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I have an old refrigerator that I use as a fermentation chamber for my beer. It can hold two fermentation buckets. It is connected to a STC-1000 temperature controller so it keeps the temperature stable.

Currently I have two buckets in it (an american pale ale and a classic english bitter). They have been in the refrigerator for about a week at 18 C (64.4 F), and I usually leave my beer in there for at least three weeks, with a slight temperature increase after one week and a cold crash during the last three days.

However, I just found out that I need to make two more batches that need to be ready in about four weeks (ales). That means I have to start brewing immediately. The best I can do without using the refrigerator is a dark closet that has a temperature at around 23 C (73.4 F), perhaps a bit colder at night.

So, my question is:

Should I move the beer in the refrigerator to the closet and use the refrigerator for the new brew, or should I leave it and ferment the new beer without any temperature control? I can't decide and I would like some opinions on this.

Thank you.

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Moving the beer from the fridge to the closet is preferred. Yeast are sensitive to temperature changes, they handle going from cold to warm much better.

Starting your fermentation at 23 C, while not terribly hot, will risk fusel alcohol production as the yeast are in a more hospitable environment and will consume the sugars more rapidly (by using these alternative, non-ethanol, routes).

Whereas the stuff that's been sitting in the fridge already (is probably more done than not) could have the benefits of rising to 23 C and helping the yeast clean up any diacetyl and acetaldehyde present.

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  • Thank you, I think the beer in the fridge is pretty much done too. The yeast seem to have flocculated and airlock activity has subsided. I just did a gravity reading and the pale ale is already at the expected FG, while the bitter is almost there. It's probably caused by the yeast strain, WLP002, I have heard that it has a tendency to stop a bit early, so you might be right about that increasing temperature will help. – arnefm Sep 25 '15 at 13:26
  • Glad to be of help, hope they turn out well! You'll still likely have some active yeast chomping away at 18 C, but raising it a bit will help whatever is there to finish / clean up after their flocculated brethren. – John Sep 25 '15 at 13:36
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Yeas, moving what's in the fridge to the closet is a good plan. Temp control is most crucial for the first 3-4 days. After that, I always increase the temp to ensure complete fermentation.

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