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Thread: temperature control and mead fermentation

  1. #1
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    Default temperature control and mead fermentation

    I have a noob mazer question, I've been brewing beer for awhile and mead just caught my eye while browsing through some of my suppliers sites. I bought a kit from (probably shouldn't toss that in?) and it was, like really simple, it came with a Champane yeast (liquid Wyeast 4021 ), SNG pouches and 12 lbs honey, thinking I might not want it so dry I added another three (OG 1.10+-) and it went merrily on it's way.
    That went so easily i figured I could do this without a kit so I rounded up another 15 lbs, some yeast nutrient and some dry champane yeast (actually 111 and it took off like there was no tomorrow. If this had been one of my ales I would be putting it in a water bath or something to slow it down but left it alone. It blew through the must in 8 or 10 days (last at 1.005) and I've added 12 lbs of previously frozen bluberries.
    OK there is the background, I've since looked up some of the yeasts around and my question is this, was my thinking reasonable in wanting to lower the temp? My house this time of year is 68 to 72 degrees but I have a two door reach in cooler I keep at 55 for my lagers to ferment in as I found that isn't too cool for anything, nor too warm, (at least all my beer is better than store bought) so if 50 degrees seems to be a lower limit for several wine yeasts, I'm thinking that 55 would be happy (albiet slow) and healthy for my mead yeasties?
    Last edited by Riverat; 04-01-2011 at 06:25 PM.
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    Generally speaking, keeping traditional meads cooler than 70F during fermentation leads to smoother, better, ready-to-drink-sooner meads. I typically like 60-65F in most cases. Although EC-1118 is not my favorite yeast, it can make good mead, and it will certainly make better mead at 55F than at 72F, though it will take a lot longer at cool temps.


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    Pardon the newbie question, but when you say fermentation temperature, do you mean the temperature inside the bottle or the temperature of the room?
    "The single biggest threat to our planet is the destruction of habitat and along the way the loss of precious wildlife. We need to reach a balance where people, habitat and wildlife can co-exist -- if we don't, everyone loses...one day...Since when has killing a wild animal, eating it or wearing it, ever saved a species?" - Stephen Robert Irwin (1962 - 2006)

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    Quote Originally Posted by THawk View Post
    Pardon the newbie question, but when you say fermentation temperature, do you mean the temperature inside the bottle or the temperature of the room?
    Yes.

    You won't see much heat generated from small batches. I think internal temps start to be a problem around 30-40 gal. Then you need to take temp readings from the center of your fermenter.
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    You know the only place I know of where I can find a place that's relatively undisturbed, with cold temperatures and is fairly dark is the server room at work (we have an AC running 24/7)... Though I don't know if I can explain why I'm leaving a liquid-filled bucket with an airlock there!!
    "The single biggest threat to our planet is the destruction of habitat and along the way the loss of precious wildlife. We need to reach a balance where people, habitat and wildlife can co-exist -- if we don't, everyone loses...one day...Since when has killing a wild animal, eating it or wearing it, ever saved a species?" - Stephen Robert Irwin (1962 - 2006)

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    As a server administrator I can tell you that would be highly frowned upon, even if you were to share the results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonie View Post
    As a server administrator I can tell you that would be highly frowned upon, even if you were to share the results.
    I *AM* the server administrator... and it's my family's business so I CAN get away with it... but SHOULD I -- probably not
    "The single biggest threat to our planet is the destruction of habitat and along the way the loss of precious wildlife. We need to reach a balance where people, habitat and wildlife can co-exist -- if we don't, everyone loses...one day...Since when has killing a wild animal, eating it or wearing it, ever saved a species?" - Stephen Robert Irwin (1962 - 2006)

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    I'll disagree on the 30-40 gallon mark. Temperature rise in even small batches can be significant depending on the rate of fermentation. Dropping 10-20 points a day will raise the temperature of even a 1 gallon batch by a couple degrees.

    My convention is that the temperature I post is the temperature of the liquid, unless otherwise noted. You can get stick-on LCD thermometers (fermometers) for a couple dollars. A probe inside a well is also an option, though more costly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by akueck View Post
    My convention is that the temperature I post is the temperature of the liquid, unless otherwise noted. You can get stick-on LCD thermometers (fermometers) for a couple dollars. A probe inside a well is also an option, though more costly.
    I plan on getting those from learntobrew.com once I get my shopping list sorted. It's too easy to spend too much on this addic...err...hobby...
    "The single biggest threat to our planet is the destruction of habitat and along the way the loss of precious wildlife. We need to reach a balance where people, habitat and wildlife can co-exist -- if we don't, everyone loses...one day...Since when has killing a wild animal, eating it or wearing it, ever saved a species?" - Stephen Robert Irwin (1962 - 2006)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by akueck View Post
    Dropping 10-20 points a day will raise the temperature of even a 1 gallon batch by a couple degrees.
    So far I've only ever noticed a change in temp with especially vigorous JAO's...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonie View Post
    As a server administrator I can tell you that would be highly frowned upon, even if you were to share the results.
    Bah...As an ex-admin, I can tell you that as soon as you scared your sheep in place, there will be no questions. None. The last luser who tried to make problems for me (of course I will make your test sharepoint work before trying to rescue the raid with everybody's mail on it. Not!) kind of lost privileges on the network. Strange thing was that the problems were intermittent, changed between services, and left no traces in the logs. Weird



    Anyway - if I left something fermenting in the server room, noone would dare touch it, and my boss would be "bribeable"

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