Ask Mr. Wizard

Fermenting in Hot Climates


Bill Mayberry - Cochise County, Arizona asks,

After brewing for a long time in Seattle, Washington I now find myself in extreme southeast Arizona. Seattle was a kitchen brewery but Here I have a shed dedicated to brewing good beer. Last week at 2:30 p.m., the temperature was 96 °F (36 °C) and down to 50 °F (10 °C) at night. Last night was 58 °F (14 °C) and back up to 85 °F (29 °C) at 2:30 p.m. I have a 5-gallon (19-L) batch of California cream ale fermenting. On the advice of a brewer from one of the suppliers, I pitched a cultured batch of turbo yeast high heat at 81 °F (27 °C). The fermentation seems to slow and stops according to the temperature. After two days of robust action it’s settled into an up-down routine. Tomorrow is two weeks and kegging day. My question is, do you have any ideas or thoughts on high heat brewing? My potential alcohol looks like 6.3% as opposed to the 4.3% called for in the recipe and I’m informed that turbo yeast high heat makes a lot of alcohol.


The Wiz offers a way to stabilize fermentation temperatures and gives a new cidermaker tips for barrel aging.

Response by Ashton Lewis.