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Marlymarl

Lowering Temp

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After my initial (1st, pitching yeast) fermentation at 68 degrees f slows. Should I lower my temp to 64 degrees or lower by the sticker reading on the side of my LBK. I'm asking because Mr Beer says 68-76 degrees f and I've read the lower the wort temp the better tasting beer you'll have at the end.

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You need to keep the temps on the low end during the first 4-7 days of fermentation, as that's when the yeast do the majority of their "thing". After primary fermentation, you can leave at the lower temp, or some people even raise the temperature "to ensure complete attenuation", although I say those people are just in a hurry. If it will ferment at a given temp, it will clean up after itself at that temp as well, just might take a little longer.

 

Regardless, you don't need to lower temperatures after fermentation. You can raise them and it won't really matter, but no need to lower them for ales.

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After my initial (1st, pitching yeast) fermentation at 68 degrees f slows. Should I lower my temp to 64 degrees or lower by the sticker reading on the side of my LBK. I'm asking because Mr Beer says 68-76 degrees f and I've read the lower the wort temp the better tasting beer you'll have at the end.

 

Well, this depends on the yeast and the style of beer you're making. Some yeasts will benefit from higher temperatures and some beer styles will benefit from certain esters/phenols that are released at these higher temperatures. But for our basic yeast that comes with the kits, 65 is a good temp. 68-76 is the optimal temp if you want to make beer within 2 weeks instead of 3, but this fast fermentation at high temps CAN create some off-flavors depending on yeast and recipe. Some ale yeasts can go even lower than 65, which can result in a very clean-tasting lager-like beer, but once you pass a certain point, the yeast will simply go dormant. This is even true with cold-fermenting lager yeasts, which usually can't ferment below 40 F (Again, this depends on the yeast strain. Check the manufacturer's recommendations.).

If using the Safale ale yeasts (S-33, US-05, S-04), these are also good at 65 F. They can go even lower, but will make decent beer at 65. The Safbrew T-58 is better at mid-high temps (70-90). This is true with most Belgian yeasts and Saison yeasts. So if in doubt, check the manufacturer's recommendations, which can usually be found on the package, but can also be found on their websites.

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I just bottled a batch last night that I fermented at 65 for two weeks and then took out of the fermentation fridge. Basement is at about 62 degrees so on the basement floor it was at about 60.5 for that last week. 05 yeast, tasted great at bottling, like really good...

I listened to a podcast once where a guy from Bells said they lower some of their IPAs to 62 for the last few days.

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I listened to a podcast once where a guy from Bells said they lower some of their IPAs to 62 for the last few days.

 

Interesting...

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Keep in mind that Bell's and most other breweries use their own proprietary yeast.  They KNOW what lowering or raising temp should do based on their extensive experimentation.  

 

I firmly believe that the vast majority of people couldn't tell the difference in most of the out-of-the-norm things that people talk about.  Whether it's raising, lowering, aerating, not aerating, etc. - I think if you did a true blind, side-by-side test that most people wouldn't be able to distinguish any difference (assuming there was any difference to distinguish).  I also think that if you led a person to a conclusion that didn't exist "which one of the these tastes more _____", the majority of people would distinguish something that wasn't there.

 

I never got into wine much, but I always had to laugh at the observations people made when they taste wine, and I see it now with beer also.  "Do you detect a note of sidewalk asphalt in this?" 

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By mid winter my basement is also 62-64 and I switch to US-05 yeast which seems to work well. Just started a BAA today with the regular gold packet of the MB yeast. However my basement is near 68 now.

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 "Do you detect a note of sidewalk asphalt in this?" 

 

No, but I detect a faint trace of bathroom tile there.... :lol:

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