Membership questions? Log in issues? Email info@brewersassociation.org

Author Topic: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!  (Read 5647 times)

Offline Kid Moxie

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Kid's Got Moxie
    • Five Blades Brewing
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2015, 10:51:04 am »
The right number of cells to pitch is less for a British ale than if you were making a clean American Ale. Friends at a local Brewpub use WLP-022,a nod make fruity estery ales at a low pitch rate and double it if they want a cleaner more American style ale. Seems the is even something written on this.

FWIW, I just made an ESB w/ a big ol' pitch of WLP022 and I still got *plenty* of ester character. It was like cherry preserves smeared on toast!

Offline brulosopher

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
  • They who drink beer will think beer
    • Brülosophy
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2015, 11:42:15 am »

Would it be worth the time to do an experiment on temp at a low pitch rate?
Hell yeah!

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10670
  • Milford, MI
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2015, 11:50:58 am »
The right number of cells to pitch is less for a British ale than if you were making a clean American Ale. Friends at a local Brewpub use WLP-022,a nod make fruity estery ales at a low pitch rate and double it if they want a cleaner more American style ale. Seems the is even something written on this.

FWIW, I just made an ESB w/ a big ol' pitch of WLP022 and I still got *plenty* of ester character. It was like cherry preserves smeared on toast!

It can be fairly clean with a big pitch, how big, I have to ask.

I do like that yeast. From a closed brewery in Clemsford England, a guy in our club had brought some back and gave White Labs a sample.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline jtoots

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2015, 06:30:33 am »
I wonder how much of the "temp control = better beer" comes from minimizing temperature swings? My fermenting closet only experiences two degree swing on a bad day, and I've never had issues fermenting British ales up to 72 degrees there.

It's be interesting to redo the experiment, and make the experimental group undergo a temperature swing, say 74* during the day to 66* at night.

+1 - temp stability vs. temp control?

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2015, 09:20:18 am »
Home brewing is chock-full of practices that are not supported by science.  A while back, I posted that having to ferment ales below the yeast propagator suggested temperature range in order to achieve an off-flavor-free beer was a sign of poor sanitation and/or yeast management.  That information was accepted  about as well as would a lard omelette by many forum members.

The cold hard reality is that most domesticated brewing yeast strains have to experience stress before they throw tons of metabolite trash.  Stresses can be as simple as inadequate aeration, or shear stress from being propagated on a stir plate.  Large temperature swings can also cause stress.

Pitching a small amount of yeast into a high gravity wort creates a two-fold problem.  The first problem is osmotic pressure.  The solution on the outside of the cell wall has a higher solute content (i.e., the solution is hypertonic), which results in water being drawn out the cells.  The loss of water results on the loss of turgor pressure, which, in turn, results in cell shrinkage and possible implosion.  The cells that do not implode experience difficulty passing nutrients and waste products through their cell membranes. 

The second problem that one experiences with high gravity brewing is that it is more difficult to dissolve O2 in high gravity wort than it is in low gravity wort; hence, it is more difficult to grow a large culture from a small number of yeast cells when propagating in high gravity wort than it is when propagating in lower gravity wort.  As yeast cells shunt O2 to the respirative metabolic pathway for the synthesis of ergosterol and unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), ergosterol and UFAs make the cell membrane more pliable, pliable membranes are needed for the passage of nutrients and waste products as well as the ability to resist the effects of osmotic pressure, and the mother cells that are in existence when the O2 is still in solution share their ergosterol and UFA reserves with all of their children, it is easy to see how starting with a small number of yeast cells could result in a fermentation where the cells are stressed for the duration of the fermentation. 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 09:22:52 am by S. cerevisiae »

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4119
  • Barre, Ma
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2015, 09:32:07 am »
Home brewing is chock-full of practices that are not supported by science.  A while back, I posted that having to ferment ales below the yeast propagator suggested temperature range in order to achieve an off-flavor-free beer was a sign of poor sanitation and/or yeast management.  That information was accepted  about as well as would a lard omelette by many forum members.


I think you under estimate how well a lard omelet would be accepted on this forum. ;)
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10670
  • Milford, MI
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2015, 09:42:30 am »
Home brewing is chock-full of practices that are not supported by science.  A while back, I posted that having to ferment ales below the yeast propagator suggested temperature range in order to achieve an off-flavor-free beer was a sign of poor sanitation and/or yeast management.  That information was accepted  about as well as would a lard omelette by many forum members.


I think you under estimate how well a lard omelet would be accepted on this forum. ;)

I eat the Italian "Lardo", so I would try an omelette. The best pie crusts I made with leaf lard.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 13031
  • Indianapolis,IN
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2015, 09:48:20 am »
Home brewing is chock-full of practices that are not supported by science.  A while back, I posted that having to ferment ales below the yeast propagator suggested temperature range in order to achieve an off-flavor-free beer was a sign of poor sanitation and/or yeast management.  That information was accepted  about as well as would a lard omelette by many forum members.


