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Fermenters wont come back up to temp as its too cold right now

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  • Fermenters wont come back up to temp as its too cold right now

    that about sums it up. was making an ale, weather was mid to upper 70s. did a mini crash to 50 to dump yeast and get ready for dry hop. reset controller to go up to 68 and..... cold streak hits. daytime temps around 60 right now, so after 4 days tank is still sitting at 58F. was hoping to dry hop in the mid 60s at least. weather doesnt look like its changing anytime soon.

    what do folks do in this situation? heating our space isnt really an option. we have an electric kettle, so i had thought about filling with water to about 75, then recirc the water into the jackets on a loop for a few hours.

    only about a 15F difference and we will throttle pump to make sure we dont go overboard on the psi for the jackets. any other concerns?

    better ideas?

  • #2
    That is what I did for a similar problem we had. Disconnected the tank from glycol and ran water from our HLT into the jackets. It wont take long.


    • #3
      Recirc with warm water through the glycol lines works well as stated. If it is not an option, I have used a very small space heater sitting in the manway and pointed at the door. Brought temp up much slower though, roughly 2f per day on a full 3.5bbl unitank. Less work that way though, just have to monitor.


      • #4
        Normal SOP is NOT to heat.

        Most SOPs for end-of-fermentation would not heat. Nor allow to "drift up" in temperature. Most tanks are just far too large for ambient to make much of a difference. Instead, devise an SOP that only cools. You will likely have a much more reproducible recipe and more consistent results.
        Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


        • #5
          I use a PID controller that has outputs for both heating and cooling. I have an insulated tank of heated 85F Glycol with a small submersible pump controlled by the PID. When the tank needs heat we use ball valves to switch the Uni-Tank jacket to the heated Glycol. This time of year when the ambient temp can be in the 40's I end up heating after about 4-5 days of fermentation. The 10 gallons of Glycol is heated with an Aquarium tank heater.

          -Rob Hickman


          • #6
            turn glycol chiller off. turn all tanks for cooling off. turn the tank you need to "heat" on (below current set point). Begin CIP of another fermentor. Once the caustic cycle is done, turn that tank "on" for cooling but continue CIP. Heat from the caustic will transfer to the glycol. without the chiller on, this will then heat up the other tank gradually. I can heat a 60 bbl FV 2.4 degrees an hour with 90 F glycol. This method is better than any other posted b/c you don't have to disconnect anything and waste glycol....


            • BMoss
              BMoss commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for sharing this tip. It worked great to get our 30BBLs of beer back to temp!

          • #7
            I'm in agreement with Philip. You can either dry hop at warmer temperature and not pitch from that tank, or cool to harvest and then dry hop at a cooler temperature. I wouldn't ever try to raise the temp of a fermentation after crashing unless it was turned down by accident. An easy way to do that would be to set up a sani-loop in and out of the FV and run the hoses through a trash can filled with hot water.
            Peter Landman | Brewmaster | Seabright Brewery | Santa Cruz, CA


            • #8
              I'm with Phillip and Peter on this one - Normally I would advise against raising or "drifting" of the temp. The exception would be a "drifting" of temp during diacetyl rest, but that would occur prior to any sort of glycol crash.

              While most wouldn't harvest yeast after dry hopping, I have had good results re-pitching the yeast into another batch of the same beer. Of course you must account for the hops collected in the yeast (collect and pitch more than you would normally). It is not a matter of practice I choose to use, but used it at earlier facilities and have even won some awards with those beers, so it certainly can be done without harm. I prefer "proper" pitching involving clean yeast from crashed non dry hopped beers, or propagation. You can also harvest yeast without crashing, however you will likely see less generations before attenuation drops. The yeast will also need to be used very quickly as it will probably have less stored energy, causing an earlier decline in viability.


              • #9
                This has nothing to do with yeast harvesting or repitching. Its just a low floc yeast. Which inhibits hop character. So it gets a mini crash to help floc out. Typically the tank ifree rises back to room temp in 24-30 hrs and we dry hop. Crazy weather has us waiting about 5 extra days before that even looks Possible, let alone certain. On a big juicy hop bomb.

                Bad luck.

                So warm water it is. Cold dry hop temp is not acceptable with these varieties.


                • #10
                  Originally posted by brain medicine View Post
                  Its just a low floc yeast. Which inhibits hop character.
                  I find this interesting since the NEIPA brewing crowd tends to believe exactly the opposite. Not saying I disagree with you, just noting an observation.


                  • #11
                    I had a cold snap recently and came in after my day off 'cool, double IPA finished fermenting' by looking at the low activity in the blowoff bucket.
                    Went and checked the gravity and it's still at 1.025/6.5 plato! The cold weather made the yeast a bit dozey.

                    After a bit of panic and some expletives i heated the room up and warmed the outside of the tanks with warm water and roused the yeast - started seeing activity and it ended up finishing at its target of 3 plato.
                    Cause the single tanks are small (400 litre) they can cool and warm up fast so it was a good learning curve for how this brewkit operates.
                    For IPAs im gonna do double batches from now on, so when i Dry hop it can maintain temperature a bit better during the colder months.

                    I've done the method of running warm water through the Jackets in the UK and it works well - it would have been my next step if this hadnt worked, though i couldnt think of a way to do it without losing glycol. When i had done it in the UK we had an ice bank/compressor and so the risk of losing expensive glycol wasnt as bad.
                    Head Brewer - TDM 1874 Brewery.
                    Yokohama, Japan.