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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Hopspringseternal on July 15, 2020, 02:38:35 pm

Title: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Hopspringseternal on July 15, 2020, 02:38:35 pm
How warm is too warm for the ambient temperature for the primary fermenter?  I'm using Safale US-05 yeast.  The ambient temperature reads 77 (F).
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Kevin on July 15, 2020, 02:46:54 pm
The act of fermentation creates heat within the wort. Upwards of 10 degrees or more. Safale says the ideal fermentation temperature for US-05 is 64 to 82 degrees F. So if my ambient was 77 I would find a way to bring the temperature of your fermenter down. Something like a swamp cooler is probably the simplest and least expensive option.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: denny on July 15, 2020, 03:26:25 pm
How warm is too warm for the ambient temperature for the primary fermenter?  I'm using Safale US-05 yeast.  The ambient temperature reads 77 (F).

That's too warm...way too warm.  You want beer temp to be in low-mid 60s ideally, so the ambient would need to be 5-10F cooler.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Hopspringseternal on July 18, 2020, 02:15:47 am
Thanks, Denny and Kevin.  I've been keeping a towel, saturated with water, wrapped around the primary with a small box fan blowing on it.  I've added water to the towel about three times a day to keep it wet and the temp has dropped to between 67 and 70.  That's still not where I'd like it to be.  Since I only have a crawlspace to store my beer in during fermentation, I'm guessing that I'll need to confine my brewing to three seasons out of the year--i.e., not in the summer. 
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 18, 2020, 11:08:36 am
Consider making a simple box out of foam insulation and using frozen water bottles for cooling.  You can achieve cooler temperatures pretty easily just by swapping out the frozen bottles.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Joe_Beer on July 18, 2020, 12:55:12 pm
Consider making a simple box out of foam insulation and using frozen water bottles for cooling.

I've been thinking about this type of setup A LOT in the past few weeks. Maybe a "swamp cooler" setup using an igloo cooler to put ice in. It would be super swell to have an output hose blowing swamp cooled air into an insulated box.

I'm using a wet shirt over my bucket right now with a fan blowing on it. It does keep temps lower than ambient, but that's only until the shirt dries out. It needs constant attention. Still better than nothing, but it's begging for improvement.

UPDATE: Added a 30GPH aquarium pump and a couple feet of 1/4" poly tubing to keep the shirt wet 👍
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Hopspringseternal on July 18, 2020, 05:19:54 pm
What a great idea!  An insulated box, large enough for my 6.5 gallon primary, with enough room for some frozen water bottles.  I'll explore that construction project and, hopefully, with this new resource I'll be able to continue to brew in the summer.  "Why not brew some," indeed!
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: spurviance on July 19, 2020, 03:32:22 pm
A bathtub that won't be used for a couple weeks always works.  The water absorbs a lot of the heat and adding ice or frozen water bottles to bring the temp down will stabilize the beer temp
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: denny on July 19, 2020, 03:33:41 pm
A bathtub that won't be used for a couple weeks always works.  The water absorbs a lot of the heat and adding ice or frozen water bottles to bring the temp down will stabilize the beer temp

I did something like that for years, although using a large plastic muck bucket in a closet rather than a bath tub.  Works really well.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: erockrph on July 19, 2020, 04:05:06 pm
I still do the swamp cooler thing from time to time for ales in the summer when my basement is running hot. My fermentation keg fits neatly inside a 6.5 gallon brew bucket It's enough to keep the temperature from spiking during peak fermentation,  then I pull the fermenter out to let the beer finish after 3 or 4 days.

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Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Hopspringseternal on July 19, 2020, 11:48:18 pm
I appreciate all these great ideas. Looks like the simplest option would probably be a large plastic trash can filled with ice/ice water. But I'm also considering building a simple, insulated box (30" tall and 19" wide), with 1" polystyrene foam boards with foil backing. I thought I'd make a lid out of the same and then glue some bead board onto the foam board for the base (the bead board is to keep the fermenter bucket from denting into the insulation).  If I place four 2-liter plastic pop filled with frozen water in the corners of the box I'm hoping it will keep the temp in the low to mid 60s even when my crawlspace is in the mid to high 70s.  What do you think?
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 20, 2020, 01:05:12 am
Four frozen bottles will very likely get you to lager fermentation temperature.  Cheers!
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Hopspringseternal on July 20, 2020, 02:07:35 pm
Okay, thanks. I'll check the temperature for my ales frequently until I get this thing figured-out. With a primitive "ice box," like I'm building I guess I can adjust the temperature by removing frozen pop bottles as needed. But I hope you're right. I'd like to try brewing some lagers sometime!
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Cliffs on July 20, 2020, 04:19:46 pm
Thanks, Denny and Kevin.  I've been keeping a towel, saturated with water, wrapped around the primary with a small box fan blowing on it.  I've added water to the towel about three times a day to keep it wet and the temp has dropped to between 67 and 70.  That's still not where I'd like it to be.  Since I only have a crawlspace to store my beer in during fermentation, I'm guessing that I'll need to confine my brewing to three seasons out of the year--i.e., not in the summer.

