View Full Version : cooler fermentation temps?

12-20-2007, 05:40 PM
Anyone have experience fermenting at the lower temperature range? I'm looking for types of yeast to use and any potential problems to watch out for. I'm hoping the cool but stable temperature in the basement will slow down the fermentation and result in a better mead. Any thoughts?

Yo momma
12-20-2007, 06:00 PM
Actually, as I understand it, faster, even fermentation is what you want with staggered nutrient and areation. These thing are more important. As far as a yeast that can work at a lower temp, I have no definite answer. I do believe that some other mazers here have worked that situation out so maybe they will chime in.

12-20-2007, 06:00 PM
The coldest fermentation I've started so far got going at 60 F. It warmed itself up to 66 after a couple of days though. How cold is your basement?

Check out the yeast table (there's one on the main site under "making mead" I think) or go to a yeast manufacturer's website (Lallemand/Lalvin for example) to find temperature ranges for each strain of yeast.

Comparing two very similar cysers I've made with D-47 yeast, one in July and one in December, I can say this so far:
the cooler temperatures made fermentation go slower (but not by much, just a couple of extra days)
the alcohol flavor was less apparent in the cooler fermentation compared to the warmer fermentation (after ~2 weeks).

You can find yeast that will work down into the 40s, and some that don't do well until above 80. Keep in mind that once fermentation starts, it will generate its own heat so you can ferment several degrees above ambient, especially with good thermal shielding (a blanket etc).

Edit: I checked the yeast table available from the main page and the yeasts with the coolest temps listed are the Champagne strains, EC-1118 and Premier Cuvee, which supposedly work down to 45 F. D-47 has a lower limit of 50 listed, for example. Most important for working with low temps is to make sure the yeast are "happy" ("sad" yeast will work ok at high temps but will go to sleep at low temps). Happy means plenty of nutrients, including oxygen to start, right pH, and a proper initial population.

Also, what temperature is your not-basement? Any reason in particular to use the basement? (just curious)

12-20-2007, 08:00 PM

Take a look at the following yeasts:

BA11 (Barraida)
CHP (Champagne)
DV10 (Epernay)
EC-1118 (Prise de Mousse)
K1-V1116 (Montpellier)
QA-23 (Bordeaux)
R2 (Sauternes)
W15 (Wadenswil)
W27 (Wadenswil)

Red Star:
Premier Cuvee (Prise de Mousse)
Cote des Blancs (Epernay II)

Hope that helps,


Medsen Fey
12-20-2007, 08:17 PM
Hello Paul,

Oskaar had listed the pros and cons of low/high temp fermentation in another thread here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=412&topic=4507.0).

I've not made any meads with temps below the 60-70 degree range (yet), but in brewing beers I've done lagers as low as 50F with excellent results, and as long as you choose a yeast with low temp tolerance and it has good nutrients it should work nicely.

Good Meading!


12-21-2007, 02:26 AM
I ferment in a fridge and I use champagne yeast it trudges along slowly but surely. I know that the fridge no matter what temp i set it too is higher than 45. I have found no rocket fuel flavors in my mead so far. Truth be told the patience factor is huge at those temps its been fermenting since june.

12-21-2007, 10:14 AM
I want to use the cellar because I have space available and the temperatures there are the most stable.

Red Star:
Cote des Blancs (Epernay II)

This looks pretty good on paper. Any con's? How common a mead yeast is it?