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Caribou Slobber Mistake!

Okay, I’ve done several small batches with great success, and I just got a 5 gallon kit and started with the caribou slobber ale. I’m very anal about sanitation, but I got ahead of myself and pitched at around 78F. Overnight, I had a complete blowout! The next morning, I installed the blowout tube, and it was an extremely active fermentation for about 24 hours, and then I reinstalled the airlock, and it was a very, very slow fermentation for about 5 days, and now 6 days in, there is no activity. The wort is extremely clear now, and the temperature is hovering around 71. My question is, did I ruin the batch by pitching too warm?

“Ruin” might be too strong a word, but it won’t turn out as well as if you had pitched lower. Generally, I prefer to pitch at 62-65 F. You may have a lot of esters and fusels, but with luck they should age out. Remember, controlling fermentation is the key to making great beer. You can use the best ingredients, but if your fermentation goes wrong, all your effort and money is wasted.

What yeast were you using? Your temps were a little high, but some yeasts are affected differently at the same temp. You’re just going to have to wait and see what the outcome is. It’s sometimes best to use a check-off sheet with all of your variables listed and you check them and add temps, times, OG/FG figures, and other information that can be useful down the road. If you are shooting for pitch at 62 degrees, you list that and check it before you pitch.

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