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Thread: Is my fermentation temp too high?

  1. Question Is my fermentation temp too high?

    Recipe: (5 gallons)
    15lbs. honey
    water
    Lalvin D-47 1 pack Rehydrated w/ Go-Ferm, also made starter
    Staggered nutrient additions w/ FermaidK and DAP

    Working with degrees Fahrenheit here-

    I got active fermentation about eight hours after pitching yeast. My liquid crystal thermometer on my ale pail read a little cooler than what I was shooting for. D-47's sweetspot is apparently 68 to 70. I placed the pale in the vicinity of a heating vent for about 15 hours and the temp climbed up to 77/79. 83 degrees is the too hot point for this yeast, I've read. I've had the pail away from the vent for six hours now but the temp isn't dropping. Is it worth attempting to chill the pail in the sink, or should I let it continue to ferment.

    I'm getting a good gurgle every other second. My god, it smells good - like honey on a biscuit.

    Thanks.

    One more question: I bought five gallons of spring water, but only used enough to fill the pail up to the five gallon mark with both water and honey in the bucket. This turned out to be 3.75 gallons. Was I supposed to add the rest? It didn't seem like I should, as a "five gallon recipe" always made me think five gallons total.
    Last edited by drastic_quench; 01-18-2009 at 06:20 PM. Reason: edited to add question

  2. Default

    You really have to drop that temperature. Yeast goes crazy at high temperatures, creating fusels which you won't want to drink.

    If it's cool outside, where you are, get it out there for a while.


    Phil

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drastic_quench View Post
    One more question: I bought five gallons of spring water, but only used enough to fill the pail up to the five gallon mark with both water and honey in the bucket. This turned out to be 3.75 gallons. Was I supposed to add the rest? It didn't seem like I should, as a "five gallon recipe" always made me think five gallons total.
    Using 3.75 gallons of water for a target volume of 5 gallons is correct. Fifteen pounds of honey has a volume of about 1.25 gallons (i.e., 12 pounds per gallon). -- Olen

  4. #4
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    You didn't say what your starting SG was. Did you take one? According to the mead calculator, it should have been about 1.1. If you haven't hit the 1/3 sugar break (some recipes say 3 days), you should be aerating. Aerating will also help get the temp down. Make sure you sanatize whatever you use.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Yes! Definitely chill it!

    Fermentation is exothermic--it creates its own heat. Once you've got it going at a high temp, it's not going to spontaneously decrease in temperature until the fermentation rate is much slower. By then the damage will be done--damage being high alcohols (fusels) that will take awhile to age out.

    Put it in a sink full of ice water. Wrap wet rags around it and blow cool air across it with a fan. Do whatever you can to knock down the temp back into the high 60s.

    Good luck!

  6. Default

    Thanks. I'll chill it pronto.

    I am aerating too.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kee View Post
    You didn't say what your starting SG was. Did you take one? According to the mead calculator, it should have been about 1.1. If you haven't hit the 1/3 sugar break (some recipes say 3 days), you should be aerating. Aerating will also help get the temp down. Make sure you sanatize whatever you use.
    I mismeasured my SG. 1.1 is very likely what it was. It's now at 1.09. I'm monitoring the gravity because my final nutrient addition is at 1/3 sugar break - roughly 1.06.

  8. Default

    Got the must down to 70 with an ice bath in the sink. I was shooting for 68, and it stalled out at 70, so I called that good enough. Thanks for the help.

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