Author Topic: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range  (Read 1199 times)

Offline Becton

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« on: February 12, 2020, 02:13:55 PM »
Hi, some questions on temperature.
I'm fermenting a batch with White Labs WLP410 - the yeast temp specs say min 19.4?C - max 23.3?C. Is this in the fermenter or room temp.?
I have a strip on the fermenter measuring temp, i 2?C steps (ie 18 - 20 - 22 - 24 - 26), highlighted by background colour. How reliable is this?
Both 22?C and 24?C are highlighted (but not 20 or 26), I presume this indicate temp 23?C. What can happen if temp is higher, let's say 24-25?C?
The fermenter room is 20.5-21.5?C and cannot be lowered (at least not without giving dubious types access to the house :o)
Any advice/tips welcome.

Offline BOB357

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 576
  • Beer is my bucket list!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 02:22:49 PM »
The Fermometers (strip thermometers) are really pretty accurate at reporting fermenter temperature. This is what you're interested in. It can be several degrees warmer the the ambient temperature, especially during the more active stages of fermentation.
Bob

Online Oginme

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2979
  • Goats, guitars, and a home brew; Life is good!
    • Longvu LaManchas
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 02:56:11 PM »
To add to what Bob stated, the fermentation temperature for the yeast is of the fermenting liquid.  Room temperature is a very poor way of controlling your fermentation.  Yeast activity generates heat so the temperature inside your fermentation vessel will be much higher than room temperature during the most active part of fermentation.
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline Becton

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 03:03:35 PM »
What is the effect of temp slightly above the stated range (ie 24-26?C)?
I suspect the temp will drop when the activity decreases (in Denmark we call it "Storm" fermentation).
Thanks for your help.

Offline Becton

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 05:19:23 AM »
Another question on this subject:
Temp in the fermenting room is 20C, if the yeast range is given as 20C - 23C and the fermometer show 26C/27C, should I place the fermenter in a fridge? And what temp should the fridge be set at? (If at all possible).
What do others do?

Online Oginme

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2979
  • Goats, guitars, and a home brew; Life is good!
    • Longvu LaManchas
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 05:40:42 AM »
There are a variety of methods to control the fermentation temperature.  Right now I have a dedicated refrigerator hooked up to a temperature controller.  I tape the temperature probe from the controller to the carboy and then cover that with a piece of insulation.  The temperature will then control to the set point on the controller.  I usually expect the actual internal temperature to be less than 1C higher than the controller reads, so I start the initial fermentation target a bit lower than what I will settle at for the bulk of the fermentation.

Without a dedicated fermentation chamber, there are a few ways to make sure the carboy or pail temperature is not too much higher than ambient.  The easiest is commonly referred to as a "swamp cooler" where you put the carboy into a tub with water and drape towels or rags so that they wick the water up over the carboy.  The evaporation of the moisture from the cloth will cool the carboy and that evaporation rate will be controlled by the temperature inside the carboy and the room temperature. 

If the room is too high, you can also add ice packs inside the tub on a regular basis to keep the carboy cooler than the room temperature.

These are a couple of the easiest methods apart from a dedicated chamber for some form of temperature control.  The aim here is to prevent the carboy temperature at high krausen from being greatly higher than the ambient temperature.  To answer your previous speculation, once the krausen has started to settle down and visible signs of active fermentation are done, the carboy will pretty much acclimate to the room it is kept.
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline The Little Red Brewster

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • I am "The Little Red Brooster
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2020, 06:34:58 AM »
Without a dedicated fermentation chamber, there are a few ways to make sure the carboy or pail temperature is not too much higher than ambient.  The easiest is commonly referred to as a "swamp cooler" where you put the carboy into a tub with water and drape towels or rags so that they wick the water up over the carboy.  The evaporation of the moisture from the cloth will cool the carboy and that evaporation rate will be controlled by the temperature inside the carboy and the room temperature. 

As your room is slightly cooler than what you want you could lob a fish tank heater in the water in the tub, set to the temperature you want. A dedicated chamber is the better way to go.

Offline Becton

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2020, 07:07:08 AM »
There are a variety of methods to control the fermentation temperature.  Right now I have a dedicated refrigerator hooked up to a temperature controller.  I tape the temperature probe from the controller to the carboy and then cover that with a piece of insulation.  The temperature will then control to the set point on the controller.  I usually expect the actual internal temperature to be less than 1C higher than the controller reads, so I start the initial fermentation target a bit lower than what I will settle at for the bulk of the fermentation.

Is the controller plugged into the power outlet thus "closing/opening" power according to temp setting, or does the power line "pass through" the controller?
Or is the controller attached somehow to the fridge itself?
Is there a web site where this type of set up can be viewed?


