Steam beer

Because its winter and its cold ive been having a hard time managing fermentation temps. My basement is to cold 55deg. Upstairs where i have heat it flutuates from 58 to 70 because i have a woodstove. On another post some have suggested steam beer. Using a colder temp yeast. Any ideas on a yeast to substitute in the chinook ipa kit ? This will be my second attempt at making beer. My first isn’t bottled yet but I’m going to start another.

I don’t really think 55 F is too cold. Ain’t that about 12.5 C? Should be able to use many ale yeasts in that range. US05 comes to mind for dry yeast. I have been hearing about the stone fruit esters from this yeast at low temps, but I’m not sure what those temps are.

Pretty sure I have used US05 in this range with pretty good results.

Wyeast 2112 or White Labs 810 are your steam beer strains. If you want to stick with an ale strain here are a few that will work.

WY 1056
Safale US-05

Keep in mind the colder you go the more yeast you will want to pitch. You may want to pitch two packs or learn how to make a yeast starter. US-05 dry yeast may be a good bet as it already has twice as much yeast in one pack.

I’m confused. Why don’t you just use a steam or lager strain and ferment in your basement? Any of them should ferment in the mid fifties. Two vials of WLP 810 would work here. Or use one, this would be a fine time to learn to make a starter.

If it were me, I would pitch two packs (one would probably work) of 34/70, put your fermenter in your basement in a water bath and call it a day. If you want, move it upstairs (in the water bath) and stick it in a closet after 5-7 days so the ferment temp comes up to the low/mid sixties. Some people say that you NEED the SF Lager strains mentioned above to make it a true steam, but IMO the hops (Northern Brewer) are really what make a steam a steam.

My guess is that the fermentables in the Chinook IPA kit would work for a steam, but you will need to order some Northern Brewer hops (the hop cultivar itself, not the retailer/sponsor of this forum…though Northern Brewer does carry Northern Brewer :cheers: ).

55 would be a great temperature to ferment an Alt with 1007 German ale yeast.

I’m using the US05 now and it stopped bubbling when I brought it downstairs. I brought it up an it started again. I would like to keep it in the basement. No room upstairs and my cat who loves beer keeps playing whith the airlock. Ill look into some strains mentioned here. Thanks for the advice

Starting at 55F for a lager is too warm IMO. You want to be able to pitch and hold around 48-50F, again IMO. If you pitch at 55F, it will warm up a few degrees and many lager yeast will give off flavors in the upper 50’s.

I would agree to go with an an ALT yeast or an ale yeast that ferments colder. Many do. Some great suggestions have already been mentioned.

Airlock activity does not equal fermentation activity. When you warm up a liquid, it will force gases out of it, which if a fermenter is well sealed, will escape through the airlock.

Don’t know what to tell you about the cat…can he/she open closet doors? :cheers:

Don’t think my wife will let me lock the cat in the closet

Will she let you lock the fermenter in the closet?

As a general rule that is true in the vast majority of fermentations, you want to start them cooler (and hold it as constant as possible) and warm them up as it goes on to keep the yeast active. The majority of the flavors that are made from the yeast are made in the first 48-72 hours, so as long as you are increasing temperature, you are usually going to have a good ferment.

If anything actually affected the fermentation (I do think you could have left it in the basement) it is more likely the change in temperature than the 55 F.

Don’t go by bubbling to tell you if it is fermenting or not. Go by gravity.

Next time I would suggest starting your beer in the basement - fermentation will be smoother at one temperature. US 05 will work at that temp.

That being said, I have no problems with using lager yeasts at slightly higher temp ranges. I’ve heard 34/70 works fairly well like that.

I have had good results with 2007 even above 55.

S-23 is a legit steam beer yeast, but I’d prefer US-05 for an IPA for sure.

Wyeast 2124 is supposed to perform well at those temperatures. I’m currently making a steam beer with it in my 55 degree garage. Wont be able to report how it turns out for a few more weeks, though. I’ve fermented US-05 at 58 degrees (ambient) without any issues.

I have had US05 stop as well at 55 degrees. It’s only rated to 59-70 or something like that. I try to keep my basement at 60 or so and it works great. Another thing you could do is get a heating pad for the carboy.

I like the heating pad idea. I wonder how warm it would get. Ill have to do an experiment