Author Topic: Cool fermenting ales  (Read 685 times)

Offline Visor

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 278
    • View Profile
Cool fermenting ales
« on: January 27, 2017, 07:45:43 PM »
   Aside from longer fermentation times and perhaps reduced attenuation, what are the possible negatives from fermenting ales in the low 50s? I realize the effects will vary from one yeast strain to another, but I really don't know at the moment what all I will be brewing in the next few months. I ask because I ferment in the basement, and depending on the specific room, the temps are holding pretty steady between 50 and 54, and I don't want to spend the next 3 months brewing lagers exclusively.
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline JJeffers09

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1121
    • View Profile
Re: Cool fermenting ales
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 08:03:38 PM »
I would say get your brew out of the basement if your going to use ale yeast.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin

AHA Member
Indiana Brewers Union (IBU)

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3448
    • View Profile
Re: Cool fermenting ales
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 08:19:28 PM »
My ground water and basement temps are pretty cold in the winter so I take advantage of it to brew more lagers. It's easier for me to cool verses warm during fermentation so ales are actually harder for me in the winter. Why not use something like 34/70 which is extremely flexible?

A lot of ale yeast are probably tolerant into those ranges but you will need to pitch extra yeast.

As JJeffers notes, can't you just bring the fermenter up into a closet or something and cover it with a towel/blanket?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 08:33:56 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1813
    • View Profile
    • My LinkedIn page
Re: Cool fermenting ales
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 10:05:51 PM »
Storage container for water and aquarium heater with appropriate temperature range.

Offline bayareabrewer

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 535
    • View Profile
Re: Cool fermenting ales
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2017, 10:12:04 PM »
   Aside from longer fermentation times and perhaps reduced attenuation, what are the possible negatives from fermenting ales in the low 50s? I realize the effects will vary from one yeast strain to another, but I really don't know at the moment what all I will be brewing in the next few months. I ask because I ferment in the basement, and depending on the specific room, the temps are holding pretty steady between 50 and 54, and I don't want to spend the next 3 months brewing lagers exclusively.

depends on the yeast really. Scottish all yeast can be happy at that temp, in my experience, us-05 isn't good at all though. Look at yeast options.

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 490
    • View Profile
Re: Cool fermenting ales
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2017, 06:10:05 PM »
   Aside from longer fermentation times and perhaps reduced attenuation, what are the possible negatives from fermenting ales in the low 50s? I realize the effects will vary from one yeast strain to another, but I really don't know at the moment what all I will be brewing in the next few months. I ask because I ferment in the basement, and depending on the specific room, the temps are holding pretty steady between 50 and 54, and I don't want to spend the next 3 months brewing lagers exclusively.

depends on the yeast really. Scottish all yeast can be happy at that temp, in my experience, us-05 isn't good at all though. Look at yeast options.

I agree with you on the WY178 Scottish Ale - I like to ferment that strain around 57 degrees to stress the yeast to produce more of the signature earthy/smoky ester. 

I disagree on the US-05 though.  I used to moderate ferm temps just by moving beer to different rooms in my house.  I had US-05 going on an APA at about 62 degrees, when we got a cold snap and the beer temp dropped to 58, where it stayed until it finished.  It did take longer to ferment, and a layer of krausen pretty much stayed on the top while I racked out from under it.  That APA won taster's choice at a local homebrew competition (nothing too formal).  Either way, it was a good beer and I would try US-05 at lower temps as long as you've established a strong fermentation before dropping the temp.

I like the idea of doing some lagers with 34/70, although I haven't personally used that yeast yet.  Good luck!

Offline Joel5000

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Cool fermenting ales
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2017, 06:41:20 PM »
I've fermented with Pacman at 57 degrees with good results (takes a little longer, though).  I would give that yeast a try at 54.  Make a big starter.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Cool fermenting ales
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2017, 09:00:04 PM »
I've fermented 1056 and the Scottish strain in the upper 50s many times with good results. Use plenty, though. Totally strain dependant.
Jon H.