Ale Gone Cold

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Greetings all. I have done some research in previous postings and have found some good advice on keeping beer warm (or cool) but what is the case if the brew actually slips outside the boundaries? This is only my fourth brew and I am not coping well with adversity.

I currently have a brew that I started last Wednesday (25/5/05) using Safale S-04. I rehydrated and proofed the yeast at 27 degrees. The wort was at 20 degrees when I pitched. It stayed between 16 and 18 degrees for the first few days but yesterday morning I noticed it had slipped down to about 14. The specs that I downloaded from Lesaffre recommend 15-24 degrees for fermentation. My questions are: How much damage have I done by letting it get too cold? and How can I recover the situation? Is it just a question of warming it back up and leaving it in primary for longer? Incidently, how long would be a good primary ferment at these temps?

Any help will be gratefully received.
The yeast will not have stopped working at 14C, just got a little sleepy. You should have seen some activity still at that temp. In fact I would be surprised if the actual wort temp dropped that much unless you actually have a probe in the wort. Because of the thermal mass of a bucket of brew its temp does not fluctuate as much as ambient. If you warm it up it will get cracking again although after 5 days you could be 3/4 thru your primary. An SG check will tell.
ive has S-04 still working at 14-15degC
its no problem. Maybe try to bump the temp up a little, i just wrapped my ferm in a towel that i blasted in the dryer as a temp fix.
i've got a couple of lagers lined up next to make use of the weather.
Thanks for the reassurance. OG was 42 and currently sitting on 20. Tasted fantastic. Should I still rack as planned on Wednesday?

Keeping this baby warm is going to be a bit of a problem. The ambient temp in the front of the house is 16 degrees. Back here where the computer is it is just over 11 degrees. I sure do miss central heating.

I have wrapped the fermenter in a blanket and put it just inside the glass doors in the sun. Its the warmest part of the house and I was tempted to curl up next to it.

Last night I had the fermenter out next to the fireplace and put it to bed in the living room but the missus is not going to tolerate that as a long term solution. Looks like its time for a lager!

Thanks again fellas.
Get a heater belt from the HBS. ABout $30 and should keep it nice and stable
Jgriff's suggestion of a heater mat or belt is the way to go. I prefer heater mats, you can usually squeeze two fermenters on one, and wrap them up in a blanket.

11 deg C, definitely time to do a lager.

Brewing to suit your local conditions rather than trying to control the conditions works easily and cheaply. Or, if you are a gadget head, you can buy lots of fridges and controllers and go that way.
If you are a racking brewer, rack just when the beer is finished, not to a specific day. It is better to check whether the beer is ready to rack, rather than just indescriminately racking.

There was a great thread a while back about racking and not racking
I like the idea of curling up next to a fermenter in a warm spot. Something very comforting about that regular 'blurp'. Kind of like those little kitten toys you can get that have a fake heartbeat...

:lol: Before I had a fridge I used to stick my fermenter in the bath during summer.

Bathroom is right next to our bedroom. SWMBO claimed burping airlock was worse than my snoring. To think I was toying with the idea of sticking it in the bed during winter. :huh:

Warren -

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