you can also look into yeasts that perform better at higher temps
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Fire Rooster on July 20, 2020, 09:06:47 pm
Thanks, Denny and Kevin.  I've been keeping a towel, saturated with water, wrapped around the primary with a small box fan blowing on it.  I've added water to the towel about three times a day to keep it wet and the temp has dropped to between 67 and 70.  That's still not where I'd like it to be.  Since I only have a crawlspace to store my beer in during fermentation, I'm guessing that I'll need to confine my brewing to three seasons out of the year--i.e., not in the summer.

you can also look into yeasts that perform better at higher temps

Agreed, selecting a yeast for the environment,
 is easier than changing the environment for the yeast.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: denny on July 20, 2020, 09:40:48 pm
Thanks, Denny and Kevin.  I've been keeping a towel, saturated with water, wrapped around the primary with a small box fan blowing on it.  I've added water to the towel about three times a day to keep it wet and the temp has dropped to between 67 and 70.  That's still not where I'd like it to be.  Since I only have a crawlspace to store my beer in during fermentation, I'm guessing that I'll need to confine my brewing to three seasons out of the year--i.e., not in the summer.

you can also look into yeasts that perform better at higher temps

Agreed, selecting a yeast for the environment,
 is easier than changing the environment for the yeast.

Assuming you like the character of the yeast.  Most times I prefer to change the environment rather than accept a compromise
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 20, 2020, 09:55:24 pm
Thanks, Denny and Kevin.  I've been keeping a towel, saturated with water, wrapped around the primary with a small box fan blowing on it.  I've added water to the towel about three times a day to keep it wet and the temp has dropped to between 67 and 70.  That's still not where I'd like it to be.  Since I only have a crawlspace to store my beer in during fermentation, I'm guessing that I'll need to confine my brewing to three seasons out of the year--i.e., not in the summer.

you can also look into yeasts that perform better at higher temps

Agreed, selecting a yeast for the environment,
 is easier than changing the environment for the yeast.

Assuming you like the character of the yeast.  Most times I prefer to change the environment rather than accept a compromise

And that's if a yeast is available for your environment at the time.  I find the environment much "easier to control" than finding a yeast that will produce the beer I want in some of the environments I would otherwise experience in my home location through the course of a year.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Fire Rooster on July 20, 2020, 10:50:08 pm

http://www.garshol.priv.no/blog/291.html



Never tried high temp yeasts.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 20, 2020, 11:25:00 pm
https://beerandwinejournal.com/high-temp-yeast/

https://omegayeast.com/yeast/norwegian-kveik/hothead-ale


Never tried high temp yeasts.

Tried them and most are not to my liking for the most part.  But I brew lagers and British ales mostly.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Hopspringseternal on July 21, 2020, 01:55:02 pm
Thanks for the suggestion about adjusting the yeast to the environment.  I'm still relatively new at brewing.  What are some good (and hopefully not too expensive) yeasts that perform well with ambient temperatures in the mid to upper 70s?
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Fire Rooster on July 21, 2020, 02:29:23 pm
Thanks for the suggestion about adjusting the yeast to the environment.  I'm still relatively new at brewing.  What are some good (and hopefully not too expensive) yeasts that perform well with ambient temperatures in the mid to upper 70s?

 I have no experience with higher temp yeasts, perhaps others do.
Although, I've been itching to try Hothead/Kveik for some time now.
In the winter, I switch to Nottingham yeast when my basement gets very cold.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: denny on July 21, 2020, 02:43:06 pm
https://beerandwinejournal.com/high-temp-yeast/

https://omegayeast.com/yeast/norwegian-kveik/hothead-ale


Never tried high temp yeasts.

Tried them and most are not to my liking for the most part.  But I brew lagers and British ales mostly.

