Ferment temp, length, and yeast packet info

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by blackcats, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. blackcats

    blackcats New Member

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    #1 blackcats, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
    I'm gearing up to do my third batch; a Brewer's Best Holiday Ale kit. My first two (Oatmeal Stout and Mango Saison) were done by just following the kit directions and putting the fermentation buckets in a sink in my basement. The stout has come along quite well. It's quite drinkable, but has an off flavor I can't place (taking it to the next local home brew club meeting for some more experienced opinions). So I'm graduating to temperature control with the use of a fermentation chamber in an effort to improve my quality.

    In the process of preparing for this step, I started looking into exactly what temp I should be targeting during fermentation. So I looked at the Nottingham Ale yeast information online. Now the mystery of the temperature is kinda solved, the yeast prefers 57F to 70F. Then I saw the statement "Quick start to fermentation, which can be completed in 4 days above 17°C." Does that mean, if I ferment at anything above 63F, it'll be done in 4 days? Or does that mean it's "done" in 4 days, and I should really let it sit for another 17 days? Will the yeast be done cleaning up after itself?

    Basically, I'm trying to figure out: how accurate is the info from the yeast manufacturer? Is it something I should stick close to? Or is it more of a loose guideline.

    My thought was to set the fermentation chamber to 64F, with the probe in a thermowell down in the wort. I'm just trying to avoid off flavors that I might get by bottling too early, but I'd prefer to bottle sooner rather than later. So if I don't have to wait three weeks to do that, then great!

    Thanks in advance

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  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, the label is what the manufacturer got under controlled, ideal conditions in a lab. I'm sure it's going to vary for each person, due to different worts, different batches of yeast, etc. so, I'd take the time it states as a general guideline. However, like you said, id pay much more attention to the temp range.

    A hydrometer is really your only way of knowing when the yeast are done. But give them as close to ideal conditions and they should go pretty fast
     
  3. Myndflyte

    Myndflyte Active Member

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    It may be "done" in 4 days but I'd let it sit at least 2 weeks. The yeast can do some cleaning up in that time and you can be sure it's really finished fermenting.
     
  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I see no reason to assume that there would be more accurate yeast specifications from an entity other than the manufacturer.
     
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  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Nottingham is notorious for ripping through the fermentables. You'll probably see vigorous activity within 1 hours of pitching and that may subside within 24 to 48 hours. Then things slow down and the yeast continues to chew up whatever it can find and uses leftover fermentables and breaks down a lot of the bigger molecules it produced during the first stages (some with undesirable flavors - you want to give plenty of time to get rid of them). That can take a week or more.

    If all goes well, 2 weeks is enough time for active, highly flocculent yeasts and relatively low-OG beers and 3 weeks is good for almost everything. Lower temps mean more time. Sometimes you'll get a stuck fermentation so you want have a hydrometer to make certain that you've reached your target FG. If you don't have a hydrometer, get one. You can sort of judge whether a beer tastes too sweet to be done, but it's iffy. Over-carbing due to fermentables left in the wort at bottling will cause gushers and bottle bombs.

    When you get your process down, you can push things a little and keg or bottle some beers in as little as a week to 10 days, but those are sort of special cases.

    Unless you're very sure of your FG, be patient and count on 3 weeks before cold-crashing and bottling.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I participated in a Brulosophy test last night where initial pitch temp was the subject - granted, it was a lager. I could detect a difference but preferred the beer pitched higher! Bottom line here is there's a lot of "guidance" and "beer lore" out there - follow the manufacturer's guidelines unless you have a well-reasoned reason not to. In general, lower temperatures will result in slower fermentation and fewer esters, higher temps the opposite. So rather than following a set rule, think about what you want and decide on your fermentation temperature appropriately.

    As to the "done in 4 days" part, always trust your hydrometer. Never trust the airlock or your intuition, unless you're leaving the beer so long it has to be done. Avoids bottle bombs and off flavors.
     
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  7. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    There are simply too many variables for a 1 size fits all schedule , I pitch large healthy starters into well aerated wort so can have a beer at FG in 4 days , it still stays in primary for another 10 with last few days at just above freezing
    However with very high OG or a dry pitch into oxygen deprived wort it may take 8-12 days to hit FG , even longer if talking lagers
     
  8. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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    Even if it's done in 4 days, the yeast still has a lot of cleaning up to do. After fermentation is done, the yeast will process a lot of 'off flavour' compounds. Don't rush it or your beer won't be as good as it could.
    Minimum I leave mine in the fermenter on the yeast is 2 weeks, but prefer 3 - 4.
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Man I haven't been leaving my primary that long :p my grain to glass turn around with ale is 2 weeks! Lager well give me three weeks four definitely. After primary fermentation has subsided it may sit for 2-3 days at 21c then I drop it down to 0c and gelitin sit it there for a few keg carb for a week and it's in the glass then in my belly.

    Since I'm taking a break from the beer ATM it will be interesting to see if any difference in beer quality once I get back to drinking:)
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I think the big boy brewers brew to bottle is only 4 weeks. And they make lagers!
     
  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I think cold crashing is a big improvement on clarity and because I keg its theoretically Lagering as I drink. Yes those first few aren't as crisp but after a week in keg I'm happily guzzling away on it lol
     
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  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I don't cold crash anything. Not specifically, anyway. I have a 6 tap, 8 keg keezer. The 2 kegs on the compressor shelf seem to be a bit warmer than the 6 on the floor. (No fan in the keezer.) I guess those 2 kegs cold crash while waiting to be put on a tap.
     
  13. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    My theory is cold crash your beer below the serving temperature and therefore reduce chill haze in beer.
    I set my fridge temp to 4c I cold crash at 0. Plus adding gelitin at this cold crash phase should drop that protein haze correct?
     
  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    That's what I hear. I'd rather lager than cold crash. Even if I bought another freezer just to cold crash, I'd just get another lager going. Some of my beers are very bright. Not all, but some of them.

    Edit: I do lager a few degrees below serving temperature, so I guess I'm good! Not for ales, though. They go from under the workbench to the keezer.
     
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  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Ah so you go from secondary rack straight to keg then chill same thing your still crashing your beer eh? I just like to cold crash in fermentor then rack off hopefully clearer beer into keg plus I don't secondary so probably more appropriate to make,sure I'm not transferring any floaties that wouldn't look good in the beer:p
     
  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    #16 Ozarks Mountain Brew, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
    ok back to to the original op questions, knotinham is good at any temp but produces off flavors after 64F wort temp. I try to keep the air temp at 60 with that yeast and the colder you keep the temp the slower the fermentation, the warmer you keep it the faster it ferments
     
  17. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Great yeast , I was doing ambient temp brews with it at 16 C and they came out great ! Well except the dodgy recipe I came up with but that's not the yeasts fault
     

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