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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: cmand on September 30, 2010, 02:42:15 AM

Title: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: cmand on September 30, 2010, 02:42:15 AM
I usually have a nice window this time of year to brew with the temps falling in Philly.  The problem is my basement is not cooperating this year.  It has been constantly at 76 degrees.  I have plans to do a Strong ale and an Amber, similar to Red Seal.  Do I   1. Put my fementer outside after the sun goes down and bring it in during the day? or 2. Is there a yeast that works better at hight temps?
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: a10t2 on September 30, 2010, 02:53:43 AM
3. Set up some kind of temperature control. All you need is a bucket/cooler, some water, and optionally ice/towel/fan.

http://seanterrill.com/2009/05/20/regulating-fermentation-temperatures/
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: wingnut on September 30, 2010, 02:56:43 AM
Short answer is that 76 is too high for any of the yeasts I am aware of.

Some other factors to consider, is that the sunlight is not good for your beer (skunky smells), also, I have found that ramping the temperature up and down on yeast is worse than fermenting warm.

So I would find a spot that is fairly constant temperature, place the carboy into a pool of water, stick a t-shirt over the carboy(to wick up the water out of the pool or tub of water) and put a fan on the carboy.... as long as it is not too humid, you will drop 2 to 4 degrees off of your temps.

Another possibility I have seen is to take a large garbage can, fill it with water, and put the carboy into the water (keep the beer line in the carboy above the water line so that  the carboy will not float.)  And then put frozen gallon jugs water into the water.  The blocks of ice will melt at a fairly constant rate and with a little experimentation, you can add jugs at a constant rate to keep the temps down.

Good luck!!
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: BrewArk on September 30, 2010, 03:04:00 AM
Is there a cooler space in the basement, say on the floor near an exterior wall?  You might find something that would carry you through 'till the temps drop.  Otherwise make wine - it likes to ferment at that temp.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: euge on September 30, 2010, 08:02:25 AM
You gotta cool the beer down as you know. It's the nemesis of homebrewers. Screw placing it outside and temp swings. Even in a box with frozen bottles will work. Throw a couple blankets over the box even better. No box? Wrap the frozen bottles against the fermenter with towels and switch them out every 12-24 hours.

Invest in indoor/outdoor thermometer from Lowes or Home Depot to monitor temps.


Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: bluesman on September 30, 2010, 10:23:06 AM
I agree with the posters in that 76 is too high to ferment most ales.  There's really no other choice but to gain control of the fermentation with either a swamp cooler or a fermentation control chamber of some sort.  This is a common issue that homebrewers struggle with and unfortunately there's not much one can do about it other than tackle it. I know it's probably not the answer you were looking for but it's one to be dealt with.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: theoman on October 04, 2010, 06:45:41 AM
I usually pick my yeast based on the temperatures in my house. I usually go through the list of yeasts from the northern brewer website, my local brew shop, or the wyeast site and pick according to the temperature tolerance and the characteristics I'm going for. It's hard to get too warm for Wyeast 3724, Belgian Saison.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: denny on October 04, 2010, 03:55:34 PM
I usually pick my yeast based on the temperatures in my house. I usually go through the list of yeasts from the northern brewer website, my local brew shop, or the wyeast site and pick according to the temperature tolerance and the characteristics I'm going for. It's hard to get too warm for Wyeast 3724, Belgian Saison.

I do the opposite.  I base yeast choice on the flavor profile I want in the beer, then adjust the fermentation environment accordingly.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: tschmidlin on October 04, 2010, 04:22:28 PM
I usually pick my yeast based on the temperatures in my house. I usually go through the list of yeasts from the northern brewer website, my local brew shop, or the wyeast site and pick according to the temperature tolerance and the characteristics I'm going for. It's hard to get too warm for Wyeast 3724, Belgian Saison.

I do the opposite.  I base yeast choice on the flavor profile I want in the beer, then adjust the fermentation environment accordingly.
That's what I do too, but if you can't control your fermentation temps then picking a yeast based on the prevailing conditions makes sense.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: denny on October 04, 2010, 04:42:57 PM
Maybe so, but if I want to make an APA, I don't think I want to use a saison yeast just because it works at high temps.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: Hokerer on October 04, 2010, 05:03:44 PM
I do the opposite.  I base yeast choice on the flavor profile I want in the beer, then adjust the fermentation environment accordingly.
That's what I do too, but if you can't control your fermentation temps then picking a yeast based on the prevailing conditions makes sense.

Don't you mean "if you WON'T control your temps"?  Almost anyone should be able to control their temps if they want to.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: euge on October 04, 2010, 05:05:49 PM
Using Belgian strains is a tactic but will only get a brewer so far. Just because they can handle higher temps (boy will they!) doesn't always mean you'll get traditional and great results from them. Those yeasts are usually started out cool- in the 60's, and allowed to slowly rise several degrees by some brewers. So going Belgian isn't a magic bullet.

As stated before it is actually fairly easy and inexpensive to bring the temps down.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: tubercle on October 04, 2010, 05:11:54 PM
I do the opposite.  I base yeast choice on the flavor profile I want in the beer, then adjust the fermentation environment accordingly.
That's what I do too, but if you can't control your fermentation temps then picking a yeast based on the prevailing conditions makes sense.