Yep.  Same here.  They may produce beer at high temps, but for me that doesn't matter if I don't lime the beer theu make.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: goose on July 21, 2020, 06:30:38 pm
I sometimes change the environment toward the end of primary fermentation by raising the temperature to get the beer to more easily get to terminal gravity.  That change amounts to raising the temperature from like 65- 67 degrees to maybe 71 or 72.  I don't change the temperature until the gravity has dropped to within a few points of terminal gravity to avoid producing unwanted esters and phenolics early in the ferementation.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Kestrel Brewing on July 21, 2020, 06:41:24 pm
Thanks for the suggestion about adjusting the yeast to the environment.  I'm still relatively new at brewing.  What are some good (and hopefully not too expensive) yeasts that perform well with ambient temperatures in the mid to upper 70s?

In terms of fermentation temperatures in the mid 70's to mid 80's, if you're not going to go with a kveik strain, I'd venture to say that your best bet is probably a Belgian ale strain. But that's just me, YMMV.

Yeast purveyors (farmers? ranchers?) often have charts that list the specs on all of their strains including recommended fermentation temperature ranges:
https://www.whitelabs.com/sites/default/files/WL_Poster-Beer_Matrix%20_09-16-19-small.pdf
https://omegayeast.com/uploads/downloads/Omega-Yeast-2019-Strain-Poster-For-Web.pdf

Wyeast has this handy dandy thingy that lets you select strains by temperature among other factors:
https://wyeastlab.com/beer-strains

And then there are folks who have created lists that try to match up yeast strains from one brand to the other in case your local home brew shop is out of White Labs and you need to use Wyeast or vice versa:
https://www.txbrewing.com/yeast-substitution.html


Google is your friend here …

Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: denny on July 21, 2020, 06:49:19 pm
And I have personal experience that says the yeast companies may not always know the best temps.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Cliffs on July 21, 2020, 06:58:21 pm
And I have personal experience that says the yeast companies may not always know the best temps.
YES!

couldnt agree more.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: BrewBama on July 22, 2020, 12:10:52 pm
And I have personal experience that says the yeast companies may not always know the best temps.
...and I have person correspondence with a major supplier and a conference presentation from another describing the trials they conduct to determine their recommendations.

I guess it comes down to who do you trust: some random Homebrewer fermenting in their basement who just happens upon a scenario that worked once or twice ...or a global mfr that wants their customers to have successful results so they’ll continue to buy their product with a laboratory and a professional panel using industry standards that conducts controlled trials across a spectrum of scenarios to determine a recommendation.


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Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: denny on July 22, 2020, 02:24:18 pm
And I have personal experience that says the yeast companies may not always know the best temps.
...and I have person correspondence with a major supplier and a conference presentation from another describing the trials they conduct to determine their recommendations.

I guess it comes down to who do you trust: some random Homebrewer fermenting in their basement who just happens upon a scenario that worked once or twice ...or a global mfr that wants their customers to have successful results so they’ll continue to buy their product with a laboratory and a professional panel using industry standards that conducts controlled trials across a spectrum of scenarios to determine a recommendation.


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I have no doubt some of them test some strains.  I know for a fact that not all of them test all strains.  This is not homebrewer speculation.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Fire Rooster on July 23, 2020, 08:47:51 am
https://omegayeast.com/yeast?search=kveik&brewerType=homebrewer

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=35261.0
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: jrenmo on August 06, 2020, 06:47:33 pm
Started a batch of Brown ale on Monday. Fermentation vigorously started within a couple hours. On day 3 it slowed waaaay down. Temps in my area are considerably cool for this time of year. Morning average low is 57 degrees. I have it fermenting in my bedroom closet. Could it be because of cool temps that yeast have slowed down? First time brewing beer however I’ve been fermenting mead for over 10 years, never had this happen. I guess time will tell if yeast becomes active again.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: denny on August 06, 2020, 06:54:40 pm
Maybe, or it could just be that fermentation is progressing.  What is the temp of the beer?  That's what matters.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Steve Ruch on August 07, 2020, 05:31:47 pm
Maybe, or it could just be that fermentation is progressing.  What is the temp of the beer?  That's what matters.
Right, because even if the ambient temperature is 57 the beer will be higher because of heat generated by fermentation.
Title: Re: Ambient temperature for primary fermenter
Post by: Saccharomyces on August 07, 2020, 07:17:14 pm
As Denny mentioned, ambient temperature and internal temperature usually do not match during active fermentation because, to use a big word, fermentation is exothermic. The little yeasty beasties are reducing polysaccharides to monosaccharides and monosaccharides to carbon, which they transform into energy.  That process releases heat.  I remember watching a series of videos on VHS tape that were created by Micheal Jackson (the beer hunter, not the singer) where he was in a fermentation room at a German brewery.  What was interesting to see was that there was frost on the outside of the fermenter, but fermentation activity appeared to be very strong.