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Temperature

I brewed the Chinook IPA last week and the temperature in my fermenting cabinent was right around 60 degrees, sometimes lower. I tried a heating pad; but could not significantly raise the temperature. I did not see any bubbles in the air lock; but did notice that there was some movement in the levels of the water. The water in the airlock has since leveled out.

Is this too cold for fermentation to take place? I was planning on moving to the secondary fermenter at the 3 week mark. Any advice on how to ensure that fermentation is taking place would be greatly appreciated.

60 sounds good, I’m not sure which yeast you’re using, but US-05 and 1056 are both good at 60, but please elaborate on the “sometimes lower” if it’s been a week the bubbly time may be over and it’s time for the yeast to clean-up after themselves. Did you get krausen? A gravity reading may be in order.

but, 1-gal or 5-gal batch? if 5 gal bucket or carboy?

Monitoring the airlock is not a reliable indicator. If the bucket lid is not sealed tightly or the bung is not tight in the carboy, you won’t get bubbles through the airlock even if everything is proceeding well.

Do you have a hydrometer that you can use to check the gravity? Sanitize a cup and get a sample to measure.

60 is a very good temperature for most ale yeasts.

I agree with above, I think the bucket isnt sealed correctly. Its happen to me before and its a lesson well learned.

I used the yeast that came with the kit via mail order - so the US-05. My primary is a 5 gallon fermenting bucket and I just got a big mouth bubbler for the secondary. I haven’t opened the bucket to see if the krausen formed.

Sometimes lower - there were a couple of mornings that the air temperature next to the fermenter was 55 degrees.

If the top isn’t well sealed am I in danger of contaminating the wort?

US-05 will work fine down in the high 50s, so temperature isn’t your problem. Peek into the fermentor to see if a krausen has formed. As long as you don’t drop something into it, you aren’t risking infection. And a bad seal isn’t a risk either, unless the gap is wide enough to allow fruit flies to enter.

If there is no krausen when you look, it is possible that your yeast is dead. If the pack was old or got exposed to excessive heat it could be dead. Also, if you pitched the yeast when the wort was still hot, that could kill the yeast.

I’m sure your beer is fine, but on your next batch, try keeping it in your basement for the first 3 days, then moving it upstairs to an area that is more in the mid-high 60’s. You want the temp of a fermentation to move upward. This will help to ensure that it ferments all the way.

When I pressed on the bucket lid to check to see if there was krausen it was bowed and a lot of air went through the airlock. Looking in, there was a krausen formed and evidence of foam about 3 inches up on the sides of the bucket.

Thank you all for your confidence and advice!

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