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wow what a difference ! fermenting temps

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yeasty

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so far all my batches were fermented at room temps (about 70-72 this time of year) and i have had vigorous fermentation after 24hrs. in an attempt to eliminate some off flavors i feel i have been getting i am fermenting my latest batch at 62-64. (the yeast says 59-74 is ok). after 24 hours i have no visible fermentation.....this is a dramatic difference in my experience. i am hoping i have found a solution to my flavor troubles ! cant wait to try it !:rockin:
 

Aleforge

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Remember the "actual" temp of your batch will be a few degrees higher then the ambient air temperature.


What type of off flavors were you experiencing? Was it more banana then anything? I would say you solved the issue depending on the yeast!
 

fretsforlife

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Same deal for me. I recently did and IPA in a water bath where I changed out ice packs twice a day. The fermentation was so subtle, that I wondered if it was working at all. After a week, I checked my gravity, and it had dropped quite a bit. I took a sample and was amazed how how great it tasted. Im gonna rack and dry hop today. Let us know how it turns out.
 

ifishsum

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It really does make a difference - my beers improved vastly once I got fermentation temps under control (and well under 70). My LHBS said that ale yeast wouldn't work well in the low 60s but they certainly do (albeit a bit slower and less vigorously), and make better tasting beer in the process.
 
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yeasty

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why is this fact such a "secret" ? i wish i had known the phrase "keep fermentation below 70" really meant "WELL below 70" a long time ago...
 

DeathBrewer

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Homebrew stores and people that sell equipment don't want to make it difficult for homebrewers to make beer. Many people will get overwhelmed if you tell them they have to keep beer cool, practice good sanitation, leave it in the primary longer, blah blah blah...

The yeast people are full of it, too. Their temp ranges are pretty much BS. It might be an ideal environment for the yeast, but for the flavor, cooler is better. During the winter, most of my ales ferment at 56-58°F...I have yet to see a strain that can't handle that with a nice pitching rate and a little swirl every now and again.
 
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yeasty

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uuuughhhhh! all my first 6 batches would have been better if someone would have just let me know that simple fact. (not to mention, i know people say you dont need a wort chiller, but lets get real. )
 

sahuaro

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so purposely keeping my beers (a brown ale w/S-04 and a wheat w/us-56) at an average 70 degree temp is not worth my effort when they would fall to these cooler temps due to cooler seasonal temps this time of year (in indiana) is not neccesary?
 

DeathBrewer

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Yes, chilling the wort quickly is another way to make better beer :D

Hey, no worries. At least your beer will be better from this point forward.

Now you know, and...



:D
 

DeathBrewer

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so purposely keeping my beers (a brown ale w/S-04 and a wheat w/us-56) at an average 70 degree temp is not worth my effort when they would fall to these cooler temps due to cooler seasonal temps this time of year (in indiana) is not neccesary?
yep, in my opinion you are actually hurting your beers by keeping their temperature higher. You want the fruity flavors and esters to be subtle, even when they are part of the style. Cleaner is better.

I find I still get lots of wonderful banana flavor from a hefeweizen that ferments at 65°F or lower.

I even ferment my belgians and saisons in the upper 60s and don't ramp up temp until fermentation is near completion.
 

D-Ring

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In MN, during the winter I keep the fermentor in a closet upstairs, and during the summer in the basement. 63-65 has left me very happy.
 

KYB

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Hmmm. Dry English Ale WL007 says 65-70F. I've been keeping it in that range (69 being the highest). Should I keep it at 65 or lower 60's? Wish I would have known this a few days ago when it had a lot of activity.
 

Eves

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My first couple of batches had slightly fruity flavors. Not bad but not that great. Then I finally found the sweet spot in my house. With the vent closed that room has less temp fluctuations that any other room in the house (which I think really hurt me) and also is generally at 65F all year round. Best thing I've done so far...finding that location for fermenting.
 

DeathBrewer

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Hmmm. Dry English Ale WL007 says 65-70F. I've been keeping it in that range (69 being the highest). Should I keep it at 65 or lower 60's? Wish I would have known this a few days ago when it had a lot of activity.
I use that yeast for my Blood Ale. It likes to flocculate, so keep it at low temps, but give it a shake every 24 hours for the first week or so.

I don't know why they call that the "dry" english ale yeast. It doesn't leave your beers that dry.
 

DeathBrewer

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My first couple of batches had slightly fruity flavors. Not bad but not that great. Then I finally found the sweet spot in my house. With the vent closed that room has less temp fluctuations that any other room in the house (which I think really hurt me) and also is generally at 65F all year round. Best thing I've done so far...finding that location for fermenting.
Fluctuations definitely hurt. A good, low CONSISTENT temp is what you need.
 

