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I'm brewing beer from a recipe kit, and the instructions say to put the fermenting bucket into a dark, quiet and warm place.

I do understand dark (because of UV) and warm (optimal temperature for the yeast), but I don't understand quiet?

The Environment is a room with about 8 people in it, talking to each other. So it's a bit louder than an apartment, but it's not overly loud.

Is that a problem?

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4 Answers 4

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I think it means "quiet" as in "calm". If you put the fermentor somewhere where you will need the space, you may move it around or nudge it to the side when the yeast are slowing down and the agitation may encourage premature flocculation.

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I'd also want to know exactly what is meant by "warm". You certainly don't want it too warm. –  Denny Conn Aug 25 '12 at 15:27
    
heh, good point. generally you want it at almost uncomfortably cool room temperature. –  baka Aug 25 '12 at 15:30
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I think the quiet thing is just something that's been passed around for so long and repeated so many times it's just become a standard phrase when recommending how to handle your fermentation - I can't find any answers on the internet as to the actual reason for this recommendation (I wondered the same a little while back)...

I guess if your fermenter was in a really loud environment then the reverberations might disturb the yeast somewhat and adversely affect them, and also possibly hinder them from dropping out of suspension when they're done.

But that said, an apartment with just people talking - I think you'll be ok.

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Even John Palmer includes it in How To Brew. I am assuming it is in the book, although I do not have it handy - but, it is on the web site at the beginning of Chapter 9:

What we need to do now is transfer it to your fermenter, make sure the wort has been aerated, pitch the yeast, and find a quiet place to put the fermenter for the next couple weeks.

From a scientific point of view, sounds travels through waves. The varying frequencies and amplitude of the waves cause sound, which is just what we perceive through vibrations picked up by our ears. As sounds are simplified as being vibrations, there is some degree of vibrations picked up by the fermenting vessel.

From a logical point of view, I would imagine that there are a few possibilities for creating high levels of vibration, some of them sound-related. It would take a massive source of vibration to cause that to happen to such an extreme, though, and the net result would be some degree of agitation to the vessel. The amount of a disturbance to have an impact, if there even is one, would come from something so loud that I doubt any of us will ever encounter. So basically, don't put your fermenter on top of your home theater subwoofer or half-stack guitar amplifiers. :-)

I would imagine that "quiet" is more an attempt to imply that it is somewhere that would not be prone to bumping into or experiencing wild swings of lighting and temperature.

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"Quiet" as in "out of the way". As in "out of the way where nobody's going to knock it over or peek inside or pull the airlock stopper out and drop Legos in".

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