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Bottle Temperature

Novice brewer here with only a few brews under my belt. This is my first during the hot summer months. I’ve been keeping my carboy in a basin with water and wrapping a wet towel around it to keep the temp at about 68-70 degrees for the last two weeks. After I bottle, will it be OK if they sit in a closet above 75 degrees for two weeks, or do I need to keep them cooler until they’re ready to drink?

Thanks,
FM

68-70 is ok but not optimal for primary ferment. You are likely fermenting around 73-75f at best.
You want the wort temp to be around mid to low 60f so that during**high krausen the wort temp never exceeds 68f. When I make ales I typically keep the wort around 60f and it never reaches over 63 to 65f during high krausen. During ferments the wort will rise 3-5f above what you think is an ambient wort temp that is why you see me posting ranges. The detriment to hot ferments is creation of higher alcohols or fusel alcohols that create a host of bad components that are attributed to bad headaches and foul “spirits” type of smells in your beer and the esters that yeast produce are also accentuated in ways that are not desirable.

But on the other hand when simply recarbing in the bottle. There is such a short period of ferment from the minimal amount of sugar added that a higher temp does not create this larger scale issue, So you can leave bottles at any room temp from 65-80 and all will be well. Although I would recommend storing them in a cool basement or other after they are carbed unless you always plan on swilling your homebrew fresh everytime. Otherwise you will speed up the aging process at 80+f which may be good for barleywines/porter but a light easy drinker might just take on funky old flavors if left at 80+f for 3 months+.

**Main large ferment stage/large foam cap = high krausen.

ITs – Thanks for the detailed response. Sounds like I need to chill it down more during primary. I haven’t noticed any foul smells or tastes in the few beers I’ve brewed to date, but perhaps future brews will be even better if fermented at lower temps.

FM

I agree with starting in the low 60’s. But there is nothing wrong with getting into the high 60’s towards the end of fermentation when the beer starts to slow down. It has really helped my beer attenuate more and knocking off a few extra gravity points.

Lately I have been pitching @ 60, letting it raise to 62 to start and a day or so of fermenting. After I get to high krausen, after it starts to fall, I let it raise to 66. Then up to 68.

[quote=“muddywater_grant”]I agree with starting in the low 60’s. But there is nothing wrong with getting into the high 60’s towards the end of fermentation when the beer starts to slow down. It has really helped my beer attenuate more and knocking off a few extra gravity points.

Lately I have been pitching @ 60, letting it raise to 62 to start and a day or so of fermenting. After I get to high krausen, after it starts to fall, I let it raise to 66. Then up to 68.[/quote]

^Not a bad idea sometimes either for ales.
I usually leave my ferments alone for a week and then do bring them out of the chest as primary ferment is finishing up the last few points and leave at room temp to ramp up the yeast metabolism for the **“rest period” of a week or two done between racking either to bottle/keg or a dry hopping period of 3-5 days then racking to a secondary vessel to help more solids from dry hopping fallout of suspension before kegging/bottling. The main 1-4 days of primary is where temp is the main concern after that its concern is to a lesser degree as your main higher alcohols and VDK/esters are set in stone already.

**“rest period” This is a a week or two the wort should remain on the yeast cake in primary after the main ferment ends as the yeast re uptake some of the higher alcohols/VDK & esters to lower the overall levels produced during primary.

Also I’m sure your beers are fine if you tried to sit around that 70 mark. It is usually beers that were completely uncontrolled and went into 75-85+ degrees. That is where you will see the stark difference and the yeast will complete primary in 1-2 days with super high temps which is not necessarily a good thing as you see. Usually my primaries are slow and steady even with huge starters as I try to keep it low and slow that is my motto.

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