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Hangover Temperature

A friend of mine told me that, some time ago, a “master brewer” friend of his share some of his grog with him. He ended up with one of the worst hangovers he’s ever had. I suspect the dude brewed it during the summer, conditioned too warm and built up some fusel alcohols.

So the question is: Does each beer have a “perfect” conditioning temperature? I’m brewing some American Wheat now (my 1st batch) with a Whitbier next and Honey Ale behind that. I’m conditioning in a closet that has a hot water heater in it that keeps the closet a comfortable 68 to 70F during this rather cold spell we are having in Alabama.

I have a spare bathroom where I ferment that stays in the lower 60’s.

So, should I condition in the cool bathroom or the warmer closet or does it depend on the beer? If it depends on the beer, is there a cheat sheet somewhere with the “perfect” fermenting/conditioning temps for each type of beer?

OK, some research suggests that achieving a rapid cold break will also help prevent fusel alcohols. Cool to know. Still haven’t found good discussions on what the “perfect” conditioning temp should be. I am beginning to understand that the temperature is contingent on what kind if yeast was used but still no handy cheat sheet on the perfect conditioning temp for each yeast.

The yeast companies publish optimal fermentation temperatures for each strain of yeast. You can find it on their websites. I usually shoot for low to mid 60s for the first couple days of fermentation which is a good median range for most ale yeasts and good starting point for the Belgian’s I’ve brewed. So I’d lean toward your bathroom fermentation chamber. I personally use swamp coolers in my basement.

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfm http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew/listings http://www.danstaryeast.com/products http://www.fermentis.com/brewing/homebr ... uct-range/

There is no set-in-stone rules, but there are general rules of thumb for best fermentation practice depending on yeast strain. Even then, there is a range depending on what you’re looking for flavor-wise.

I think for fusels as long as you stay under 70 for most ale strains during the first few days of fermentation you should be fine (and for most yeast strains you can probably go higher than that).

Great info, gentlemen. Thanks.

So would it be a good practice to ferment my ales in the cooler bathroom for the few days then transfer to the warmer closet and see how that goes. Then I’ll try something different next time and see what happens.

I accidentally ordered two batches of Honey Brown. That presents a perfect opportunity to do some testing on both methods.

Would it be safe to say that fermentation temp is of utmost importance for reduction of fusals and not worry as much about conditioning temps?

[quote=“dannyboy58”][quote=“jimexcelcs”]

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfm http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew/listings http://www.danstaryeast.com/products http://www.fermentis.com/brewing/homebr ... uct-range/[/quote][/quote]

That, sir, is awesome. Been googling since I posted this this AM and couldn’t dig that up. THANKS! I wish they’s say something like “The PERFECT temperature is XX if you are looking for X flavor.” I guess that’s where the artistry of what we do come in. :wink:

[quote=“jimexcelcs”]Great info, gentlemen. Thanks.

So would it be a good practice to ferment my ales in the cooler bathroom for the few days then transfer to the warmer closet and see how that goes. Then I’ll try something different next time and see what happens.

I accidentally ordered two batches of Honey Brown. That presents a perfect opportunity to do some testing on both methods.

Would it be safe to say that fermentation temp is of utmost importance for reduction of fusals and not worry as much about conditioning temps?

[quote=“dannyboy58”][quote=“jimexcelcs”]

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfm http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew/listings http://www.danstaryeast.com/products http://www.fermentis.com/brewing/homebr ... uct-range/[/quote][/quote]

That, sir, is awesome. Been googling since I posted this this AM and couldn’t dig that up. THANKS! I wish they’s say something like “The PERFECT temperature is XX if you are looking for X flavor.” I guess that’s where the artistry of what we do come in. :wink: [/quote]

Fusel alcohols are produced by to high of fermentation temperature. The alcohols are produced in the first hours of the hot fermentation. How many hours of hot fermenation can vary by the yeast being used.

Conditioning bottles in the low 70° range is good. Steady temps without hop spots are best.

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