primary fermentation (beer)?!

Question: Primary fermentation (beer)?
Ok, I have jumped into the art of brewing my own beer and have a quick question.
The only decent place to keep my primary fermenter is in a room at 18c
Will this affect the process?
I understand yeast will become dormant if too cold... I also know that the heat produced during fermentation is enough to increase the temp a couple degrees.
so if 18c is too cold, what if I were to bring the temp up using a space heater to sort of jump start the show, let the chemical reaction produce heat, remove the space heater, and will it take care of it self from there?
India Pale Ale.
I'm reeeeeallly new at this... thanks!


Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

18c is too warm for a lager, but probably not too cold for an Ale. I usually ferment an IPA in the 18-20c range, depending on the strain of yeast I'm using. Given that the yeast will produce heat during fermentation you'll probably be fine. Monitor the temperature and if it stays too cold wrap a towel or blanket around it. Remember: it is much better to maintain a constant, but not optimal, temperature during fermentation, than to be swinging over and under the target temp.

You would be better off getting hold of a brewing heat belt, as you would need to constantly keep reheating the room, and most of the heat would be wasted.

These simply wrap round the fermenter & will keep the brew at a constant temperature.

A more expensive, but more versatile, option is a heat mat - does the same job as a belt but you stand the fermenter on it and it can be used for gallon demijohns as well as larger fermenters

Perssonally I use a heating mat, which currently has a 5 gallon brew bucket of cider & a 1 gallon demijohn of mead sitting on it

Wrap a blanket or something similar around the fermenter and place the whole mess on top of the refrigerator. That will give you the most stable temperatures in the house. You don't need a space heater to jump-start. You pitch the yeast as soon as the temperature of the wort can be brought down to 27°C.

You may want to move it to another room because space heaters may pose a fire hazard unattended.

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