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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * March 08, 2004 * Subtleties of fermentation temps??? < Previous Next >

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ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 11:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1 when a yeast Company specifies a range of temperatures how do you know where to pick.
Ex. Wyeast 1028
1028 London Ale Yeast. Rich with a dry finish, minerally profile, bold and crisp, with some fruitiness. Often used for higher gravity ales and when a high level of attenuation is desired for the style. Flocculation - medium; apparent attenuation 73-77%. (60-72° F, 15-22° C). The SSOS recipe says 68?

2 when you pick a temp say 68. I assume that must mean the wort temp? This means a room 3-4 degrees would be good for the first days but then as activity slows should one move to an area closer to 68?

3 How close is close enough?

Just a comment I have a indoor/outdoor temp gauge and the outdoor probe is stuck to the side of the fermenter with a potholder over it to insulate it and held on with an ace bandage. The difference is right at 4 degrees after 50 hours of ferment.
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 12:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1. "it depends". Anywhere in the range is acceptable, but you will get some differences in flavor between the high and low ends. Experiment.

2. Yes. Yes (if you mean 4 degrees cooler). Actually, the closer to the high end of the range you ferment, the bigger the gradient between wort and room temp become. That is, at 60° the wort may get to 64-65° during krausen, but at 72° degrees it can get above 80°.

3. See #1. I believe the most crucial time is during the initial and high krausen stages, so aim for the lower side of the range if possible.

The fact that you are considering these issues is commendable. To me, this is one of the most important factors in the homebrew process, and often the most abused.

That and trying to make decent beer from extract. :)
 

Mike Vachow (216.170.178.59)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 02:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm with Hophead. Others here have heard my (potentially crackpot) theory that controlling FG is the hallmark of the experienced homebrewer. I think the intermediate brewer reaches that stage when he can hit his OG and create fully attenuated, "clean" beers that generally meet style guidelines or at least the tastes the brewer was shooting for. For the most part, that leaves out body, mouthfeel and balance. These latter qualities require management of mash technique and fermentation temp.

About timing of fermentation temp... . I found during my years of living and brewing in the Deep South that if I could control fermentation temps during the primary, I could move the beer to secondary in less than ideal (but not outrageously hot) temps for secondary. During a south Louisiana summer that meant ale primary in a fridge with an auxiliary thermostat and secondary in air-conditioned indoor space.

Mike
Lake Bluff, IL
 

ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 04:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have fermented some beers on the hot side before I knew that the heat generated could make as much as 4-8 degrees diff. I also feel that I stalled out my last B-52 batch. I was on the cool side in the spare shower stall downstairs and then went on vacation turning the house heat down. I have had some nuclear reator type ferments where I started in the warmth to get things going for the first night and then I couldnt slow things down.
 

Vance Barnes (69.15.38.210)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 03:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As a general rule with ale yeast you are going to get more esters, phelols, and higher alcohols the closer you ferment to the high end of the range. This can be very evident with wheat strains developing more banana and clove flavors at higher temps. With the London Ale Yeast I think it would be just more of a fruity profile at the higher end of the range. I have several friends who beleive in fermenting ales at 65 to get the cleanest flavors. Since the recipe says ferment at 68, I would think you would want an ambient temp of 64-65. Since SSOS is such a BIG beer it can probably handle more fruity flavors than something more delicate like a CACA.
 

ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 05:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This SSOS had an OG of 1.072 so it is big..
I am just advancing in my brewing controls and have arrived at the maintaining ferment temps. This is the first time I have used the dual temp. probe setup. It has been an eyeopener. The last 3-4 batches in my plastic ale pails have been without a temperature indication of the wort. I moved my pails from the 64 area up to the 66-67 area a few hours after ferment to make sure things got going good and then as things heated up it was back to the 64 and for 2 days I maintained 68 at the probe under an insulated blanket on the side of the pail. So far I have maintained 68+/- 1.5 degrees, not an easy task I might add..I can see why a fermentation fridge or box is a good idea. I am sure glad these are plastic pails and not glass carboys..
 

Vance Barnes (69.15.38.210)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 07:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sounds like you're doing good with a stable temp on this one. Right now my unfinished basement is between 64-65 which has been giving me about 66 degree fermentor temps on normal gravity beers. I've been thinking about a second temp controlled fridge for ales in the summer though. I have AC in the finished brewery and if I shut the doors can keep it between 66-68 IF the AC runs alot (ie hot outside). On a cloudy day it can creep up to 70 or more though. That get me going with buckets of water and wet towels. Fridge is sounding even better.
 

Belly Buster Bob (131.137.245.198)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 09:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found temp control to be the biggest improvement to my beers than anything else...by far. Even the jump to all grain
 

ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 09:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After a dozen AG's Now you guys tell me! or did I just not listen back then?. I have tried to tell my Buddy (who has just about had it with extract) that he shouldn't just toss it in a closet at 70 and think its ok. He is just about to change from the darkside. We are going to do a shared split AG batch of RyePA in 2 weeks. Don't let those guys from the extract thread read this!
 

Vance Barnes (69.15.38.210)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 09:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After a split AG batch of RyePA the force will be strong in him :')

Denny's rye is definately one of those beers you just can't do extract.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 10:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After I had 3 stuck bathes in a row last summer my philosphy is to use minimum cooling gradient during fermentation, especially during the finish. Because of the heat generation I think it is natural for the temperature to rise slightly, so I try to let it do so, and cool the wort below my target average temp, so it will work itself into the right range without extreme cooling, then let it finish a little higher. Only from theoretical ungrounded speculations I have doubts that keeping the wort temp absolutely constant at all cost would be optimal for the flavour? I think it should be controled, but not necessarily kept fixed in absurdum by modulating the cooling? It may sound weird but I think keeping the temp absolutely fixed maybe be more stressful for the yeast?

/Fredrik
 

ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 10:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just some more observations. I just looked at my high and low readings 66.4-69.1 for an extreme spread of 2.7. After 4 days now the delta from ambient to fermenter wall is down to 2 from the high of 4. I will move these guys one more time to a more stable place near 67 or so expecting the heat generated to decrease and the delta to drop to a fraction of a degree. I wish I knew the SG but am to lazy and have been just leaving for 7-10 days and then racking. The furnace sleeps to 66 at night and goes up to 68 in the day and the fermenter temp. has increased 1 today. It is now at the high of 69.1
 

RJ Testerman (208.31.88.53)
Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 10:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

18 batches later...
I've been doing sort of the same thing. Until the end of last week I have had 8 15 gal kegs sitting in my wood stove heated basement. By moving them around I've managed to keep the temps within +or- 3F of recommended temps. I still don't know the best way to do this, start them at the low end of the temp range, that is what I did with Denny's Rye IPA and Bill's St.Chuck Porter, (neither one took off very fast) or start off higher temp and faster fermentation or somewhere in the middle.

I'm definitely building a temp controlled fermentation space soon.

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