Author Topic: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p  (Read 1910 times)

Offline titusv

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Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« on: May 13, 2011, 01:18:00 PM »
I'm new to brewing and I have a couple questions regarding fermentation temperature and yeast selection.

I have a electrical room in my basement that stays a constant 62-63 F year round and has no windows. I plan on fermenting in this room for the majority of the time. I have been looking at ale yeasts and I am finding that the majority of them have ideal temperatures of 65 to 70 F. Will having a slightly lower temperature cause problems?

I seem to have a constant temperature that is in between the ale and lager yeast requirements.

I think I'm over analyzing my first brew a little bit too much but I can't help myself.




Offline richardt

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 01:23:53 PM »
I think you will find that, for most ales, fermenting at 64 degrees is PERFECT!  It keeps the fusels down.  Some beers like belgians do well at warmer temps. 
Also keep in mind that, while your room is at 62-63 F (and your thermostat is measuring the ambient air, not your fermentor), your fermentor can easily be 5 degrees warmer than that due to metabolic activity from the yeast.  It also depends on whether or not you're using a plastic, glass, or stainless steel fermentor and whether there's a readily conductive heat sink (like putting your fermentor in a shallow tub of water to help wick away the extra heat.)

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 01:25:07 PM »
The temp in your electrical room will be fine for ales.  When fermentation begins it can heat up the fermenter a bit and can go up to as much as 8 degrees above the ambient temperature of the room.  
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2011, 01:26:05 PM »
you really shouldn't have a problem brewing an ale at those temps. the easy way to raise the temp in there just a bit though is a couple of lamps with 60 watt bulbs. (depending on the room size) and ventilation.  they usually will raise the temp a few degrees and won't be as big a hassle as a space heater.  you do want to protect the wort from the light though. again. i would probably just ferment in there the way it is.
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Offline titusv

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2011, 01:34:28 PM »
Thanks for the information guys. Didn't realize that fermentation was an exothermic process.

Offline richardt

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2011, 02:50:14 PM »
You can get those self-adhesive thermometer strips and stick them on your fermentor to give you a better idea of what the internal temps are.


Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2011, 02:56:52 PM »
given the tendency of vigorous fermentations to explode all over the place might the electrical room not be the BEST place for this wonderful hobby? just saying ALWAYS use a blowoff tube.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2011, 03:03:09 PM »
I think you are in perfect shape for any ales.  I'm sure some people out there are envious!
Dave

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Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2011, 03:41:46 AM »
I think I'm over analyzing my first brew a little bit too much but I can't help myself.

That's actually a good thing. Planning your beer out in advance, and planning your brew day will save you lots of time and mistakes.

If you're fermenting in your basement, pay attention to the humidity and mold levels. If you've got an older or wet basement, don't put soft plastic fermentation vessels directly on the floor, especially if they're wet on the bottom. Mold can grow underneath and there are some strong flavor compounds that can actually migrate into the plastic and give your beer off-flavors. If this is a potential get a pallet or something similar to keep your beer off the floor.

As others have said, you've got ideal ale fermentation conditions. Best of luck! 

Offline BrewQwest

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 05:00:18 AM »
You can get those self-adhesive thermometer strips and stick them on your fermentor to give you a better idea of what the internal temps are.



Just so you know, A thermometer test was performed on another forum utilizing the self adhesive strip taped to the outside of a glass carboy, plus a digital sensing probe in a thermowell placed into the center of the carboy, and an additional sensing probe taped to the outside of the carboy and insulated from the surrounding ambient temp. The carboy was placed into a controlled environment and the findings were dramatic. The surrounding air was being controlled by the sensor in the center of the wort (the one in the thermowell).  Frequent readings were taken every day during the course of fermentation and it was found that the temp strip and the sensor on the outside of the carboy, still read anywhere from 2 to 4 degrees cooler than the actual controlling thermometer.. had the fermentation been controlled by either of the other two thermometers, the fermentation temps would have made a very differenet tasting beer...
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2011, 06:05:18 AM »
You can get those self-adhesive thermometer strips and stick them on your fermentor to give you a better idea of what the internal temps are.



