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03/07/09 05:35 PM  
Cold Fermentation Temps
I have had a plambic going since last October using Al's bug chips and a couple other slurry's.

It's been in my basement crawl-space starting at 55 F and had a nice healthy initial ferment.

Now, the temp's up to 60 F and there's still signs of fermentation going on (clusters of, I think, sach yeast floating on top with bubbles streaming up from the trub below). Nice smell of cherry pie if I open the airlock.

I'm wondering if the temps are too low for Al's bugs to take full effect. Is this too low for any lactic acid cultures to kick in?

What happens if I just leave it at this temp till next October? Low acidity beer with mild funk?

03/08/09 08:43 AM  
Re: Cold Fermentation Temps
No. the temps are fine.

temps with cycle with the seasons and the bugs will keep rolling at their own pace. My first beer with Al's bugs is now coming up on 18 mo. old and has been through two vermont winters. Its doing great.

04/16/09 03:54 PM  
Re: Cold Fermentation Temps
I'm guessing that the lower temps will just delay things quite a bit? Perhaps I would need to age it another year?

I would like a decent bite of acidity and am wondering if I should move it upstairs where the average ambient temp is 68F so the acidic cultures can kick in a bit more?

No pellicle formed at all after 6 months either. If one never forms, what are some other ways to know if it's done?

04/16/09 04:06 PM  
Re: Cold Fermentation Temps
In regards to the last question, I'm aware that folks often say that a beer with bugs will tell you when its ready. Aside from taking gravity readings or the pellicle dropping, what else might you look for? Purely a smell or taste that fits what you're hoping for?
Al B
04/16/09 04:34 PM  
Re: Cold Fermentation Temps
The temps are one factor, but also nutrients/dextrins left over from initial femrentation is another. Leaving the sediment in from the initial ferment helps. Starting off with extra dextrin/starch (like a turbid mash also). Hopefully things will pick up.

Measurement-wise one can take the pH. But taste will ultimately dictate.

Raise the temp for a few months first.

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