Ranco failed, help me save face with friends

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Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2009
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Grand Haven
Background: I bought a new conical and my friends offer to buy all the ingredients and spend an afternoon brewing with me. They also popped for the beer and brats that day for use of my equip. Brewing day goes flawlessly.
Pitched 2 packs US-05 into 12.5 gal SNPA clone @ 64*. Ferm raises itself to about 69* and settles at 67* (recipe recom).
1.053 to 1.011 in four days-hit estimate FG. Dump trub, two more days 1.011, dump trub, add yeast collector to conical, beer and air temp now match and I lower Ranco to 65 to finish out secondary.

So last night I hear the Alert alarm going off in my garage indicating a temp out of parameter. Damn! something went wrong with the Ranco or the space heater I am using in my fermentation cooler. (Outside air temp is 27*F) The air temp inside is 92*! Beer temp I think was like high-80's. I turn off Ranco and check again this morn. OAT and beer temp is about 36* FG lowered to 1.009. I'm guesstimating beer was around 86-88 for about 16'ish hours.
Now I have to tell the guys I potentially wrecked their beer and wasted their money, and no time left to make new years eve cheer. Unless someone here tells me to RDWHAHB.
I assume that after hitting FG 7 days prior to this, the yeast is not doing much if anything. I've read that the off flavors would be tied to the high temps only while yeast is working, but I am not positive and looking for clarification.

Next, do I just leave the temp low for the before bottling day? I have kinda fooled myself into thinking that the high 80's temp would be a diacetyl rest and the 36 now the cold crash. LOL, or... I can troubleshoot the controller/heater issue and bring back to 65* for the remainder. Thoughts?

Also, since the beer is sitting on the heated-yeast-cake in the bottom of the conical, my thoughts are to dump this all out to maybe help from contributing off flavors. (I assume to scrap the yeast in the collector as well at this point)

Thanks for your insights.
Your biggest problem may be yeast that you collected. It's a smaller volume so it will heat up quicker than the beer and that might have killed a bunch. You then could have yeast autolysis. Safest in my mind would be to dump the yeast now. Your beer is probably just fine.
Just call it a Saison and run with it??? That could explain away any bad/off flavors if you end up with any. (It's a saison, it's supposed to taste like that....). I think that's what a lot of breweries do anyway.
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