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EamusCatuli

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Hey all,

My second batch of Red Ale is fermenting in the primary as we speak. I noticed, however, that when I got back from class today the temperature gauge on the side of the primary read 79 F! It is supposed to be at 70 F plus or minus a couple degrees. My apt. is set at 70 and that worked perfectly for my last batch of Pale Ale. Whats the dilio!? Will this ruin my beer?:( :confused:

Thanks for any help,

Cheers :mug:
 

Scimmia

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Fermentation is exothermic, meaning it creates heat. 79F is really high, get that down ASAP or you're going to end up with some off flavors.
 

WhyTee

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Well I understand it produces off flavors. Here's a solution though, go to wal-mart and pick up one of those big plastic bins (about 4 or 5 dollars) put some water in it and dump a couple handfuls of ice in the water before you leave. Also outfitting it with a hip t-shirt that dips into the water helps too.
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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I sunk the primary in the tub with cold water, hopefully this helps! What am I supposed to do about this though? I feel there was nothing I could have done to stop the temp. from raising so high. My last batch had no problems staying at 70. Any advice?
 

Scimmia

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A lot of people do exactly what you're doing right now, put it in a tub of water. Others will put it inside of a refrigerator with an external temperature controller. Most people just stick it in a cold basement. Even 70 is at the high end for a lot of yeast.
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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My problem though is that sitting it in cold water till the temperature drops wont fix the problem I feel, its only temporary. Will this be something I will have to deal with all the time without a dedicated fridge? gah! Would you say being too cold is better than being too hot?
 

WhyTee

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Well that's pretty much all I do. I put my fermenter in a tub that's about 1/4 full of water and if the temp gets above 69 I drop a few ice cubes into the water. Keeps it really steady.
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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And you keep it in there until its done fermenting? I mean im prepared to do that for the sake of beer, I just want to do whats best for it. lol
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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Okay, I got the temperature down to 70 F. Should I take it out of the tub and put it back in my closet where I normally ferment and crank the apartment temperature down and monitor it? Or should I just keep it in the tub for a while?
 

WhyTee

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Ya, what I do is fill the container full of ice and a little water on brew day. After I boil and it's time to get it down to 70, I put the kettle in the water, let it cool and pour into my primary. I empty out most of the water and ice from the container (until it's a bout 1/4 full) and put the fermenter into the container. Cover with a T-shirt that reaches the water and bam we're set. If it starts to get warm I throw some ice into the water, during the summer i'll probably also set up a small fan since it gets pretty warm here.
 

WhyTee

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Nah just leave it in there. Mine sits at around 65 degrees which I think is fine. If it's just in cool water it shouldn't drop to the point where the yeast go dormant.
 

Scimmia

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I'd say leave it in the water. As I said, depending on the yeast (what are you using?) 70F is on the high side anyway, most ale yeast work best between 65F-70F.
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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Scimmia said:
I'd say leave it in the water. As I said, depending on the yeast (what are you using?) 70F is on the high side anyway, most ale yeast work best between 65F-70F.
I am using Nottingham yeast, it just came with this Red Ale kit. What boggles me is that I did not have to do this with my Pale Ale which had the same yeast. I left it in my closet and there was no trouble. I just don't understand where it went wrong or why. Should I plan on always keeping my fermenter in a tub of water for 3 weeks from now on?
 

Scimmia

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Nottingham is a pretty active yeast, so I'm not suprised that it took the temp up that far. It should have on your Pale, too, unless it was an old packet/wasn't stored well so it didn't ferment very quickly.
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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Scimmia said:
Nottingham is a pretty active yeast, so I'm not suprised that it took the temp up that far. It should have on your Pale, too, unless it was an old packet/wasn't stored well so it didn't ferment very quickly.
Okay, well im going to be keeping it in my bathroom tub with cold water until its done fermenting i suppose. Should I worry about any bacteria or smells ( you know what I mean) that come with bathrooms?
 

Scimmia

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As long as it's got an airlock, it shouldn't be a problem. Nottingham should finish in just a few days at most, then you can put it wherever you want, as it won't be creating heat anymore.
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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Thanks alot for the help Scimmia and WhyTee. Greatly Appreciated! Im going to invest in a tub that I can keep in my closet instead of the bathroom!

Thanks again! Hopefully one day of 79F wont ruin my beer!

Cheers :mug:
 

JMSparty08

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EamusCatuli said:
Thanks alot for the help Scimmia and WhyTee. Greatly Appreciated! Im going to invest in a tub that I can keep in my closet instead of the bathroom!

Thanks again! Hopefully one day of 79F wont ruin my beer!

Cheers :mug:

I'm looking to do the same thing. If you find something, could you please PM me where you found it, what the price was, and how big it is? I've got a pretty big plastic tub already, but I'm trying to find something smaller that will fit my fermenting bucket perfectly since I'm pressed for space.
 

PeteOz77

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I use the bathtub as well. fill the tub so that the 3 fermenters that i have going at any time sit in about 7-8 inches of water. Then I soak a bath towel with water and wrap it around the fermenters and turn a fan on slow, just so it keeps a breeze blowing past them. If I know it's going to be stinking hot out, I chuck in an ice creaem bucket size ice block and it takes the temps down even further.

Keep in mind that a big cold or hot day will barely affect the temps of the entire fermenter, especially if you have three of them all sitting in the water with wet towels on them. I have left for the day with the temps at 68°, left the house sealed up on a
100° day, walked into the house that was over 85°, and the temps of the fermenters hasn't moved.
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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I found in my experience with the bath tub that the water is actually getting TOO cold. Just out of curiosity i stuck thermo in my tub of out of the faucet cold water with NO ice and it read almost 50 F. Crazy I know. Either my thermo is off and i didnt get an accurate reading or Illinois has some of the coldest water ever....either way, my fermenter was dropping too fast and too cold and I put it back in my closet (around 62-64 at the worst). Suprisingly, the temp has not moved off of 65 for hours now. Comments on these wierd *to me* occurances?
 

Scimmia

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How long has it been since you pitched your yeast? I as alluded to earlier, Nottingham works fast, so it's very possible you're done fermenting, so it's not creating any more heat.
 
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EamusCatuli

EamusCatuli

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I was just about to ask you guys to come to the rescue! haha, Its been approx. 40 hours since pitching. The bubbling was really slow when I went to bed last night, maaaaybe once every 30-45 seconds. I woke up this morning to zilch. I never really saw the airlock bubbling constantly though since I had class straight from the morning after I pitched till when I got back at around 5. So maybe it was bubbling heavily while I was away? Either way, its not bubbling anymore and its worrying me a bit. Should I re-pitch? The temperature has been steady at around 66 all night, so at least something is constant.

Thanks for any help guys
 

Scimmia

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Not unusual for Nottingham at all. Take a gravity reading, you're probably done fermenting.
 
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