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First Stout - it's gone berserk!

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mje1980

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Sorry Phil but you're wrong, the whole pressure fermenting thing is so you can ferment at higher temp's and not produce nasties.

The nasties I refer to are what gives homebrew a bad rap, I've said it before on this forum, we are not here to produce "homebrew" we are trying to produce craft beers (ales and or lagers) if you want "homebrew" just chuck a can and a kilo into a bucket and ferment it in the garage during summer.

"A maximum of 32 degrees is listed as the upper limit in one well known brewing kit! The yeast will have no difficulty working at these temperatures. In fact it will flourish, fermenting out the beer in rapid-fire time." RINGS A BELL?

"Unfortunately, the object of brewing beer is not to ferment out the beer as fast as you can, but to produce beer as good as you possibly can with the equipment and ingredients you have at hand, and to do this you must ferment at lower temperatures" I rest my case.

Here's the complete article Brewing In Summer - How To Beat The Heat! - Aussie Brewer - Craft Brewing Supplies may I humbly suggest that anyone that thinks 28 deg's is ok to ferment at, has a read of it, unless you're using Kveik, in which case you're too cold, turn it up to 35, but that's a different discussion.
Did you read his whole reply?
 

mje1980

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The point of my reply was that 28 is too hot to produce good beer, but good for keeping yeast happy. Again, not to make the best beer.
I'm not talking about kveik or pressure fermenting, which seem to be recent adaptations. I don't use either of these.
I thought you made that point quite clearly. Clearly enough to not need any further explanation.
 

Grmblz

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Did you read his whole reply?
I did, and "28 is not too hot, in fact, the yeast will love it" in this context is just plain wrong, we're not talking about keeping yeast happy, we're talking about how to make good beer.
The rest of his post is sound advice, however a new brewer reading that post could come away with the idea that whilst 28 wasn't ideal it was still ok,
and OP (TWW) is a new brewer.
I assume OP has looked at the articles I linked to and is now much wiser. The first article is especially relevant to new brewers as it keeps the whole temperature thing simple, and the second one was intended for experienced brewers that may have dismissed the first as just one persons opinion, although I doubt an experienced brewer would disagree with the first article.
Cheers G
 

mje1980

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Context is pretty clear in the second paragraph if you read it.
 

Outback

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so, explain then, why was there a volcanic like eruption? I would have thought it self evident that the yeast went bat shit crazy, just luvvin the balmy temp. A vey simple statement was made. It stands as fact on its own merits, an nd doesn't need or want qualification. To say it is wrong, and then defend it is ignorant.
 

Grmblz

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We've probably discussed the temperature enough. Let's leave personal back and forth alone from here, please.
Nowhere else to post this Phil, how come we can't send you a PM? I would like to ask a question of both you and Grumpy, nothing to do with this thread, and there is no option to pm you???
 

philrob

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There should be. You could always report your post and send us a message that way. We'll each see it.
 

Grmblz

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Nope, gift and follow but no "start a conversation" and it's not a post it's an alert (no way to report that short of hacking the site), given the political nature of it I'd rather not have the conversation in the public domain, maybe pm me a ? and I can respond?
 

philrob

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Message sent.
 

peterlonz

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Summer ferment in Queensland without any practical temp control:
Two can stout.
Crazy ferment within a few hours, checked temp - around 28 maybe higher.
Foam everywhere, airlock acting like a safety valve, not a good look for a long time brewer, (what was I thinking)?
Bottles of frozen water packed around all in laundry tub, never really gained control but the whole ferment was "quick".
To my surprise the final stout was OK no worse than a temp controlled or winter brew.
I now use a purpose made insulation jacket (from LHBS) & I've learned roughly how many 3 litre frozen water bottles to use, have to replace about every 12 hours but reasonable control has become possible even in summer.
I post for new brewers to consider, the old hands - well LOL
 
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matt77

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Be careful Matt, 14 is really at the bottom end, you don't want it to stall, should be ok (yeast strain dependant) but I wouldn't go any lower, and consider going to 18 after it slows down a bit.
I have i did.
Funny comment based on not knowing what yeast i was using.
And i aim for 17°c at start for most ferments
But yeah if it still got 3 inches of foamy krausen i think it was fermenting fine
 

Grmblz

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I have i did.
Funny comment based on not knowing what yeast i was using.
And i aim for 17°c at start for most ferments
But yeah if it still got 3 inches of foamy krausen i think it was fermenting fine
I was just assuming you were using an ale yeast rather than lager, and I've had ale yeasts go to sleep at 14, glad it's worked out ok.
 

butisitart

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I have i did.
Funny comment based on not knowing what yeast i was using.
And i aim for 17°c at start for most ferments
But yeah if it still got 3 inches of foamy krausen i think it was fermenting fine
i'd go with grmblz. if you're going to make a generic statement about slowing a yeast down by heading to 14 degrees, then you'd generically be using an ale yeast, regardless of strain. if you're aiming at 17 degrees, then no contest.
so on that basis, doesn't matter what brand of yeast you're using. :noworries:
14 degrees for an ale is at about the bottom end, so it's not a funny comment
if it was a lager, you'd have said (or should have said) 2 degrees, and only then would 14 degrees be funny
 
