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Jim Doherty

Fermentation temp control

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I recently acquired a keezer with a Johnson controller similar to the Inkbird. I want to use the keezer as a fermentation chamber. The problem is I have four 3 gallon FastFermenters and 3 LBKs and can only fit one FF and 1 LBK in there at the same time. Up to now, I have been putting my fermenters in a closet under my stairs. The temp in there stays at around 73- 74 degrees F. I know that's a little on the high end, but so far most of my brews are pretty decent,  none have been so bad as to be undrinkable. I thought I read somewhere the first few days to a week of fermentation are the most critical as far as controlling lower temps. I would like to brew at least once a week (right now I have 13 different Mr. Beer refills to brew thanks to all their sales). I guess my question is, would it be OK to put the  fermenter in the Keezer for the first week, then move it into my closet to make room for the next brew? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Jim

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Jim,

 

Yes and no.  You are correct that after fermentation as gone through the first week the warmer temperatures will not affect the flavor.  I said yes and no because you should gradually raise the temperature not go from 64 to 74 all at once.

 

I start all of my beers at 61 or 62 degrees and keep my chamber set at the same temperature.  As fermentation begins and gets more vigorous, the temperature of my beers will rise naturally a degree or 2.  That allows fermentation to happen at 64 or 65 degrees.  I maintain that temperature until fermentation begins to slow and then I start raising it to 68 or 70 a degree or 2 per day.  Depending on the OG of the beer, I am at 68 by day 6 or 7 on beers below 1.050 and by day 9 or 10 on beers above that OG.  This allows the yeast to clean up at warmer temperatures while not allowing the yeast to create off flavors early in fermentation because the temperature is too warm.

 

Dawg

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7 hours ago, BDawg62 said:

Jim,

 

Yes and no.  You are correct that after fermentation as gone through the first week the warmer temperatures will not affect the flavor.  I said yes and no because you should gradually raise the temperature not go from 64 to 74 all at once.

 

I start all of my beers at 61 or 62 degrees and keep my chamber set at the same temperature.  As fermentation begins and gets more vigorous, the temperature of my beers will rise naturally a degree or 2.  That allows fermentation to happen at 64 or 65 degrees.  I maintain that temperature until fermentation begins to slow and then I start raising it to 68 or 70 a degree or 2 per day.  Depending on the OG of the beer, I am at 68 by day 6 or 7 on beers below 1.050 and by day 9 or 10 on beers above that OG.  This allows the yeast to clean up at warmer temperatures while not allowing the yeast to create off flavors early in fermentation because the temperature is too warm.

 

Dawg

Jim, if you follow BDawg's advice you won't go wrong. Since the Johnson controller will be a step up in your temperature control game, you can play around with temperatures closer to the yeast's high end and after 4 days bump it up a couple like BDawg says. By day 7 you're close to your room temperature and won't distress your yeast. Be certain to measure wort temperatures not air temps in that keezer, Insulate your temperature probe against your fermenter. I cover my probe with a clean dry sponge. You'll be surprised by the improvements in your brews.

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Thank you BDawg62 and D Kristof! I realized only recently that I was pitching the yeast for the first several months way too warm - closer to or above 80 degrees F. I had just been using the cold water from the fridge which apparently didn't cool the wort enough. Looking forward to seeing how they turn out from this point on following the advice you guys gave me. I have noticed a lot of the brews I made, regardless of the recipe style, all have the same kind of flavor. Can't quite tell what it is. I have looked up off flavors, but none of the descriptions seem to match what I taste. Not terrible, but just a very similar flavor in most of them. Thanks again.

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On Monday, September 10, 2018 at 9:40 AM, Jim Doherty said:

I have noticed a lot of the brews I made, regardless of the recipe style, all have the same kind of flavor. Can't quite tell what it is. I have looked up off flavors, but none of the descriptions seem to match what I taste. Not terrible, but just a very similar flavor in most of them. Thanks again.

I know that taste. Some say it's the "extract twang", but I brew other extract recipes not using MrBeer HME's and that flavor is not there. I wonder if it's a flavor from the hops used by Coopers when they brew the HME's.

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59 minutes ago, D Kristof said:

@Screwy Brewer, it's reassuring to know old hands like you still visit this forum. Enjoy reading your advice.

I’ve learned a ton by reading his stuff here, on FB and his web site. @Screwy Brewer‘s page about Water Chemistry changed my brews for the far better!  I was also very lucky to get the chance to meet him and have a couple beers together several years ago when he was in Seattle.  I know I have that pic somewhere... 🍺

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