Over heated in the secondary fermenter

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Over heated in the secondary fermenter

Postby ripsnub » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:10 pm

Brewing an IPA with SA-05 yeast...transferred to secondary and heated up the glass carboy a bit with the heating pad "trick" up to around 70 deg.....a slow fermentation resumed (1 vent per minute). then turned off and wrapped in a blanket. The pad was inadvertently turned back on overnight, when I found it on, the carboy was warm to the touch...I immediately turned it off, swirled the carboy to mix the beer and distribute heat better and left alone to cool. The temp was exceeded for maybe 8 hours or so. Wondering if this might have ruined or produced possible off flavors????
Thanks for any thought.
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warm secondary

Postby slothrob » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:24 am

It's good that it's in secondary. Since the yeast is finished fermenting, and most of the yeast was left behind in the transfer, there's little danger of off flavors from the yeast. The bubbles could have been reinvigorated fermentation or it might have been CO2 coming out of solution as the beer warmed up.

There are still some possibilities for slight off-flavors, depending on how warm it actually got, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. After all, some commercial brewers pasteurize their beer.

As a rule, however, you wouldn't normally warm a secondary. A secondary is essentially a clearing tank. You want the last of the yeast to drop out, and that happens best at cooler temperatures.
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Postby ripsnub » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:39 pm

Thanks for the reply....I was generally thinking the same thing, been brewing for a decade and never had this happen before.

Main reason why I heated back up to 70-ish is I have been having trouble lately hitting the FG. Efficiency has been in the 64-70 percent with FG landing in the 1.020 - 1.023 range. Projected is typically 1.015 - 1.019. OG's are typically 1.060+.

Switched over to hop pellets from whole hops and now there is so much trub am wondering if that is somehow interfering with the fermentation or yeast by limiting the available oxygen or something.

Never really had this issue with whole hops. Great arguement for a conical wort kettle and/or fermenter !!!!

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