Just so you know, A thermometer test was performed on another forum utilizing the self adhesive strip taped to the outside of a glass carboy, plus a digital sensing probe in a thermowell placed into the center of the carboy, and an additional sensing probe taped to the outside of the carboy and insulated from the surrounding ambient temp. The carboy was placed into a controlled environment and the findings were dramatic. The surrounding air was being controlled by the sensor in the center of the wort (the one in the thermowell).  Frequent readings were taken every day during the course of fermentation and it was found that the temp strip and the sensor on the outside of the carboy, still read anywhere from 2 to 4 degrees cooler than the actual controlling thermometer.. had the fermentation been controlled by either of the other two thermometers, the fermentation temps would have made a very differenet tasting beer...
That doesn't surprise me at all.  Even on my stainless conical the glue on thermometers show the beer  to be several degrees warmer than the digital controllers set in a thermowell in the fermenter.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2011, 06:54:22 AM »
You can get those self-adhesive thermometer strips and stick them on your fermentor to give you a better idea of what the internal temps are.



Just so you know, A thermometer test was performed on another forum utilizing the self adhesive strip taped to the outside of a glass carboy, plus a digital sensing probe in a thermowell placed into the center of the carboy, and an additional sensing probe taped to the outside of the carboy and insulated from the surrounding ambient temp. The carboy was placed into a controlled environment and the findings were dramatic. The surrounding air was being controlled by the sensor in the center of the wort (the one in the thermowell).  Frequent readings were taken every day during the course of fermentation and it was found that the temp strip and the sensor on the outside of the carboy, still read anywhere from 2 to 4 degrees cooler than the actual controlling thermometer.. had the fermentation been controlled by either of the other two thermometers, the fermentation temps would have made a very differenet tasting beer...
That doesn't surprise me at all.  Even on my stainless conical the glue on thermometers show the beer  to be several degrees warmer than the digital controllers set in a thermowell in the fermenter.

If I'm reading this correctly, it appears that your findings are opposite of those referenced in the experiment.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2011, 07:00:57 AM »
You can get those self-adhesive thermometer strips and stick them on your fermentor to give you a better idea of what the internal temps are.



Just so you know, A thermometer test was performed on another forum utilizing the self adhesive strip taped to the outside of a glass carboy, plus a digital sensing probe in a thermowell placed into the center of the carboy, and an additional sensing probe taped to the outside of the carboy and insulated from the surrounding ambient temp. The carboy was placed into a controlled environment and the findings were dramatic. The surrounding air was being controlled by the sensor in the center of the wort (the one in the thermowell).  Frequent readings were taken every day during the course of fermentation and it was found that the temp strip and the sensor on the outside of the carboy, still read anywhere from 2 to 4 degrees cooler than the actual controlling thermometer.. had the fermentation been controlled by either of the other two thermometers, the fermentation temps would have made a very differenet tasting beer...
That doesn't surprise me at all.  Even on my stainless conical the glue on thermometers show the beer  to be several degrees warmer than the digital controllers set in a thermowell in the fermenter.

If I'm reading this correctly, it appears that your findings are opposite of those referenced in the experiment.
It's also early Saturday morning. :-[  I just remember that I pay no attention to the thermometer strip because it's very different from the readout on the controller.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2011, 07:37:49 AM »
I hear ya, coffee is in here... ;) I'm no thermodynamics expert, but it makes sense to me that the middle of the fermenting beer will be warmer than the outside when you're controlling the fermentation by regulating the ambient temp.
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Re: Fermentation Temp QuestionsI p
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2011, 07:55:55 AM »
I hear ya, coffee is in here... ;) I'm no thermodynamics expert, but it makes sense to me that the middle of the fermenting beer will be warmer than the outside when you're controlling the fermentation by regulating the ambient temp.

Well, it may make sense, but that's not the way it works for me.  I've put a thermometer into the wort in the center of the fermenter to compare to the strip on the outside and I've never found them to vary by more than 1F.
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