Author Topic: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature  (Read 2732 times)

Offline ecoasthoosier

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Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« on: January 24, 2016, 05:55:55 PM »
I know for lagers, temperature control of fermentation is essential. I'm wondering, though, how controlling temperature would affect ales?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 05:59:48 PM »
Controlling temp is important for any beer, to prevent the formation of fusels and unwanted yeast derived off flavors and aromas. Head retention is impacted negatively by fermenting beers too warm as well.


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« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 06:05:38 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline denny

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 06:31:28 PM »
IMO, temp control is the single biggest thing you can do to improve and maintain beer quality.  You can buy the best ingredients, spend hours crafting a recipe, brew meticulously on brew day.  But if you can't control the fermentation temp, all the rest will be wasted effort.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2016, 06:32:40 PM »
I would say it's one of the biggest improvements you can make to your homebrew.  If your house is anywhere near the high 60s, your fermentation temperature will spike into the 70s due to the heat given off by fermentation.  This is bad, especially in the first 48 hours.  The "homebrew" taste of unpleasant higher alcohols and phenolics is mostly caused by this, in my experience.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 06:33:24 PM »
IMO, temp control is the single biggest thing you can do to improve and maintain beer quality.  You can buy the best ingredients, spend hours crafting a recipe, brew meticulously on brew day.  But if you can't control the fermentation temp, all the rest will be wasted effort.

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Offline ecoasthoosier

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2016, 07:10:03 PM »
Thanks for the replies! I think this info pretty much determines what my next equipment purchase is going to be for my home brewery. Cheers!

Offline Stevie

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2016, 07:41:15 PM »

IMO, temp control is the single biggest thing you can do to improve and maintain beer quality.  You can buy the best ingredients, spend hours crafting a recipe, brew meticulously on brew day.  But if you can't control the fermentation temp, all the rest will be wasted effort.

Yeah, this!
+2 - proper yeast handling is close second.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 10:51:37 PM »
IMO, temp control is the single biggest thing you can do to improve and maintain beer quality.  You can buy the best ingredients, spend hours crafting a recipe, brew meticulously on brew day.  But if you can't control the fermentation temp, all the rest will be wasted effort.



I couldn't agree more.
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 01:55:27 PM »
Thanks for the replies! I think this info pretty much determines what my next equipment purchase is going to be for my home brewery. Cheers!

Controlling fermentation temps doesn't always require a full-blown (expensive) fermentation chamber, either. I live in SE Michigan, and our home has a basement. In Winter, the ambient temp in my utility room keeps my ale pail fermenters at about 62 or so (also easy to get the wort down to that temp, as our ground water is in the 50s). In Summer, I put the fermenter in a large plastic tub of water, with a couple of frozen liter water bottles; changing out the bottles a couple of times a day keeps ferm temps in the low 60s.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 04:06:46 PM »
I agree that #1 is temp control, and #2 being yeast health/pitchrate #3 is water pH/Alkalinity.  But I am still newish to the hobby/passion/addiction/dare I say way of life.
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Offline charles1968

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 07:17:09 PM »
I know for lagers, temperature control of fermentation is essential. I'm wondering, though, how controlling temperature would affect ales?

Some ale yeasts perform best at particular temperatures, so you get the best from them if you can control temperature. Low temperatures better for clean tasting beers, higher for beers made with expressive Belgian or British yeasts.

You can also raise temp at end of fermentation to help yeast clear up fermentation by-products like diacetyl and acetaldehyde, and then chill to clear the beer.

Extremely useful all round for ales as well as lagers.

Offline kgs

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2016, 12:08:25 AM »
One of those questions I have hesitated to ask ("I should know this by now") is whether I should set the  the temp of the fridge a few degrees lower. In other words, if a recipe says "ferment at 68 degrees F," is that the wort, or the ambient temperature?
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Offline denny

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2016, 12:10:50 AM »
One of those questions I have hesitated to ask ("I should know this by now") is whether I should set the  the temp of the fridge a few degrees lower. In other words, if a recipe says "ferment at 68 degrees F," is that the wort, or the ambient temperature?

It's wort temp that matters.
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Offline kgs

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2016, 12:13:30 AM »
One of those questions I have hesitated to ask ("I should know this by now") is whether I should set the  the temp of the fridge a few degrees lower. In other words, if a recipe says "ferment at 68 degrees F," is that the wort, or the ambient temperature?

It's wort temp that matters.

If you don't have a thermometer in the wort, is there a rule-of-thumb offset?
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Benefits of controlling fermentation temperature
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2016, 01:54:44 AM »
Get one of those stick-on liquid crystal type thermometers, they're a great way to measure fermentation temps accurately.

And FWIW, I've had good results fermenting at ambient temps-but note that I typically brew British styles that benefit from fermenting a little warmer than American styles. Also, the beers this has worked with never got warmer than 66oF, as measured by a thermometer as described above.
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