My "Carboy" is this type so I'm not sure submerging in a tub is a good idea, though I might be wrong.


I'll have to start looking closely at Used-for-sale pages.

Online Oginme

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2979
  • Goats, guitars, and a home brew; Life is good!
    • Longvu LaManchas
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2020, 08:34:09 AM »
Yeah, you really do not want to submerge the spigot.   You can still use the swamp cooler method though by placing the ends of the cloth used to drape the carboy in it's own water bath and allowing the water to wick up.

My controller has outlets which allow for heating and cooling to be turned on separately depending upon which is needed.  I have the refrigerator plugged into the cooling side and a heat lamp plugged into the heating side.  I programmed the dead band so that it does not constantly cycle back and forth between heating and cooling.
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline GigaFemto

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 335
  • Muonic Matter Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2020, 10:03:47 AM »
Yeah, you really do not want to submerge the spigot.

I have a plastic carboy with spigot that I submerge in a water bath, but I am very careful with it. I put some bleach into the bath water to keep anything from growing there. When I remove the carboy from the water bath for bottling I clean the spigot and flush it out with sanitizer before use. I can see from the photo that your spigot has a little vent hole that allows flushing of the spigot in the closed position.

--GF

Offline Becton

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2020, 02:37:12 PM »
I have a plastic carboy with spigot that I submerge in a water bath, but I am very careful with it. I put some bleach into the bath water to keep anything from growing there. When I remove the carboy from the water bath for bottling I clean the spigot and flush it out with sanitizer before use. I can see from the photo that your spigot has a little vent hole that allows flushing of the spigot in the closed position.
--GF

After considerations I think I'll pursue the fridge direction, it sounds a more attractive solution. Also, it seems I'll need it should I ever want to make a pilsner.

Offline GigaFemto

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 335
  • Muonic Matter Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2020, 07:35:48 PM »
Using a fridge you will still have the problem that the beer temperature can be quite a bit higher than the air temperature. If your thermometer is in the air outside the fermenter your controller will control the air temperature and not the beer temperature. If you put your thermometer in the beer you may find you have wild overshoots because by the time your beer temperature cools to the setpoint the outside air is very cold and that cold air eventually makes your beer too cold. Most controllers have no way of handling that time delay properly. Immersing a fermenter in liquid gives much better thermal contact, so the difference between temperature in the beer and temperature just outside the fermenter is negligible.

There is no perfect solution...every approach has its pluses and minuses and you need to decide what works for you.

--GF

Offline Becton

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2020, 02:53:47 AM »
Using a fridge you will still have the problem that the beer temperature can be quite a bit higher than the air temperature. If your thermometer is in the air outside the fermenter your controller will control the air temperature and not the beer temperature. If you put your thermometer in the beer you may find you have wild overshoots because by the time your beer temperature cools to the setpoint the outside air is very cold and that cold air eventually makes your beer too cold. Most controllers have no way of handling that time delay properly. Immersing a fermenter in liquid gives much better thermal contact, so the difference between temperature in the beer and temperature just outside the fermenter is negligible.

There is no perfect solution...every approach has its pluses and minuses and you need to decide what works for you.
--GF

Your points are quite valid but for me there is also a practical aspect in this. And, as I could do with a spare fridge anyway, I think I'll do some testing and see where it leads me.
I'll post here when I have some data.

Offline GigaFemto

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 335
  • Muonic Matter Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2020, 10:24:14 AM »
Commercial refrigerators cannot be set to temperatures higher than 40-42 F because food safety requires temperatures lower than this. That is too cold, even for lager fermentation. If you use a regular refrigerator you will need an external regulator to turn the refrigerator on and off to achieve higher temperatures. Then it is too warm to safely store food, so it is not really an extra refrigerator. If  you are fermenting ales at around 68 F that is even too warm for long-term storage of beer. If you want to use a refrigerator as a fermentation chamber it will really not be good for anything else.

--GF

Offline Becton

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Fermentation temp., yeast temp. range
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2020, 11:23:46 AM »
Commercial refrigerators cannot be set to temperatures higher than 40-42 F because food safety requires temperatures lower than this. That is too cold, even for lager fermentation. If you use a regular refrigerator you will need an external regulator to turn the refrigerator on and off to achieve higher temperatures. Then it is too warm to safely store food, so it is not really an extra refrigerator. If  you are fermenting ales at around 68 F that is even too warm for long-term storage of beer. If you want to use a refrigerator as a fermentation chamber it will really not be good for anything else.
--GF

I don't intend to use it as a "family" fridge, sorry if it sounded that way.

 

modification