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C-Note 1959

Low temp fermentation question

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Hi all. I'm new to this brewing thing and was wondering what the low end temperature in my fermentation area can be and still get good results? Main reason for asking is that my house temp varies from day to night as the furnace runs different from day 70 deg. to night 62deg. Will proper fermentation still take place?

 

Also is a hydrometer necessary? I would like to do a couple batches before investing more money into a hobby that may not be my thing.

 

Thanks for any help.

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First off, welcome to the hobby!  You'll find lots of good help on this forum!

 

I personally keep all my fermenters in my basement.  I have a few thermometer stickers that I've put on my LBK's to know the temperature.  The outside temperature is not the temperature inside the LBK.  Inside it's warmer, so I make sure my LBK's are in 62-68 degree room and I haven't had any issues.

 

Well, I take that back.  One time I though it was a good idea to keep an LBK upstairs where it was 70+... let's just say that was a mess.

 

I'm sure other guys will post and give you their feedback as well.  I would look at @RickBeer signature line for some great reads.

 

Welcome to your new addiction.

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Oh, and the hydrometer is only useful if you're wanting to find out the ABV of your beer.  I find it nice to know how much alcohol is in the beer I just made, but it's not necessary since you're making recipes from here.  They tell you what ABV you can kind of expect.  I would get a hydrometer when you start making your own recipes and want to experiment.

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That's a mildly wide temperature fluctuation. It could possibly cause some off-flavors. I would put your keg in a camping cooler. Put the lid on at night and take it off during the day. This will help keep more consistent temps. More than 5 degrees in variation can be stressful to the yeast, which will promote off-flavors. Fortunately, this is less likely with low temps than high temps. But I would at least try to get your lowest end to 65, then you should be fine.

 

A hydrometer is only needed when you are creating your own recipes or doing all-grain brewing. As long as you follow the instructions for a given recipe, a hydrometer isn't required.

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3 hours ago, MRB Josh R said:

That's a mildly wide temperature fluctuation. It could possibly cause some off-flavors. I would put your keg in a camping cooler. Put the lid on at night and take it off during the day. This will help keep more consistent temps. More than 5 degrees in variation can be stressful to the yeast, which will promote off-flavors. Fortunately, this is less likely with low temps than high temps. But I would at least try to get your lowest end to 65, then you should be fine.

 

A hydrometer is only needed when you are creating your own recipes or doing all-grain brewing. As long as you follow the instructions for a given recipe, a hydrometer isn't required.

With MR B beers you are usually ok but the only other reason to get a hydrometer is to check if the fermentation is incomplete. I don't use one often, but Rick Beer says I should - lol.  Sometimes the fermentation will not complete as planned but in my experience if one uses the MR B recipes and leaves them 3 weeks this is very rare. In such a case Rick is right, if you had used a hydrometer you would know for sure.  If you are using grain, using a hydrometer is a confirmation that your extraction of sugars from the grain went as planned and finally what amount of it was converted to alcohol. Generally I think the Mr B Partial mash  recipes provide more additions to flavor than ABV so still not the same burning need for the hydrometer as all grain. However, using one does not hurt and the practice/habit will put you in a good position if you migrate to all grain. So it is up to you :lol:

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As others said, a hydrometer is not super necessary as Mr Beer its are made so that you should accomplish it well (especially the non partial mash ones), but it's pretty fun to know just a little more!

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