Temperature after primary fermentation

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by InspectorJon, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. InspectorJon

    InspectorJon New Member

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    I am kind of new to this. I have brewed 10 beers so far and been quite happy with the results. I don't have a dedicated temperature control system. I have been using a water bath this summer and putting ice packs in as necessary to keep the temperature in the mid to upper 60's F for fermentation. My question is how critical is temperature control once fermentation is done (typically after 2-4 days or less)? I use US-05 yeast and brew IPA, APA and porters. I like to leave the beer in the primary for at least ten days before bottling. Sometimes I dry hop. I have learned a lot fromthis forum and appreciate all the time folks have put into answering questions like this.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Two schools of thought on this: Short term, not very. Long term, storage temperature is supposed to affect shelf life, the higher the temperature, the shorter the shelf life. I don't store at any particular temperature - the basement is whatever temperature it is. My beers generally last about 6 months in the bottle, with some deterioration in flavor at the end of that time.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I believe you're asking about the time between the completion of fermentation and packaging. That can be an important time in the life of a beer because even though the yeast has converted the sugars to alcohol and the beer may be essentially at final gravity, there's still a lot going on with further metabolism and "cleaning up" esters and compounds that may cause off flavors.
    If you're fermenting in the mid-high 60's it would be nice to hold pretty near that temperature for around 5 days. After that, if it drifts up a little, it shouldn't have any ill effects. My room temp will be 80 during the day while waiting for racking/packaging but the water bath without ice will keep the temp in the wort a little below that.
    The big problem with high temps is that a lot of bacteria and wild yeasts really love that temp range and any small infection can really take hold.
     
  4. InspectorJon

    InspectorJon New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I am thinking about the time that the beer is in the primary fermenter after it has reached final gravity or possibly in a secondary prior to bottling. That is typically around 7 to 10 days for me. My indoor temperature can get in the low 80s during the day. I typically don't run the AC unless someone is home. The water bath should mitigate that but I was wondering about a scenario where maybe a go away for a few days and the water temperature rises to mid 80s. It is hot where I live, California Foothills, and we don't have basements. I feel if the beer is still in the primary that should be a pretty sterile environment regarding bacteria or wild yeast.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    As JA said, around the fermentation temperature is probably the best but if you let it warm, the yeast will dry out the beer a bit more,. They could maybe throw some off flavors. A water bath will stabilize temperature - if anything in my experience temperature swings are more damaging than the absolute temperature - keep the variance low. And you should be fine.
     
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  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Mid-80s for any length of time could be problematic. If you've kept everything clean and have the beer in a glass carboy with good airlocks and haven't opened it up for any reason, you could probably count on things staying good, though. Some beers do very well having a period of late fermentation at high temps...Belgians, Saisons, etc. Keep everything clean and as Nosy mentions, fairly steady and you'll be fine. ;)
     

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