secondary ferment - how hot for how long?

sidavis21sidavis21 Member Posts: 10

bottled a batch of golden stag summer ale a few days ago. The instructions say to leave in a warm room for a couple of weeks before moving somewhere cold for 3 weeks yet other info I have seen says to leave it in the warm for a couple of days. Any thoughts? Can you over do it with the warmth?
Also how warm is warm? I've got them next to the radiator so should be about 20c. Is there an optimum time and temperature and does it vary from beer to beer?

Thanks a lot in advance,



  • sidavis21sidavis21 Member Posts: 10
    and also how cold is cold?
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115

    The idea is to keep it warm so the priming sugars can dissolve and begin secondary fermentation, if you can keep it at a similar temperature to what you brewed at this should be fine, so a good room temperature of approx. 20 degrees is OK. In cooler rooms sometimes people use their heating devices such as a Brew Belt or heater tray in the same way as you do with the fermenting vessel, to help it get going, you can stand your barrel or bottles on a heater tray. Early to mid 20's is fine, any warmer is not necessary. How long it takes does vary on temperature and on the brew, so a good week will get it going, it's not too critical. When it says move it somewhere cooler the instructions are often vague, we say a few degrees cooler, perhaps 12 to 14 degrees, but again it is not critical, this just helps the brew to clear and condition. The most importnat thing is to then leave it a while to allow it to clear and for the full flavours to develop so you enjoy it at it's best.

    We found the Golden Stag was a very nice beer, light and quite hoppy, after a couple of weeks the hop flavours were quite prominent, but this toned down after a few more weeks conditioning, a very nice beer

  • sidavis21sidavis21 Member Posts: 10
    cheers for this. Is much warmer than 20ish when you are kick starting or colder than 12-14 when you are conditioning dangerous? Would normally put outside to condition but in this weather its going to be a lot lower till 12-14 degrees.

  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Extremes of temperature could potentially create off flavours, but the biggest problem is that it could kill the yeast, which is needed for the secondary fermentation. Mid 20's will often be OK, but for clearing in a cooler place it can be placed somewhere cooler, but it must not freeze which could happen in very cold outbuildings in winter
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