Don't you mean "if you WON'T control your temps"?  Almost anyone should be able to control their temps if they want to.
 

 Agreed.
  Anybody can sit a fermenting vessel in some water and cover it with a wet cloth. An old tee-shirt, curtains, your underwear. No excuse.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: tschmidlin on October 04, 2010, 05:27:59 PM
I do the opposite.  I base yeast choice on the flavor profile I want in the beer, then adjust the fermentation environment accordingly.
That's what I do too, but if you can't control your fermentation temps then picking a yeast based on the prevailing conditions makes sense.

Don't you mean "if you WON'T control your temps"?  Almost anyone should be able to control their temps if they want to.
No, I mean can't although I might add the word "sufficiently".  :) If it's 85F in your house a swamp cooler is only going to get you so far.  And seriously, how often do we see people on this board recommend kolsch or California lager yeasts for someone wants to make a German lager but can't reliably get their temps down low enough?  That is the same thing.  I know there are lots of ways to bring temps down, but they're not all realistic for everyone, whether because of money, space, SWMBO, or other considerations.

And to your point Denny, if you want to make an APA you might want to wait until the temp comes down and make saisons in the summer.  Seasonal brewing was the standard for centuries, pretty sure we all know that. :)

<edited because the first read through sounded a little angry - I'm not :)>
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: denny on October 04, 2010, 05:34:28 PM
No, I mean can't although I might add the word "sufficiently".  :) If it's 85F in your house a swamp cooler is only going to get you so far.  And seriously, how often do we see people on this board recommend kolsch or California lager yeasts for someone wants to make a German lager but can't reliably get their temps down low enough?  That is the same thing.  I know there are lots of ways to bring temps down, but they're not all realistic for everyone, whether because of money, space, SWMBO, or other considerations.

And to your point Denny, if you want to make an APA you might want to wait until the temp comes down and make saisons in the summer.  Seasonal brewing was the standard for centuries, pretty sure we all know that. :)

<edited because the first read through sounded a little angry - I'm not :)>

I understand your point about seasonal brewing, but dammit, I want what I want when I want it!  :)   Putting my fermenter in a tub of water in an interior closet and adding ice packs, I can maintain 65-70 with an ambient of 85-90.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: euge on October 04, 2010, 05:38:10 PM
I always wondered hoe you did it Denny. After all these years still doing it cheap and easy? Now I imagine you brew your Alts and such in the "cooler" months?
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: denny on October 04, 2010, 05:40:23 PM
I always wondered hoe you did it Denny. After all these years still doing it cheap and easy? Now I imagine you brew your Alts and such in the "cooler" months?

Yep, alts and lagers in the winter...seasonal brewing as Tom said.  I've been working on my garage/brewery and just finished the plumbing and installed a sink/cabinets/countertop.  I'm trying to get things arranged so I can have some sort of temp controlled fermentation in there that's a bit less C&E!
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: tschmidlin on October 04, 2010, 05:46:51 PM
I understand your point about seasonal brewing, but dammit, I want what I want when I want it!  :)   Putting my fermenter in a tub of water in an interior closet and adding ice packs, I can maintain 65-70 with an ambient of 85-90.
I lived in a 285 sqft studio apartment for a year or so shortly after I moved to Seattle.  It didn't keep me from having 5 batches in progress at one time, but I didn't have an interior closet - it was a closet :)  Plus the building didn't have AC, and the apartment got the late afternoon sun and no possibility of a cross breeeze.  Summer was sweaty.  Plus when it was a nice summer weekend I typically went camping (you have to take advantage of the weather) but that meant I wasn't there to change ice in a tub either.  Seasonal brewing was really the best way to go for me, in that place, at that time.

That got old though, now I have some temperature controlled options so I can do whatever I want when I want.   ;D
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: bluesman on October 04, 2010, 05:50:47 PM
I always wondered hoe you did it Denny. After all these years still doing it cheap and easy? Now I imagine you brew your Alts and such in the "cooler" months?

Yep, alts and lagers in the winter...seasonal brewing as Tom said.  I've been working on my garage/brewery and just finished the plumbing and installed a sink/cabinets/countertop.  I'm trying to get things arranged so I can have some sort of temp controlled fermentation in there that's a bit less C&E!

This reminds me of an old joke...

I want... what I want... when I want it!

...and you'll get...what I got...when I get it!

Now I can make you a sandwich or something.  ::)

Fermentation control is the key to success....words to live by.  8)
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: denny on October 04, 2010, 05:51:08 PM
You bring up a point that we often forget...not everyone has the same situation!  In your case in that apartment, it seems there really was no alternative.  When you have a dedicated brew garage like I have, you tend to forget that not everyone is so lucky.
Title: Re: Temperature and yeasts
Post by: tschmidlin on October 04, 2010, 05:56:18 PM
You bring up a point that we often forget...not everyone has the same situation!  In your case in that apartment, it seems there really was no alternative.  When you have a dedicated brew garage like I have, you tend to forget that not everyone is so lucky.
No realistic alternatives anyway :)  I try not to forget I'm lucky to have the setup I do, even if it's not as nice as some other people's.  And having a supportive wife who understands and accepts (mostly) that she will never park the car in the garage helps too :)