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Do I need to maintain my desired temperature until bottling or take it out of the "ferm chamber" after initial fermentation is done?

What about with long term brews such as sours?

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Good question as I have a Baltic Porter (1.080 OG) that pooped out at 1.030. I have already warmed that sucker up to 72F for 5 days. The gravity is now 1.020 and it tastes OK. I might push for another 5 days to try and get under 1.020, then lager in a keg for a long nights sleep. – brewchez Sep 21 '11 at 20:37
up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's best to keep it as constant as possible until the primary fermentation is complete. It can be critical when you are reaching the end of fermentation to adjust the temperature slightly as there is not as much heat being produced from yeast reactions. If the temperture drops a couple of degrees certain strains of yeast can flocculate too soon leaving the beer under attenuated. Secondary fermentation temperature is less critical and can be slightly cooler or warmer than primary.

For sour beers the initial fermentation temperature is the most critical as most brett strains will produce more sourness at higher temperatures. You can see some increased sourness if you age at higher temperatures but not as much as primary.

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Thank you for the answer. Should the carbonation in bottles happen at the same temp as well or can I let them site outside the temp controlled freezer? My room temp is around 76-80 F – Wulfhart Sep 26 '11 at 19:50
You should bottle condition at 70-75F in order for the yeast to process the priming sugar and create co2. If you keep them too cool they won't carbinate properly. – Northern Brewer Chris Sep 26 '11 at 20:28

I'd say temp control is most critical for the first 72 hours, and then very important for probably a week after that. At that point, you can start letting the temp rise to make sure the yeast finishes. This is a general ROT and may vary depending on yeast strain or beer style.

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One item to take into consideration is if you are doing Lagers, you will need a Diacytl rest. This would typically be a 24-48 hour period at 55-60 °F vs the usual lower lager fermentation temps. This is usually done between the Primary and Lagering steps. This rest helps ensure your beer doesn't taste like somebody dropped a big bag of buttered popcorn in it.

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