KYB

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I use that yeast for my Blood Ale. It likes to flocculate, so keep it at low temps, but give it a shake every 24 hours for the first week or so.

I don't know why they call that the "dry" english ale yeast. It doesn't leave your beers that dry.
It's for my Stouts. I was going to use Irish Ale, but was told Dry English Ale resulted in more dryness. Is there a better yeast for dryness? Thanks for the tip though. I've been keeping it 64-65. Starting to get warmer outside now, so keeping beer cooler may be a task without running the AC all the time.
 

KYB

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Cool, thanks. When it starts getting warmer in my room, I'm going to put it in our basement/cellar. I actually might real soon. I'd like to get a wireless temp monitor, because I have to walk outside and unlock the lock to get to it.
 

Homercidal

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Yep, I ferment at a lower temp, but the problem is consistency. My house goes up and down day and night, and I don't have any place that is a constant good temp. That is my next big challenge. Now that it's getting warm out, I can't just do a swamp cooler. But, I might be able to keep in the basement now.

What I want to do is set up a data collection system on my fermenter temps. Something with a thermometer that can feed a spreadsheet with hourly temps over the course of the fermentation schedule. That way I can see exactly what my fermenter is doing throughout the whole fermentation process.

Anyone know how to do this?
 

KYB

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Well apparently the basement was too cold. Ambient was 56*F and it looked like it stopped bubbling (liquid on both sides of the airlock chambers). I brought it back to my room and it's bubbling away again immediately.
 

DeathBrewer

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Shaking it up with the move is what made it bubble. I would have just given it a nice heavy swirl and let it continue at low temp, but as long as you're not in the 70s upstairs, you should be fine.

If it's close to done, however, heating up at the end of fermentation isn't ever a bad idea anyway. Not much flavor will be produced, as most of the fermentation is already complete, and the yeast will do a quicker job of cleaning up after themselves.
 

KYB

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That may be why it was bubbling, however last night when I moved it downstairs I guess it got shaken too much resulting in liquid in both airlock chambers. I guess it expelled the CO2 and then sucked some of the liquid (whiskey) into the other chamber. The bubbling looks like it's stopping now. Early in the AM tomorrow will be exactly 1 week since I pitched the yeast starter. Pitched it at like 2am and it started bubbling quite a bit around 10am and has been bubbling since, minus last night, although it was still bubbling before I moved it downstairs.

Now that it looks like fermentation is done, should I keep it around high 60's, or around 56? I'm keeping it in primary for another 3 weeks. Thanks again.
 

DeathBrewer

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High 60s will be just fine. You don't need to move it again. It's probably done from your description and the time.

Remember, tho...airlocks are never an absolute indication of fermentation. The only way to be sure is to take a sample. And don't assume that just because there isn't some bubbling going on that the yeast are dormant. They'll be cleaning up their mess over the next few weeks, no matter what the temperature.
 

KYB

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High 60s will be just fine. You don't need to move it again. It's probably done from your description and the time.

Remember, tho...airlocks are never an absolute indication of fermentation. The only way to be sure is to take a sample. And don't assume that just because there isn't some bubbling going on that the yeast are dormant. They'll be cleaning up their mess over the next few weeks, no matter what the temperature.
Great, thanks! Yep I am aware of that, thanks though.
 

KerryD

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OK, let's say I pretty much leave everything in the fermenter for three weeks... do I need to keep the fermenter in a temp controlled environment the whole time? It's not unusual to be at FG after 10 days or so.
 

DeathBrewer

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OK, let's say I pretty much leave everything in the fermenter for three weeks... do I need to keep the fermenter in a temp controlled environment the whole time? It's not unusual to be at FG after 10 days or so.
That depends on the temperature and the fluctuations. What kind of temps are you looking at?

After fermentation is completed, letting the fermenter heat up is not a problem and can even help the yeast complete their last little run for a couple of days. After that, it's beneficial to have it in a colder area (to allow it to drop clean more quickly) but it's not necessary. Any temps below, say, 90°F will not harm your beer.
 

KerryD

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I'm thinking summer here so I'd say after pulling it out of controlled temps it would be at 78 for another 10-12 days.
 

andreiz

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My first few batches were fermented without much temperature control, basically in ambient temps of 67-72°F. Last week, though, I built a fermentation chamber out of Ice Cube cooler based on this thread. Well, it worked entirely too well. :) My cocoa vanilla stout went overnight to 62°F and started to slowly ferment. My apartment stays fairly chill anyway, so a couple of days later I took it out and now it's in the 66-67°F range. I plan on moving it to a warmer room (70°F) to finish fermentation and do diacetyl rest. Hope it turns out well.
 
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