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What is the Best Temp for ale fermentation?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Jduche17, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. Jduche17

    Jduche17 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2015 Quebec (Canada)

    Hi I am pretty new to this and was wondering what in general people like the temperature to be when they ferment . I set up a room in my basement with no windows and no light solely for making beer but i find it a bit cold and before i set up a heating unit i wanted some feed back . i set up a thermometer in the room and in general if i leave the door closed it maintains at 61 - 62 degrees is this to cold ? what should i aim for ?
    thanks for your input
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,851) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    A common temperature mentioned for ale yeast fermentation is 68 degrees F. I must emphasize that this is the temperature of the liquid in the fermenter, not the ambient temperature.

    During active fermentation heat is generated so the temperature of the liquid in the fermenter will be higher than ambient.

    Your temperature of 61-62 degrees for ambient temperature could be just right to achieve the fermentation temperature of 68 degrees F.

    Do you have a fermometer on your fermenter so that you can measure the fermentation temperature?


  3. Jduche17

    Jduche17 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2015 Quebec (Canada)

    yes i do have one , actually i bought 2 , so i will monitor it , do you know is it worst if its to cold or to warm during fermentation ?
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,851) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The conservative response to your query is that being on the colder side might be 'better' since if a fermentation gets too warm/hot (e.g., greater than 70 degrees F) there is a chance that excess esters (fruity flavors) may be produced and also there is the possibility of excess higher alcohols (fusel oils) being produced. Too much higher alcohols can produce a harshness to the beer.

    Fermenting an ale cool (e.g., low - mid 60's) will generally result in a cleaner tasting beer; less esters will be produced.

    Now, what I wrote above is very simplistic since each yeast strain has its own preferred fermentation temperature range and each style of beer may benefit from differing fermentation temperatures.

    #4 JackHorzempa, Dec 23, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  5. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Devotee (410) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Chech the recommended temp range for the yeast you use. Usually they give a range.
    scottakelly and Hop-Droppen-Roll like this.
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,498) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    What style are you brewing, and what yeast strain are you using? 68F might be the tits, or it might not.
    CurtFromHershey and scottakelly like this.
  7. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (470) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    Agree with the top two takeaways posted above. Fermentation temperature is higher than ambient. And different yeast strains perform better at different temperatures.

    I just wanted to add that both Wyeast and White Labs have recommended temperature ranges for each strain on their websites. And I would add that it is usually better to be lower in temp than higher.
    GetMeAnIPA likes this.
  8. Jduche17

    Jduche17 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2015 Quebec (Canada)

    im brewing a double IPA and the yeast used is nothingham ale dry yeast by danstar
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,498) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    A DIPA is a big beer. So I would keep fermentation temps on the low side to avoid runaway temps and potential off flavors. I haven't used Nottingham, but I would probably go as low as the strain is comfortable with, or close to it. But someone else can probably give you better specific advice about Nottingham.
  10. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (470) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I haven't used Nottingham in a long time, but my recollection is that it is rather neutral when done at lower temps and can throw off fusel notes on the higher end of the range. It's a beast of an attenuator and flocculator.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,851) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Below is information from the Danstar website for Nottingham:

    “The recommended fermentation temperature range of this strain is 14° to 21°C (57° to 70°F) with good tolerance to low fermentation temperatures (12°C/54°F)…”


    I have homebrewed a lot with Nottingham in the past; it was my preferred dry yeast until I ‘discovered’ US-05.

    My personal experiences with Nottingham are that it produced a clean beer over its full recommended temperature range.

    @Jduche17 my recommendation is that you pitch this yeast cool (low 60’s) and place your fermenter in your basement of 61 – 62 degrees F. Monitor the fermentation temperature since you will have a lot of fermentables in the wort of a Double IPA. My guess is that at the peak of fermentation your fermentation temperature will be 6-7 degrees F above ambient which should get you to the ‘magic number’ of 68 degrees F. There is no real need to reach this value; just monitor to ensure that you do not exceed the upper range for this yeast.

    Best of luck on your DIPA!!


    P.S. Is your basement floor uncarpeted (e.g., a concrete floor)? If so, place your fermenter on the concrete floor; it will 'act' like a heat sink removing the higher heat from the fermenter.
  12. Jduche17

    Jduche17 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2015 Quebec (Canada)

    Thank you for all the useful information , have a merry Christmas everybody
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  13. inchrisin

    inchrisin Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    64F Ambient.
    dmtaylor likes this.
  14. HopfenUndMalzGottErhalts

    HopfenUndMalzGottErhalts Initiate (77) Dec 25, 2015 Washington

    Do you have a way of measuring the fermenting wort? Glass car boys transfer heat more slowly than metal and plastic pail, so the ambient room temperature is not quite as critical, but still a factor. Mid to high 60's is a good target temperature.
  15. Jduche17

    Jduche17 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2015 Quebec (Canada)

    hi everyone so i brewed my first batch yesterday and i think everything went well , we will see in a few weeks , the carboy is indicating a fermentation temp of about 65 after 24 h will this be ok ? or should i aim a little higher at 68
  16. Mullen2525

    Mullen2525 Initiate (184) Dec 9, 2012 Massachusetts

    you should be ok there. Keep in mind, if you're reading from the outside of the carboy, and active fermentation is happening, your actual fermentation temp is going to be a few degrees warmer.
  17. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (470) May 9, 2007 Ohio