Author Topic: Too cold to ferment?  (Read 556 times)

Offline shoptoylife

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Too cold to ferment?
« on: January 07, 2015, 06:05:52 PM »
I didn't see anything offhand on the site about this, so if there's a guide or temp chart I'd really love a link or suggestion  :D

I'm just outside of Chicago - we're dealing with some cold temps, with highs of -2.  The temp in my garage would be around 30-32 degrees, give or take.  I wanted to do my second attempt at beer but wasn't sure if that temp was too cold to allow for fermentation.  If it's not, then would the time, say, double? 

Thanks!

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Too cold to ferment?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 06:09:44 PM »
that temp is too cold to ferment. even lagers would not ferment at that temp.

as a general rule ale yeasts will do their best work (flavor wise) between 58-68 (beer temp). 58 is pushing the low end for a lot of strains but there are a few that will work well at those temps.

lager yeasts do their best at between 45 and 55 with a couple exceptions that do okay in the high 50's or low 60's.

30 to 32 is a great temp for cold conditioning finished beer though.

time to bring that bucket inside for the winter.
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Offline shoptoylife

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Re: Too cold to ferment?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 06:52:55 PM »
thanks! I had a feeling that was the case, might be time to move or use the time to build a fermentation cabinet.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Too cold to ferment?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 06:57:06 PM »
That's an option as well. a lightbulb in a tin can, or a reptile heat rock are both good safe options for heating a small chamber to fermentation temps. but by all means, take advantage of the cold and brew some lagers over the next few months. then you only have to raise your temp 15 degrees or so.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Too cold to ferment?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2015, 03:31:46 AM »
Just do not use halogen lamp for heating. Ceramic reptile heater is a good choice.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Too cold to ferment?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2015, 06:43:13 AM »

Just do not use halogen lamp for heating. Ceramic reptile heater is a good choice.
+1 - my ceramic heater is holding my saison at 72° on its way to 76° while its 20° in the garage. I went with the 100w, but thing the 60w would have done the job fine.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Too cold to ferment?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 01:06:14 AM »
I am just west of Chicago and I love to do lagers, so I have a bucket in a big foam sided bag cooler used in the summer with ice bottles for chilling, but now I add a simple thin film bucket heat wrap along with an external thermostat to dial in the temp.  I am presently heating at 62 for a d-rest on a lager.  It really is my favored time of the year to brew.
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