Fermenting Pilsner at low Temperature

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Gledison, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    Hey everyone.
    due to the cold weather, I've just decided to give it a try on a dry hopped pilsner. I thought that temperatures would be around 53F but its actualy 47°F :S
    I know that higher temperatures can affect negatively, but what about lower? I had airlock activity after 12 hours (dry Czech yeast Gosdawa 18) but currently is stuck (24 hours). I put the fermenter inside my unsuccessfully made mash tun to avoid even lower temps...but yeah, can do much, its on my balcony.
    any tips.?
    cheers
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Lower is slower. Too low and it will probably stall. What’s the stated temp range for your yeast? Also, heat belts are fairly inexpensive. Look up fermwrap and stc-1000.
     
  3. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    ideal temp is 54-60°F. i will check it the heat belts. thanks
     
  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I was able to maintain a 55° ferm temp with the heat belt and a blanket in my 10° garage last winter. I started with 2 blankets, but the temp kept creeping up. Too much heat! So I ended up half wrapping the carboy with one blanket and it worked perfectly. My point is that ferm wrap can help you deal with very cold temperatures.
     
  5. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Don’t worry about low temps unless it drops below 44-45F. I regularly ferment WLP 830 at 43-45F, White Labs recommends 50-55F, but it does well at lower temps.

    If it drops too low, simply raising the temp will bring it back to life. The lower temps will cause a slow, clean fermentation. Bring up the temp toward the end of fermentation (58-64F) for a diacytel rest.
     
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  6. Aksarben

    Aksarben Member

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    Y'all know that there are small heating pads at Walmart you can place close to the fermenter? Too cool a temp will hibernate some yeasts. They need to work in a certain temperature range "optimal" comes to mind.
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    It really can't be stuck at 24 hours and surely you don't mean that you're taken gravity readings...do you mean that the airlock stopped bubbling or slowed down? I think you got some activity early on from pitching slightly warmer than your ambient and the wort cooled as it got into solid fermentation. The pressure release would slow down and even be offset slightly by the contraction of the liquid at lower temp. If it doesn't get lower than 47 ambient, it should be fine. It'll be slower but it should work. Fluctuation is a big problem. Just try to hold steady for several days and don't worry about it. It's making beer. You might try a water bath to keep fluctuation to a minimum.
     
  8. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    I agree, im not sure if the airlock is bubbling..too cold outside :p. At lest a positive pressure inside the fermenter.
    I wraped with some towels and its keeping a 47-49F. I will take a gravity measurement after 6 days and see how it goes.
    cheers
     
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  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that the towels will only keep heat that’s in the beer in there. As the beer ferments, the yeast will generate a small amount of heat. The towels will help trap that heat. As the fermentation continues, less heat will be generated. Eventually, your beer will be the same as ambient temperature, whether you have 1 towel on it or 50. The sun could help, but temperature swings would be a problem.
     
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  10. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    Yep. But with my setup i cant do much at this point. Fermenter is inside of my mash tun cosy (where I'm measuring the temp) wrapped in towels. I'm assuming the fermentation heat is being compensated by the low ambient temp. It doesn't oscillate much. It seems a kind of celled temp... Well I'm not checking how it is in the middle of the night thou :(
    Cheers
     
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  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to do but let 'er rip and see what happens. Low temps usually make for a pretty long fermentation. I'd assume a full 2 weeks. As long as you have a room or closet inside your house that stays a little cool, you could bring it in after it's done most of it's fermentation and start a diacetyl rest. You woudn't want to to be much over 70 if you could help it, but after it's fully fermented, temperature won't make a lot of difference until you start to crash and lager.
     
  12. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    yes, I have a 19C room to leave it for a couple of days by the end of primary fermentation.
    btw, how long do you lager your pilsner? normally I don't use a secondary fermenter. shall I rack it for pilsners?
    cheers
     
  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I always rack to lager. I started at 4 weeks, but I dialed it back to 2 weeks, only because I’m impatient. There’s a benefit to longer lager periods, but just like all you can eat popcorn, there are diminishing returns the longer you go.
     
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  14. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Optimal fermentation temperatures are for little girls.

    Just kidding, but suggested temps from yeast manufacturer are just that, suggested. White Labs has the strictest suggestions. I regularly go below suggested temps on a lot of their yeast. 007 and 830 come to mind and they work great at lower temps.
     
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  15. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I crash in primary for several days and keg for lagering. It carbonates in the interim and can sit indefinitely. I'd rack to secondary but the keg takes up less room and the risk of contamination is eliminated. If the beer went into the keg fairly clear, then it starts to get pretty good after a couple of weeks. Four weeks is preferable and for most beers it keeps improving at least marginally for many weeks after that. When it's running dead clear, I'll transfer to a clean keg before moving to the kegerator so it doesn't stir up sediment.
     
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  16. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    It looks pretty clean already. Ready for bottling ;)
     

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  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Heck yeah thats a clean post ferment sample nice light colour too. Well chill it down and see if it throws some haze geletin will clear that for you if so. Congrats hope it tastes good.
     
  18. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    i dont think i will need some gelatine, lets see when im back from holidays:p
    its tasting quite ok with little carbonation, quite bitter thou.
    time will tell :p
     
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