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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Steve L on August 27, 2014, 01:19:47 AM

Title: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: Steve L on August 27, 2014, 01:19:47 AM
I recently brewed a Northern English brown ale using Mangrove Jacks M03 Newcastle dark ale yeast. I use a passive cool box and I'm ashamed to say that within the first 24 hours I forgot to change out my ice bricks. First time ever but it had less than optimal results. Once I realized what was going on, the external temp probe was reading 79F. I'm sure it was higher inside the better bottle. I was able to get it back down to about 68-70 within 35 hours but I think the damage was done. I just tasted a sample at the 2 week point and it had a funky, musty Belgian like character, not terribly pleasing at this point. I'm wondering if I should just cut my losses and dump this one. I'm feeling like more time in the fermenter is not going to significantly improve the flavor at this point. Has anyone ever resurrected a brew from this type of situation?
Thanks for any help
 
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: Jimmy K on August 27, 2014, 01:27:32 AM
Doesn't sound like much could save it. The flavor may still clean up a little but your description sounds like not enough. If you have space though I would keep it and child condition if possible. At worst you'd learn if that helps. You could also bottle some and rebrew. Them do a side by side to learn or teach a friend about hot fermentation flavors.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: majorvices on August 27, 2014, 10:58:13 AM
Once those fermentation off flavors are created it is impossible to get rid of them. Either dump it of find a friend who can distill it for you. ;)
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: tommymorris on August 27, 2014, 11:26:37 AM
Ouch!

This weekend I started a fermentation and accidentally unplugged the chest freezer instead of the drill I used to aerate the wort. The temp rose from 56F to 62F in the 12 hours it took me to notice my mistake. I was quite mad at myself. I feel better now.

Sorry about your beer! Those tastes suck.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: Steve L on August 27, 2014, 12:01:37 PM
This will be my first dump ever. I may need therapy. Better drink a beer first. ;)
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: majorvices on August 27, 2014, 12:42:24 PM
This will be my first dump ever. I may need therapy. Better drink a beer first. ;)

I had to dump 372 gallons of beer a week ago due to a stupid employee mistake. About a 10K financial loss, maybe more. Maybe that will keep things in perspective. ;)
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 27, 2014, 12:48:44 PM
This will be my first dump ever. I may need therapy. Better drink a beer first. ;)

We've ALL dumped a batch,man. Best thing to do is brew another batch, learn, and put it in the rear view.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: kramerog on August 27, 2014, 01:49:05 PM
If you like Brett, add Brett to it and see what happens.  In 3 months, you might have something that you pour down the drain, something that is weirdly wonderful, or something unusual you take to your homebrew club to  discuss.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: scottNU on August 27, 2014, 03:39:06 PM
I had to dump 372 gallons of beer a week ago due to a stupid employee mistake. About a 10K financial loss, maybe more. Maybe that will keep things in perspective. ;)

ARGH!!  I just had a little brain aneurysm.  Sorry to hear that....
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: brewinhard on August 27, 2014, 04:32:55 PM
Yeah, fusel alcohols can really ruin a beer.  Hangover central!  Dump it!  Fusels don't go away nicely. 
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: denny on August 27, 2014, 04:51:09 PM
Yeah, fusel alcohols can really ruin a beer.  Hangover central!  Dump it!  Fusels don't go away nicely.

If you can wait it out, there's a good chance that fusels wll age out into esters.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: majorvices on August 27, 2014, 05:11:00 PM
Yeah, fusel alcohols can really ruin a beer.  Hangover central!  Dump it!  Fusels don't go away nicely.

If you can wait it out, there's a good chance that fusels wll age out into esters.

Yeah, but never turns out to be the beer you had initially hoped for.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: denny on August 27, 2014, 05:34:02 PM
Yeah, but never turns out to be the beer you had initially hoped for.

True that, but at least it often ends up drinkable.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on August 27, 2014, 06:56:36 PM
This will be my first dump ever. I may need therapy. Better drink a beer first. ;)

We've ALL dumped a batch,man. Best thing to do is brew another batch, learn, and put it in the rear view.

Learn AND react. Rig up some temp control.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: Steve L on August 27, 2014, 07:22:22 PM
This will be my first dump ever. I may need therapy. Better drink a beer first. ;)

We've ALL dumped a batch,man. Best thing to do is brew another batch, learn, and put it in the rear view.

