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I brewed something like a Black IPA today (hoppy and dark). I ferment in carboys in a chest freezer with an external temperature control. It is frigid today, and the garage where the chest freezer is around 40 degrees F. My wort seemed to end up at about 64 degrees. I was planning on fermenting at 68 degrees using WLP001. I made a large starter, which is at high krausen. If I picth at 64 degrees, I know that fermentation will make the temperature rise, and its not supposed to be as cold in the next few days. So I should have no problem getting up to 68 degrees (which is the lower end of the recommendation for this yeast).

My question is that I'm not sure how quickly I should let the temperature rise. I know that yeast can emit temperature shock proteins if they have too big of a daily temperature swing. So I'm thinking of letting it get to 66 the first day, then 68 the second day. Should I instead just let it get up to 68 quicker? should I ramp it up slower?

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For WLP001 pitching at 64F and letting it do its own thing up to 68F is perfectly fine. You'll get the clean fermentation profile you are looking for. I recently pitched at 62 and held it at 65 for a Cream Ale with WLP001 and it has came out great.

I did however ramp it up to 72 after the first 6 days were done. This really helps ensure it dries out. Then after 10 days I set it for 45 and let it fall back down to start crashing out.

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Sounds good. I'll go back to "relax don't worry have a homebrew". I'm especially not worried since it being dark and hoppy, I have a lot to hide behind. And yeah, the plan is always to let it finish warmer. –  stew Feb 12 '12 at 1:11
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