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GregTheBrewer

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Just as an aside TWW, as with any biological system and enzymes, acitivity increases with temperature, but as many have pointed out, there are undesirable side effects from too much temp when it comes to brewing. This is why the yeast manufacturers have recommended ranges for their yeasts on the packet or website. My advice would be to keep an eye out for a cheap chest freezer on Gumtree or Facebook marketplace, and get an STC-1000 based temperature controller. You can wire them up yourself if you have the skills and knowledge (a MUST!) or buy a pre-made one like Kegland sell. Then put your heat belt on the fermenter, wack it in the freezer and connect everything! Because you are not running the freezer down to its normal temps, it has a very easy time of it and won't use much power. Most people put a temp probe on the side of the fermenter using Blutac or similar, but if you want to get really fancy, drill an extra hole in the fermenter lid, and put a sanitised thermowell into the beer with the temp probe inside it. That way you get a very accurate readout of the beer temp. And don't worry about uneven temps...warming and cooling, convective currents form and circulate within the beer so it evens itself out. At the end of the fermentation, you can even use it to cold crash to clarify before bottling! Such a setup makes brewing lagers a breeze as well, as you can easily control it for your diacetyl rest later in the ferment. I have been doing this sort of thing down here in the Leper Colony (ruled by Chairman Dan) for years, and have had great results. Good luck with your brewing, and I am very envious of all of you north of Sicktoria!!!
 

Grmblz

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Remember the disbelief, and general outrage when the news showed people in China being locked up in their blocks of flats, seems insignificant now. We feel for you Greg, and that old political cop-out of "I don't recall" is just not good enough.

Just a quick observation on GTBs' recommendations, lifting a full fermenter in and out of a chest freezer can be a challenge for some, a fridge may be a better option.

Fridge pros: generally uses less floor space, can easily view the fermentation (PET fermenters) easier to move fermenter in and out, easier to clean when things go wrong.

Chest freezer pros: much better insulation so uses less power, and whilst they are a bit harder to clean they will contain (if the drain hole is plugged) any spillage, the fridge may be easier to clean but when the inevitable happens you will be mopping the floor as well.

A good compromise is an upright freezer, best of both worlds, except the spillage control, just make sure the cooling elements aren't part of the shelves.
 
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peterlonz

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Just as an aside TWW, as with any biological system and enzymes, acitivity increases with temperature, but as many have pointed out, there are undesirable side effects from too much temp when it comes to brewing. This is why the yeast manufacturers have recommended ranges for their yeasts on the packet or website. My advice would be to keep an eye out for a cheap chest freezer on Gumtree or Facebook marketplace, and get an STC-1000 based temperature controller. You can wire them up yourself if you have the skills and knowledge (a MUST!) or buy a pre-made one like Kegland sell. Then put your heat belt on the fermenter, wack it in the freezer and connect everything! Because you are not running the freezer down to its normal temps, it has a very easy time of it and won't use much power. Most people put a temp probe on the side of the fermenter using Blutac or similar, but if you want to get really fancy, drill an extra hole in the fermenter lid, and put a sanitised thermowell into the beer with the temp probe inside it. That way you get a very accurate readout of the beer temp. And don't worry about uneven temps...warming and cooling, convective currents form and circulate within the beer so it evens itself out. At the end of the fermentation, you can even use it to cold crash to clarify before bottling! Such a setup makes brewing lagers a breeze as well, as you can easily control it for your diacetyl rest later in the ferment. I have been doing this sort of thing down here in the Leper Colony (ruled by Chairman Dan) for years, and have had great results. Good luck with your brewing, and I am very envious of all of you north of Sicktoria!!!
I have found the best way to record the actual temp in the fermenter is to use a digital readout thermometer with thermocouple probe on 1 metre flexible line. Purchase on Ebay dirt cheap 4 for AUS10 as I recall. Then simply use some quality aluminium tape (Also on Ebay - adhesive on one side) & tape on the thermo probe.
BTW I always check calibration against a good quality "spirit in glass" traditional thermometer. If calibration is out more than 1 degree don't use that one.
 
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TWW

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Hi All, just checking back in on the thread after a couple of mental weeks of work (& life) getting in the way. Wow! Some passionate advice being given and I am grateful for all of it.
As I've already mentioned I may have got a bit ambitious with a Stout - albeit from a tin - with my very basic set up.

So, it's got down to an average of 22/24 degrees which by all accounts is a little warm. I am thinking I should be bottling this now (it's been in the fermenter for nearly 3 weeks) but the fermenter is still bubbling away at a calm, but consistent pace. Corrected OG was around the 1.052 mark pre-pitching the yeast. I have taken a reading now at 1.022. I am thinking it isn't ready for bottling yet given there is still fermentation activity....patience right?

Would be interested in some advice on a basic carbonation strategy for Stout when bottling. Some have alluded to maybe undercutting/excluding the carbonation sugars when bottling?

Finally, with cold crashing is there a certain temperature to aim for, or is it as simple as getting it in a fridge and leaving it (overnight?).

Really thankful for the advice and input again @Grmblz, @philrob, @GregTheBrewer, @peterlonz
 

kadmium

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Stout shouldn't have the same volume of carbonation as some other styles, but you do still want it carbonated to some degree. It will benefit from an extended bottle condition.

I would not bottle until you have reached a stable gravity for several days. 1.022 is a touch high, and I would expect it to drop some more. Once you reach FG and it's stable, THEN bottle. Otherwise you risk over carbonating and all the bad things that happen with that.

If it's been fermenting warm, aging will also help level out some of the Fusel Alcohols that may have been produced, but this is more of a months in the bottle type deal depending on how 'hot' it tastes.
 
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