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Raising Temp for Slow Ferment

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HopTonger

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I have an IPA a week into primary where activity is really slowing, but I need to squeeze out a minimum of 5 more gravity points. It's frigid here in SE PA right now and my basement has dipped to the low 60s. Here's some basic stats - 1.063 OG, 151deg mash, WL Dry English. Gravity reading on Friday (5th day of fermentation, krausen fell) at 1.022. Reading today (Sunday, full week in primary) at 1.019. I added some yeast energizer yesterday and gently roused the yeast. Bubbler still going every 6 seconds, but looks like a lot de-gassing more than anything. I moved the fermenter closer to the furnace and got it up to 66deg, but that's still a couple degrees off from optimal.
Wondering if there's an efficient way to raise the temp a few degs, but have it steady - I do have a Cool Brewing fermentation bag and was thinking about popping it there with a couple 2L bottles with hot tap water, but wondering how often to change them out.
I'm a worry-wort (haha, pardon the pun), and this could just ferment out in another 5 days, but I've used Dry English recently and it ripped through to FG in only a few days. I wanted this IPA to be dry and 1.014 is a the very outer edge since I was shooting for 1.010 to 1.012.
 

cladinshadows

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If the krausen has fallen you definitely need to get your wort temps into the 70's at this stage if you want to squeeze some more attenuation out of this one. No need to be concerned about significant flavor contribution as more than 80% of your hopeful attenuation is already complete. Your hot water bottle + fermentor insulation plan could work well. Change them out frequently until you get the wort temp up. Rouse the yeast regularly. You may even consider a small sugar solution addition just to really inspire the yeast to wake back up. Good luck!
 
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HopTonger

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I'm going to chalk this up as a success and leave behind what I did for others who read the string. I was able to raise the temp 2deg per 2L soda bottle of hot tap water with the Cool Brewing bag for roughly 6hrs. I used 2-3 bottles at a time. I successfully raised the temp from 65deg to 70deg, added a simple sugar solution of 4oz sugar to 1C water, rousing the yeast every other day after a gravity check. I got the gravity down from 1.019 on Sun to 1.013 today, Thrs. I hope to maybe squeeze 1-2more points off before and after racking to secondary.
 
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