I use a sanitized milk jug with a hole poked in the cap) and let it ferment out for a day or 2 before you brew. You'll see bigtime yeast multiplication. Pitch the whole mess into your carboy/bucket full of wort. Simple. Cheap. Better beer.

That sounds simple enough. Couple questions though; does it matter what type of dried malt extract (I thought there were different kinds)? & just clarifying, once it's cooled, you pitch your yeast w/ the dme & water & let ferment for 1-2 days before throwing the whole thing into the wort, correct?

Thanks again!
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
O'Houlihan said:
That sounds simple enough. Couple questions though; does it matter what type of dried malt extract (I thought there were different kinds)? & just clarifying, once it's cooled, you pitch your yeast w/ the dme & water & let ferment for 1-2 days before throwing the whole thing into the wort, correct?

Thanks again!
i use Light DME for my starters. some say that other darker dme's might impart a taste and color on the wort if you pitch the whole starter.

here's my starter for an ale:
1300 ml water
1 cup light dme

warm water in enameled kettle, add dme to dissolve, and bring to a gentle boil for 15 minutes. i then pour the wort into a cleaned and sanitized 2000 ml flask, cover tightly w/ foil, and set it in an ice bath in the sink. let cool to the touch, shake vigorously, pitch yeast into flask, and attach cleaned/sanitized airlock (remember to remove your yeast pack/vial when you start so it will warm to rrom temp for adding to the starter). i do this the day before i brew. at the end of brew day, when my wort is cooled to pitching temp, i get the flask, swirl it up real good to mix up the sediment and the wort, and pour it in. if your worried about flavors from the starter affecting your beer, you can decant the wort off the top of the sediment, and just pitch the slurry at the bottom of the starter container. you can add wort or used distilled water to losen the gunk up in the container and pitch! :D
 

Zygote

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I seem to remember reading about using a product called Malta found in Latin groceries for a starter. I think it is a non-fermented malt extract. Anybody hear of this?

I am starting my first beer in 15 years this weekend. It will be the 6th one I have ever brewed. Gonna try a bitter so I can play with dry-hopping a bit. Wish me luck!
 

patrck17

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2005
Messages
411
Reaction score
8
Location
Dallas
I don't know of this "Malta" you speak of, but wanted to ask why you stopped brewing for so long?
 

Zygote

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I had two batches in a row that became infected. Also, in the summer, I had no basement and couldn't keep the temp down. But I brewed some really nice beers before then. I did a Doppelbock as my second batch. It was pretty godd, and I passed alot out to friends. About a year later, one of them says they found a bottle of it in their basement. It was SO much better then! I did a real nice Kolch (sp?) for my first bach w/ a corny keg. I've never done AG, just partial, but now that I have a basement, am gonna give it a try after an extract to get my feet wet again.
 
Top