Fermentation temperatures???

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Fermentation temperatures???

Post by vonBobo » 2 years ago

Used a WLP041 Pacific Ale Yeast over the weekend. The bottle said to pitch in temps between 70-75F, but the white labs website lists an optimum temperature of 65-68. Then the recipe called for a fermentation temp of 65F, and the internet experts all tell stories of fermenting ales between 63-68F.

What am I supposed to be shooting for? Should I go by just the bottle directions alone and keep in the 70-75 range? Or is that temp used just until the fermentation has started, and then I need to cool the wort into the mid 60's until it has finished the job?

Or... perhaps since the recipe called for 65F, I should have found a yeast that pitched at a lower temp than the 70-75F yeast I ended up with?

I've seen plenty of "this is what I do" posts from lots of people. But where exactly is this knowledge coming from? Seems like numbers are all over the board.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Jeff

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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

Apologies for the "this is what I do" reply but at least I can justify it with a logical reason: "I am following the manufacturer's instructions"

I always look up the yeast manufacturer's data sheet (http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp041-pacific-ale-yeast) and ferment in the middle of the recommended range.

---Todd
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Post by vonBobo » 2 years ago

So any guess as to why the bottle says "pitch at 70-75" and the webiste for the same product says "Optimum Ferment Temp. 65-68°F (18-20°C)"?

I guess i should be asking WL that question, but my far reaching assumption was that maybe there is a pitching temp and a fermenting temp that could sometimes be different?


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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

All I know is 70F to 75F, can make some very interesting Esters.

I'll stick with 65F-68F.

JMHO.
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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

So, best guess I can give is this: You need to have your wort cooled to at least 75F before pitching? Or perhaps they are referring to the temperature of the yeast, not the wort at pitching? Please let us know if you contact WL to get a definitive answer. After pitching I would normally be placing the FV into my fermentation chamber for further cooling down to 66-67F. Keep in mind that the most important phase of fermentation temperature control is going to be the first 24-48 hours of activity, after a couple of days it's safe to allow temps to rise a bit for the remainder of the fermentation so those little critters can finish their work.

---Todd
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Post by safebrew222 » 2 years ago

Some sage advice here from Todd and Josh, Jeff. Your fermentation temp will affect your flavor profile. Higher temps tend to be more estery and lower temps cleaner... however even at low ale temps flavor can change within the same yeast strain even with a change of a degree or 2. Temperature is another tool to use when creating a beer. As you gain more experience you will be able find the sweet spot for fermentation temp for each of your recipes. Until then, take it from experience... keep your ales at a constant temp under 68F for at least 48 hours before letting them creep over 70 to finish out.

Jeff


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Post by vonBobo » 2 years ago

Thanks all.

I found this bit in White Lab's FAQ:
"The yeast should be pitched at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, 21.1 to 23.9 Centigrade. Once you see active fermentation, bring the temperature to the desired fermentation temperature."


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Post by Scott » 2 years ago

So basically, the only reason they recommend starting at a warmer temperature and then dropping it lower later is to ensure you get a really strong fermentation going. The yeast suppliers are concerned with the limited cells you have available in a vial or smack pack, that if you don't baby it a little with warmer temps, fermentation may not be as vigorous and do its job as you may want. And with only being warmer 12 hours or so (???) that the warm temps will have that minimal negative impact on the final product... Or at least this is what I have drawn from this info.

The pros and better home brewers seem to have plenty of yeast (starter if necessary for homebrewers) and run fermentation at consistent regular temperatures, not warm dropping to cool temps later.

More experienced guys - this is correct, right? I remember seeing this same info in the past and this is the conclusion I drew.


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Post by vonBobo » 2 years ago

That is what I am assuming too Scott. This would be enough to push me to starters as I dont like the idea of trying to cool the wort down from pitch temp to ferment temp at the same time the yeast is warming it up. My ferment room stays 65F, so I will need active cooling and I can forsee the temp fluctuating while Im learning to dial it all in.

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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

Confirmed Scott: I build a proper sized starter, oxegenate my wort, stabilize the wort and yeast to desired fermentation temp, and THEN pitch. Easy to do if you have a dedicated fermentation chanmber, not so easy if you don't.

---Todd
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