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IPA fermentation temp

Hello,
This seems like a common question here, but any advice on my specific situation is welcomed.

I brewed the NB Chinook IPA kit this weekend and used Wyeast 1217 West Coast IPA. I brewed on Sunday and Monday morning it was gassing like crazy. Tuesday it had already stopped. I pitched the yeast at 72F. It is sitting at 70F right now. The OG was 1.052.

Is that to warm for this style of beer and yeast?
Should I try to bring down the temp? If so, how in an inexpensive manner?

:cheers:

It’s too late now to worry about ferm temps as the bulk of fermentation is complete. 70* AMBIENT is a little high and will likely cause off flavors. Next time try to keep temps in mid 60* using a swamp cooler or ferm chamber.

This is unfortunate. The instructions with the kit say to pitch yeast under 78F so I thought 72F would work. When you say off flavors, can you explain what that means? I’m a newbie and trying to figure my way through all of this. Is there any way to salvage this batch? When do you recommend I transfer to the secondary?

Thanks!

[quote=“mdweil”] When you say off flavors, can you explain what that means?

The most likely is fusel alcohol, which has a strong burning sensation when drank (like liquor). Warmer temps also causes the yeast to produce esters, which at times can be wanted in beers. As yeast ferments it produces heat. So, if your ambient ferm temp is 70*, likely your beer was actually fermenting at 75*.

Is there any way to salvage this batch?
The off flavors are already there. However, they can age out given enough time. Fusels rarely age out IME. I’m sure your beer will be fine. Is it the best you could make? Prob not but we all have to learn. Also, in the end your beer wasn’t THAT warm so likely the off flavors won’t be overwhelming.

When do you recommend I transfer to the secondary?
Oh boy! Whether to do a “secondary”. (I use quotes as a secondary is when you actually add fermentables and you are just using it as a bright tank) is a matter of debate. Personally, I use one everytime as I see my beer clear quicker. Experiment and find what works best for you. If it were me I would primary for 2 weeks, add dry hops to secondary, and rack your beer on top. Bottle in 10 days.

Thanks![/quote]

I am non-secondary person, however, one exception, based on newish research of Stan Hieronymus, is with hop-forward beers that need dry-hopping. You supposedly can get way more hop character by removing the yeast from the beer (or in most homebrewers’ cases, removing the beer from the yeast - by racking).

I would leave it in the primary for a total of 14-20 days, then rack and dry hop.

Fermenting where you did, you will probably have some fruity esters and as mentioned, maybe a bit of fusel alcohol. It will still be beer, however, and the good news is, the esters can work in an IPA. What yeast did you use? I’m guessing US-05?

RDWHAHB.

I used Wyeast 1217 West Coast IPA for this batch. I’m surprised that the temp was too high. The instructions with the NB kit said to pitch yeast under 78F and I pitched at 72F.

Thanks for all the help!

As was said above, the instructions will yield you ‘beer’, but it may not be the best beer possible. I started fermenting ales in the low-mid 60’s beer temp (not ambient) about 2 years ago and noticed a huge improvement in flavor.

Any recommendations to keep a glass carboy in that mid 60 range when space is limited? I don’t have a basement either.

Take a look at a swamp cooler. Mine consists of a container about 7 inches in height that will stay filled with water. Put the carboy in the water and drape a towel or a tshirt over the carboy and keep it submerged in water. Then put a fan on the whole thing.

The towel should stay wet and the evaporation of the water from the towel will keep a nice healthy fermentation in the mid to low 60’s. If your ambient temps are a little higher in your area, rotating out frozen water bottles will allow you to get temps even lower.

[quote=“mdweil”]This is unfortunate. The instructions with the kit say to pitch yeast under 78F so I thought 72F would work. When you say off flavors, can you explain what that means? I’m a newbie and trying to figure my way through all of this. Is there any way to salvage this batch? When do you recommend I transfer to the secondary?

Thanks![/quote]

One thing you may notice is the beer ends up sweet, not crisp and dry as you may have expected.

I can’t imagine why the folks who sell kits include such lousy instructions, even the ones who sell great kits. Maybe they’re afraid they’ll scare people away if they tell them the beer should be fermented at a temperature that takes some effort other than letting it sit on the kitchen table.

Read “How to Brew” by John Palmer (there’s an older, free version available at howtobrew.com), and follow this forum.

[quote=“Old_Dawg”]I can’t imagine why the folks who sell kits include such lousy instructions, even the ones who sell great kits. Maybe they’re afraid they’ll scare people away if they tell them the beer should be fermented at a temperature that takes some effort other than letting it sit on the kitchen table.

Read “How to Brew” by John Palmer (there’s an older, free version available at howtobrew.com), and follow this forum.[/quote]
+1 on the Palmer book.
Honestly though, if you follow the instructions to the letter, you’ll still get a beer which is, in all likelihood way better than the CMB class of beer, even if its not the best it could be. --That’s the hook.

So the barely adequate instructions get the job done, but still leave plenty of room for improvement. (and up-selling) Made drinkable beer? want it better? make a yeast starter; buy a better pot; get a propane burner; How about a stir plate for those yeast starters; do you have an oxygenation stone? You mean you haven’t bought a freezer with a digital temperature controller? any or all will improve your quality; all are available for the low-low-price of…

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