General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

Can I brew Ales at ambient temps in 50's

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maineyanks:
Excuse my ignorance, but I am ready to brew my first beer. However, I have a very cold house- live in Maine and keep my house at 52-55 degrees. I would brew in basement which has stable temp of 55 degrees.  Can I brew ales at this ambient temp?  I am not as interested in brewing lagers.  My first beer is going to be a Belgian triple and yeast states 64-72 as best temp. I don't care if it takes longer to ferment at these temps, but don't want to kill the yeast.  Thanks for any help.

Kaiser:
With some insulation you can get the fementation temp into the 60s during the most active part of fermentation. However, the problem will become the final part of the fermentation when the yeast needs to ferment the last sugars and clean up off-flavors. At that time the temperature will drop back into the 50s.

What's your bugdet for temp control? Some brewers place the carboy in a water bath heated with an aquarium heater. I use a heating blanked under the carboy controlled by a programable thermostat.

Kai

corkybstewart:
I've brewed at 57F fermentation temp with Nottingham yeast and had great success with it.  The only problem is that once fermentation slows down I let it warm up so you may have to move your fermenter to someplace warmer.  Another option is a fermenter heater of some sort like Fermwrap, or just a heating pad you can set the fermenter on top of.
I just finished making a cider in a room with an ambient temp of under 50F by sitting the carboy on top of a cheap heating pad.

maineyanks:


What's your bugdet for temp control? Some brewers place the carboy in a water bath heated with an aquarium heater. I use a heating blanked under the carboy controlled by a programable thermostat.

Kai
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I keep my house at 55 degrees - so, I'm pretty cheap!!!  Actually, budget really isn't a factor. I suppose if it is difficult to brew at these temps, I need to invest. I don't want to wait until summer to brew. I was thinking about an aquarium heater, but maybe a Fermwrap would be easier and cleaner/drier.

Kaiser:
I think there are some low cost ideas for fermentation temp
control. At the more expensive end is a heating blanket on a Ranco controller. That may run you about $80-90 (65-75 for the controller and $15 for the heating blanket).

Or you choose strains that work at this temperature. What about fermenting an ale recipe with a lager yeast? Or use a low temp tolerant ale yeast like the German Alt yeast WY1007.

Kai

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