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Effect of Lowering Temperature on an Ale

What would the effect of lowering the temp on an Amber Ale that is in secondary fermentation?

This ale sat in primary fermentation for 2 weeks at 69 degrees and 3 weeks in secondary at 69 degrees. This last week of secondary fermentation I put it in a space that was 10 degrees cooler.

Why you ask, I don’t know… I thought I would try something different.

Cooling will help the yeast to quit fermenting and settle to the bottom and clarify the beer. If you bottle your beer, just make sure the yeast is 100% done fermenting before you do this, or you could arrest fermentation too early and then with added priming sugar you could get bottle bombs or gushers!

By the way… many brewers including myself do NOT recommend racking to secondary at all. Just keep the beer in primary, and leave it warm until you’re certain fermentation is complete. After that, it’s safe to chill it down or bottle or keg or drink it flat or whatever else you want to do with it.

A 10 degree drop after fermentation is done won’t make any practical difference. If you were to drop the temperature by more than that, bringing it down to 40F or lower, you would be cold conditioning it, which will help clarify the beer more quickly. If you dropped the temperature while the yeast was still active, you might impede fermentation and end up with a higher FG (and possibly lead to bottle bombs). But as you did it, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Thanks, I will be aware of the “bomb” situation. The slight temp change has already helped clearer it up. :cheers:

I was always told that you could get a soapy taste if you don’t re-rack. Is this not true? I personally like the idea of just keeping it in primary. Less work!

Now that’s a new one – I have never heard of the beer tasting soapy due to skipping secondary. Totally not true.

I think autolysis could cause this flavor, which isn’t much of a risk with today’s yeasts. Just pulled a cider off the primary yeast after it had been there for 13 months. Frigging delicious.

I think autolysis could cause this flavor, which isn’t much of a risk with today’s yeasts. Just pulled a cider off the primary yeast after it had been there for 13 months. Frigging delicious.[/quote]
I think the risk of autolysis is proportional to fermenter size more than “modern” yeast quality. In homebrew volumes, there’s almost no concern. At pro breweries they like to drop the cake out from under the beer.

That’s another first. Autolysis to me tastes like beef broth and/or match heads.

Ditto. The lees in cider is relatively benign. However you really would not want to try this with beer yeast for longer than 2.5 months. Trust me – I’m lazy.

That is my understanding as well, though I think yeast health may also be a factor. I could see the potential for problems if for example not enough O2 was available to the yeast during the growth phase. Though I have no data to back that up.

I’m not saying anyone is wrong, I’m just showing you where I got this information:

How to Brew - By John Palmer

http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

If you leave the beer in the primary fermentor for a relatively long period of time after primary fermentation is over (“long” depends on the style and other fermentation factors), soapy flavors can result from the breakdown of fatty acids in the trub. Soap is, by definition, the salt of a fatty acid; so you are literally tasting soap.

Cool, I just learned something new… albeit trivial and not true to any experience I’ve ever heard of. :mrgreen:

[quote=“Klosterbräu”]I’m not saying anyone is wrong, I’m just showing you where I got this information:

How to Brew - By John Palmer

http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

If you leave the beer in the primary fermentor for a relatively long period of time after primary fermentation is over (“long” depends on the style and other fermentation factors), soapy flavors can result from the breakdown of fatty acids in the trub. Soap is, by definition, the salt of a fatty acid; so you are literally tasting soap.[/quote]
True on the facts cited. But also bear in mind, the online version is an early edition. I believe in more recent print editions of the book, Palmer has also backed-down on the actual amount of autolysis risk associated in homebrew.

I have a brown ale that I’m leaving in primary for the duration, because of this post. I may have questions on how to clear it up, because it is a murky mess right now. :cheers:

After it has reached FG, cold crash it before bottling. That will help drop the yeast out, and clear it up.

Three weeks primary time will usually clear most beers. How long has your beer been in the primary so far.

It’s been 4 weeks today, I put it in the garage which is 38-40 degrees. Cleared up nicely! Going into bottles today. :cheers:

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