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Nottingham Temperature - Have I Ruined It

Hey all.

I’m a pretty bad brewer. Case in point, I just did the Irish Red Ale extract kit from NB and pitched the Nottingham yeast. It took off like a rocket, which I thought was cool. Then I glanced over at the thermometer on the counter and saw a giant 75.8 F staring at me. The wife turned the AC off and the beer had it’s first 36 hours stewing in that temp. I move the carboy to the basement and got it back down to a decent temp (67 F).

So, is it likely ruined after that first 36 hour steam bath? :oops:

Time will tell.

There is nothing to lose by letting the beer finish fermenting, bottling and waiting to see what you have. My guess is it will be drinkable and hopefully decent. It won’t be at its full potential but I’m positive your next batch will be a big improvement.

Don’t worry. Keep brewing and learning.

Sorry to see that your first post was from an oversight like that. I would plan on using a swamp cooler for all of your ales, except Belgians, possibly. That way you will avoid temperature swings and can ferment on the cooler side.

For this batch, just ride it out. It will be drinkable, but if you encounter a lot of fusel alcohol flavors (harsh, almost solvency), then don’t drink too much in one sitting - major headaches the next day!

Keep at it - you will love the beer you make.

Thanks everyone. Already looking into the swamp cooler!

You’re probably fine but moving it to a cooler environment after 36 hours might have more of an affect. Most of the off flavors from a warm fermentation happen early. Cooling it might make the yeast drop out and not finish attenuating.

As a rule of thumb, fermentation temperatures should be held steady or increase until fermentation is done.

I would actually ramp the temp back up as the fermentation winds down. One of the things that happens early on, particularly with warmer ferments, is production of diacetyl (tastes like butter). Yeast will reabsorb diacetyl as fermentable material becomes scarce, later on the ferment, so it won’t be in the finished beer if you ramp up the temp toward the tail end of fermentation to ensure they stay active.

Ideally, you would want to ‘cold pitch’ ie pitch the yeast at a COOLER temp than the desired ferment temp, let the ferment temp naturally rise, then put a collar on it. This will keep diacetyl production low throughout. Some brewers actually do it the way you did (though maybe not as high as 75*) just to make sure the yeast get a good start. However, they make sure to ramp up temperature throughout their fermentation. To give you an idea, it will probably be around day 4 or 5 when you want to put the fermenter back upstairs.

Plus, its an Irish Red. it can be fruity (from the esters that were produced), and even have a bit of diacetyl. Your beer will probably be fine. You are not a bad brewer, just a brewer continuing to learn, like all of us. :cheers:

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