Is 58 degrees ambient temp to cool for fermenting ales? I’d like to move everything to a closet in the basement and in the winter it stays a little cool down there. Thanks
It depends on the yeast but most ale yeasts may be stressed in temps that low. I’d try to keep it in the low to mid 60’s
Edit: didn’t realize you said ambient temps. That might be alright considering the fermentation itself will generate heat.
Matt is certainly right, depends on the strain. A kolsch yeast would be fine at those temps and a healthy pitch of 1056 (or US-05 or WLP001) can work at that temp. My basement gets down to the same temp and I usually just cool the wort to low 60’s and then wrap the fermenter in a blanket, by the time the yeast kicks off it generates enough heat to keep it in the low 60’s during the duration of fermentation.
Will note a lot of english strains will poop out at those temps, I end up having to warm those slightly during the winter months to keep them going.
I have fermented a bunch of ales in the upper 50s and low 60s in my basement this winter. The fermentations have all gone surprisingly well. I don’t think people give the ale yeasts enough credit. The vast majority will perform just fine in the upper 50s. Go for it.
58 is ideal in my opinion. I ferment in my Bierkeller at closer to 50 but then I move it to room temp to finish out after the primary activity starts to taper off.
It depends upon the yeast you are using. As an example, Nottingham ferments the cleanest at 58° to 60°.
Mainly been using US-05. Would it be best to keep it in a warmer area for about a week before moving into basement? Thanks for the input.
US-05 had a very wide temp range and would probably do OK in lower temps. The one warning is, some people detect a peachy ester when fermenting US-05 at lower temps but other people say that is hogwash. I always ferment US-05 in the 65-67 range so I have not had any experience with that myself.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt to leave it in a warm area and move to the basement after a week. Just be sure your gravity is near or at your FG or you run the risk of stalling your fermentation by lowering the temp.
I use a lot of both Notty and US-05. This is funny: I have gotten peach from Notty but never US-05, which is the opposite of what others say. Anyway, they both turn out great fermented cold. No worries.
I have done White Labs British Ale Yeast (WLP005) at a surprisingly low temp. I had it as low as 55 degrees. Once I noticed it dropped that low (it was a long weekend away), I warmed it up to about 65 degrees and the beer came out pretty good.
for most styles, I would say start them in the basement (put the fermenter in a water bath), then move the fermenter and water bath up to a room that stays in the mid-60’s. Most ale yeasts will have very low ester production at that temp, particularly if you chill the wort all the way to there before pitching (shouldn’t be difficult with winter groundwater temps), and moving it upstairs will finish out the fermentation well. Keep in mind most ester production (along with a lot of undesirable yeast-derived compounds) are produced within the first 48-72 hours after pitching, so controlling the temp (keeping it low) at that point is the most critical IME. Basically when the yeast are creating all the heat in the growth phase, you want to keep a collar on that.
My house blonde uses US-05 at 58* and I most certainly get the peach/stone fruit ester. But it works great in the beer :cheers:
I ferment in different rooms of my house depending on the temps. In one room the ambient temp is 58 so I wrap my fermenter in a blanket and with fermentation warmth it stays at 62. If I want it warmer I stick one side of a boot warmer in the blanket that keeps it around 65. Warmer yet for a Belgian both boot warmers. 48 deg in the basement I have a lager going now no blanket it’s percolating nicely at 49deg. I brew by the season.
im into a week of fermenting an IPA, cellar is at 59*. the first 3 days of active fermentation it rose to 64* then back down to 59* am I ok riding this out at 59* for 3 weeks as it would b a PITA to bring it up stairs where house temp is only 65*. thanks
I would leave it alone.