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Temperature Spike Question

Good Day Everyone;

I did the all grain caribou slobber and tomorrow is the end of the two week primary I was out of town for work this last week and it got to over 90 degrees outside and on tuesday and wednesday my wife said that she did her best to keep the swamp cooler rotation going…I get home friday and I look at the swamp cooler and the temp reads 79 degrees…

Has my caribou slobber been ruined? I used the Wyeast Northwoods with this recipe…

thanks for any input…

Ron B

I should add that I did get fresh frozen bottles onto the bucket and have gotten the temp down to 64-65 degrees…

If the fermentation started out less than 70 F for the first 4-5 days, the beer will be just fine.

Yes I pitched the yeast at 60 and let it warm during the first week to 66-68 range and then put the ice bottles around it and such and maintained the temp fairly easy…The temp didn’t get out of control according to the mrs until wednesday night thursday and she said temp didn’t go above 75 until friday tomorrow is when its supposed to go into the secondary…

I use an immersion chiller and I recirculate water using a pump that I continually put ice into and I have been able to get the wort down to 59-60 degrees using this method in about 30 minutes or so…

You’re fine. No problems at all.

I moved from Primary to secondary yesterday and took a gravity reading and I thought it would have been much further along in the process.

My starting gravity was 1.056 and yesterdays reading was 1.036 still not close to where it should end up from directions if I read them correctly other than the day and half temperature spike.

I maintained 66-68 as far a ferm temp went and after spike cooled it to 64-66 which was still in temp range for the northwoods yeast (Wyeast) I used. I am thinking of getting some Danstar Windsor and letting it go for another seven days and transfer again…

Any thoughts?

A couple of things here:

1.) As a general rule, temp control is really only CRITICAL in the first 3-5 days after pitching. After that, with most yeasts (Chico/Cal Ale/most English yeasts/german ale yeasts), you can let them run wild (up to around 70-74* for most yeasts). I learned this by trying to brew every week and only having one fermentation fridge. After 3-5 days, take the fermenter out of the fridge, and let it run at 70* (assuming somewhere in your house is around that temp).

2.) Is your hydrometer calibrated? You are correct, that gravity is VERY high, the beer has only attenuated by 35% ((1.056-1.036)/.056)…typically, you want between 70 and 90%).

3.) As a general practice, do not rack the beer off the yeast at all until your desired FG is reached. Whether you believe in the benefit of a secondary or not (I for the record, do not), minimal, if any attenuation will happen after you rack as you are leaving the yeast behind.

If this is actually the gravity of this beer, you really only have one option in my mind, which is krausening the beer. Basically, take about 100 grams of DME, boiled in 1 liter of water, chill to 65* and pitch some yeast as normal. Once it starts going, dump the whole thing into your CS. This is not ideal flavor-wise, but you have a clear stalled fermentation here, and if you don’t do this, you will wind up with (1) a sweet beer, (2) bottle bombs (if you bottle…EXTREMELY dangerous to persons and pets), or most likely (3) both.

I know this is contrary to what you are probably hearing, but after the first 3-5 days, don’t worry about switching out your bottles in your swamp cooler. In fact, I would probably move the whole thing (fermenter and water bath) to an area of the house in the high 60’s/low 70’s. Again, the ‘bad’ flavors are generally only made if you let temp swing early on. If the temperature of the fermentation gradually increases (particularly as it is finishing), 9 times out of 10, you will make great beer. I am guessing the frozen bottles probably dropped the temp of the ferment too early on and the yeast dropped out. :cheers:

And for the love of God, whatever you do, do not blame your wife :mrgreen:

My comments are similar to Pietro’s.

I think the temperature fluctuations up and down, up and down, fooled your yeast into settling out too early. If you hadn’t racked, you could have simply swirled the fermenter to get some yeast back into suspension, and like Pietro says, keep the beer warm and constant, maybe in the low or even mid 70s. Don’t cool it down anymore.

Since you already racked the beer, there’s not a lot of yeast left to finish the job. Pitching more yeast is essential. However, Windsor yeast would probably not cut it. If you do end up pitching more yeast, I’d go with something more attenuative and reliable such as US-05.

In any case, keep it warm now. Yeast doesn’t like it when you cool them off and play with the temperature too much.

Are you measuring your gravity with a hydrometer or a refractometer. If you’re using a refractometer the reading must be corrected to account for the presence of alcohol.

Here’s a link to Northern Brewer’s correction calculator:

I use a hydrometer, when I racked off I had a good ring around the top as usual the reason I was going with the danstar windsor was that was the suggested dry yeast with the recipe to keep the profile to the original intent of the recipe. Safale -05 if that’s the suggestion to go for a re-pitch that’s what I will go with.

i would double check the calibration of the hydrometer, and taste the beer as well.

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