I think you under estimate how well a lard omelet would be accepted on this forum. ;)

Debateable.  ;)    What I do find amusing is the idea that 90% + of the brewers on this forum (including pro brewers) who don't take temp recommendations as gospel are likely using poor sanitation and/or yeast management.    :D
Jon H.

Offline Kid Moxie

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Kid's Got Moxie
    • Five Blades Brewing
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2015, 10:31:01 am »
It can be fairly clean with a big pitch, how big, I have to ask.

I do like that yeast. From a closed brewery in Clemsford England, a guy in our club had brought some back and gave White Labs a sample.

I typically pitch at hybrid rates (1 million cells / ml / degree Plato) for all my ales, so not *super* huge, but definitely not an under-pitch.

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2015, 11:27:36 am »
What I do find amusing is the idea that 90% + of the brewers on this forum (including pro brewers) who don't take temp recommendations as gospel are likely using poor sanitation and/or yeast management.    :D

It's not the act of not taking temp recommendations as gospel that I find objectionable.  It's about the tendency of home brewers to elevate pseudo-science to the status of actual science that I find objectionable.   Without control cases, objective quality analysis, and a large sample size, any claimed process improvement is merely conjecture.  Quite frankly, a brewer does not really know if his/her sanitation and yeast management practices are effective until samples are taken and plated.  It can be an eye-opening event for many brewers.

Sure, there are limits to non-attemperated fermentation.  One needs to be mindful of large temperature swings as well as excessive fermentation temperature, but the temperature ranges given by the yeast propagators are conservative most of the time.  Most of the production ale strains that are in use today are isolates of strains that were selected via serial repitching long before the introduction of mechanical refrigeration and precise temperature control. 


Offline Phil_M

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1760
  • Southern Maryland
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2015, 12:14:34 pm »
It's not the act of not taking temp recommendations as gospel that I find objectionable.  It's about the tendency of home brewers to elevate pseudo-science to the status of actual science that I find objectionable.   Without control cases, objective quality analysis, and a large sample size, any claimed process improvement is merely conjecture. 

And that is my biggest pet peeve within the hobby. Yeast pitch rates, reusing slurry, hop utilization, the list goes on and on. Don't even get me started on the whole "Is hot side aeration real or not" argument, I'm still confused.

This is, I understand why we're in this mess: Nobody really has the time or resources to run enough controlled tests to obtain enough quantifiable data to get a definitive answer. But that's fine, it's a hobby, not a job, after all.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4861
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2015, 12:29:35 pm »
Ultimately at the homebrew level, however, it really does come down to trying things and keeping what works for you.  Anecdotal, yes, but when I review things with my daughter (PhD candidate in microbiology), she often states that my conclusion is sound and then says why.  She marvels at how accurate many homebrewer conclusions are, even though the scientific reason differs from what the homebrewer thinks is the reason for the conclusion.  So, as long as the train gets to the station on time, it doesn't always matter what track you are on!

Good discussion, fellows.  My science is not strong enough to understand the specifics, but I think I get the general ideas.  And for that I am grateful for the discussion.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 13031
  • Indianapolis,IN
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2015, 12:30:53 pm »
But that's fine, it's a hobby, not a job, after all.

Yep. First off, the yeast companies give several performance ranges - temp, attenuation, alcohol tolerance. They also give lists of styles that each strain could be used for, many of them a stretch.. I don't see the temp ranges as any more accurate as the rest of these recommendations. They are rough approximations to give new brewers reasonable performance. At some point a brewer's personal experience and preferences come into play.
Jon H.

Offline erockrph

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7766
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2015, 07:00:31 pm »
But that's fine, it's a hobby, not a job, after all.

Yep. First off, the yeast companies give several performance ranges - temp, attenuation, alcohol tolerance. They also give lists of styles that each strain could be used for, many of them a stretch.. I don't see the temp ranges as any more accurate as the rest of these recommendations. They are rough approximations to give new brewers reasonable performance. At some point a brewer's personal experience and preferences come into play.
This kind of brings me to Mark's "nuclear weapon" analogy. If you're trying to take out New York City, you don't need to pinpoint a dime in the middle of Central Park. Anywhere in the middle of Manhattan will get the job done. But if you have your target dialed in, you might as well shoot for it dead-on. That will certainly give you the most leeway in case something goes awry.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline BrewingReveries

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Fermentation Temperature - Pt. 2: English Ale | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2015, 05:53:22 pm »
I'm a very new brewer, so I'm not sure how much my limited experience really counts; however, my first 9 batches were not temperature controlled and I did not use yeast starters.  My ambient temp is 72 degrees, which I've noticed is significantly higher than recommended.  The only excessive ester issue I had was with a tripel: hello banana!  At first I thought it was the fermentation temp, but now I'm inclined to believe it had more to do with pitch rate.  I keep expecting my beers to be overly estery because of what everyone says about fermentation temp, but my other beers have fermented very clean regardless of the yeast strain (including multiple Belgians and WLP002).

It seems to me that people rarely make one improvement at a time.  Better temperature control probably happens right around the same time sanitation practices get better, people begin using yeast starters, generally gain experience, etc.  Then at that point why would anyone want to take a step backwards to see or question what it was that actually made the difference?