Most yeast have a listed fermentation range down to 65F or lower. Fermenting at that temp will ensure a clean ferment with few hot alcohols. As mentioned the yeast produce heat during the fermentation and can cause your beer to warm up considerably from the ambient temp. There are some beers that work better at the warmer temps, like Saisons and Belgians but most produce better results at cooler temps.So, if I can maintain temps in the 70-72* degree range, and I'm not making lagers, then for now, I should be fine, right? Some people seem to like fermenting at lower temps than the yeast calls for, what's the thought on this practice?
That said, I do want to make some lagers at some point...
On that point, do most of you who have a dedicated fermentation device, be that a fridge or a chest freezer, or do you use the same device as your kegerator? Seems that would be tough to do if you brew a lot.
Okay, off to a good start. If you had to pick three things, beyond the basics, like sanitation, that make your beer better than when you first started brewing, what would they be?
I even do this with my Belgian ales.If you are worried about attenuation issues with cooler temps you can always start cooler at 65* and slowly ramp up to 70* at the end of fermentation to insure that the yeast ferment as much as possible.
+1Temp control and pitching rates are the absolute number one thing when it comes to making great beer.
Ask the right questions. Then try out what you have learned. Then ask more questions. Then help others.What are the most important/critical things you can do to improve your beer consistency and quality, besides going AG?
Full boils versus partial boils?