Learn AND react. Rig up some temp control.
My temp control is a passive cool box. works great.... when I remember to switch out the freezer bricks, doh.  I usually brew on a Friday or Saturday so I can babysit the first 48 hours. this one was on a Monday and had to work the next day.  live and learn... and remember the ice!
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on August 27, 2014, 07:24:39 PM
Yeah, fusel alcohols can really ruin a beer.  Hangover central!  Dump it!  Fusels don't go away nicely.

If you can wait it out, there's a good chance that fusels wll age out into esters.

I've seen some stress compounds age out in high gravity beers, but it takes a LONG time. A NEB (and most average gravity beers) will be very much over the hill before this happens.

Relying on age to 'fix' fermentation off-flavors is a bad habit to start.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: denny on August 27, 2014, 07:26:45 PM
I've seen some stress compounds age out in high gravity beers, but it takes a LONG time. A NEB (and most average gravity beers) will be very much over the hill before this happens.

Relying on age to 'fix' fermentation off-flavors is a bad habit to start.

I agree and I would never rely on it nor urge anyone else to.  But it might be worth hanging on to a batch for a while to see if it improves.  If not, then dump it.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: Steve L on August 27, 2014, 10:49:56 PM
I've seen some stress compounds age out in high gravity beers, but it takes a LONG time. A NEB (and most average gravity beers) will be very much over the hill before this happens.

Relying on age to 'fix' fermentation off-flavors is a bad habit to start.

I agree and I would never rely on it nor urge anyone else to.  But it might be worth hanging on to a batch for a while to see if it improves.  If not, then dump it.

Very true. It's only been in primary for 2.5 weeks. I don't need the fermenter any time soon, a couple more weeks on the yeast certainly isn't going to hurt. Then a re-eval.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: majorvices on August 28, 2014, 10:55:25 AM
For the record: I have had a few batches get out of hand on fermentation temps on Chico strain and reach temps of 80 degrees that turned out fine. But I pitched the yeast in the low 60s. Pitching and starting the fermentation out cool can really save your beer if a mistake like this happens.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 28, 2014, 11:41:17 AM
For the record: I have had a few batches get out of hand on fermentation temps on Chico strain and reach temps of 80 degrees that turned out fine. But I pitched the yeast in the low 60s. Pitching and starting the fermentation out cool can really save your beer if a mistake like this happens.

+1
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: dcb on August 28, 2014, 01:41:17 PM
I had to dump 372 gallons of beer a week ago due to a stupid employee mistake.

Care to share the nature of that mistake?  Always looking to learn from others-- if forces me to think of new mistakes of my own.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: majorvices on August 28, 2014, 01:53:34 PM

I had to dump 372 gallons of beer a week ago due to a stupid employee mistake.

Care to share the nature of that mistake?  Always looking to learn from others-- if forces me to think of new mistakes of my own.

In the case if my most recent major temp spike it was a 30bbl batch of imperial amber that I pitched at 64 but a valve on the glycol loop malfunctioned and didn't open and temp shot up during high krausen. That was about 2 years ago. But on the homebrew level similar situation happened on RIS that the compressor died to my freezer.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: denny on August 28, 2014, 02:53:31 PM
For the record: I have had a few batches get out of hand on fermentation temps on Chico strain and reach temps of 80 degrees that turned out fine. But I pitched the yeast in the low 60s. Pitching and starting the fermentation out cool can really save your beer if a mistake like this happens.

Very true.  I made all the beers for Brewcraft at NHC with 05.  My temps got out of hand and they all got up to almost 80.  While they likely weren't as good as they could have been, they also weren't terrible.  There was little trace of fusels or fruitiness.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: ynotbrusum on August 28, 2014, 04:38:32 PM
How far along into fermentation do you typically not worry about temperature causing fusels and excessive esters?  I have been keeping my ales cool for the first five to ten days in a chilling bag with frozen water bottle rotation, but then letting them finish at interior room temperature (72-75F in the summer) for the last little bit.  Just wondering if there is an accepted degree of attenuation where the ales can be left alone without much worry?
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: majorvices on August 28, 2014, 05:10:57 PM
48-72 hours usually and I ramp up most ales to upper 60s. But in this case I am talking about temp spike was probably within  48 hours. I did not bother lowering it once it spiked.
Title: Re: Need advice on fermentation temp that got out of control
Post by: ynotbrusum on August 28, 2014, 05:37:54 PM
Good to know, Keith.  I guess I have been acting on the conservative side for cooling ales (i.e., longer), but so far by pitching well, the yeasts have fermented pretty well and reached full attenuation, despite the extended cooling.  Good to know that after 3 days or so, I can rest easier on these ale measures and let the rise occur a little (I am not talking a total free rise to hot temperatures, of course - except for those Saisons).