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I'm about to brew an Amber Ale (from an LHBS kit) that comes with a US-05 Safale yeast. The forecasted temperature for the next couple of weeks is likely to remain at min 20C (68F) overnight & max of 36/37C (~100F).

What will the effects be of brewing an Ale in too-hot temperature versus substituting the yeast for a Saison yeast (Wyeast 3724)? Should I favour one over the other or are both bad ideas?

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no air conditioning? – baka Feb 10 '11 at 2:49
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you have a cooler that will hold your fermentor (i've used my mash tun with a blanket or sleeping bag draped over it to hold the cold in), 4+ plastic bottles that you can fill with water & freeze (ice packs also work), and a closet that you can keep at a semi-stable temperature, you might be OK with either of them, but you'd probably also want room in a refrigerator to get the wort down to your pitching temperature (mid to low 60's Farenheit).

Get the wort cool, and aerate and pitch your yeast. Then set the fermentor into the cooler and pour cool water into the cooler, to use as a buffer/thermal mass. Put a couple of bottles of ice into the water every 12 hours or so, and pull out the old ones that are in there and refreeze them.

I think you could let the saison yeast get above 85F toward the end of fermentation, but people seem to think I'm crazy for suggesting such things. I would try to keep the US-05 under 75F (and preferably under 72F). The important thing is to keep the reins on the temperature for the first 72 hours or so, after that, most of the flavor compounds have been produced, and the yeast will work on converting the more complex sugars and breaking down things like acetaldehyde and diacetyl.

Check episodes of the Jamil Show for the style that you're trying to brew for some good tips on how to approach it and how to handle fermentation temperatures and the like. There's also a Brew Strong on fermentation temperature control, which is definitely worth listening to.

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Using a saison yeast will make a completely different beer. Is that OK with you? IMO, you'd be better off trying to find a way to keep the batch cool rather than radically altering the beer you want to make.

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