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Old 02-02-2013, 05:19 AM   #1
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Default Fermentation

Brewing my first Ale.
Should there be a head/froth during fermentation?

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Old 02-02-2013, 05:58 AM   #2
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Yes during fermentation the wort will develop a thick foamy krausen layer. Totally normal. It can take up to 72hrs to see visible signs so if you haven't seen anything yet just give it time.

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Old 02-02-2013, 06:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jock
Brewing my first Ale.
Should there be a head/froth during fermentation?
Yes! Successful fermentation! Let is sit for three weeks where it is.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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Thanks! Is the fermentation process longer than a lager?

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
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Thanks! Is the fermentation process longer than a lager?
Because the ales ferment at higher temperatures than lagers the fermentation process is much shorter. If the ferment is started warm and has no control of the temperature the active part can happen in 24 to 36 hours. We usually recommend 2 to 3 weeks in the fermenter because the active part of the ferment isn't the end of it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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Do you leave it for 2-3 weeks and the bottle it and leave that as well? Is it bad the leave it in the fermenter for too long?

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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Do you leave it for 2-3 weeks and the bottle it and leave that as well? Is it bad the leave it in the fermenter for too long?
I leave mine (on average) three weeks in the primary fermenter and then bottle. Then it stays in the bottle for a period of time to carbonate and mature. That time to mature varies with the beer with the higher alcohol beers taking longer and the darker beers taking longer and the ones with higher alcohol and darker taking the longest. I might enjoy a wheat beer (low alcohol and light in color) in a couple weeks but I know that the stout won't be really good for a couple of months or possibly even 3.

Yes it is bad to leave it in the fermenter too long as your yeast can autolyze and give you some really horrible flavors. It just hasn't been fully determined how long is too long. I've left a brown ale for 9 weeks and it came out really good. Another poster reported leaving a beer for 8 months without the bad flavors. You won't have much to worry about in one month.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
I leave mine (on average) three weeks in the primary fermenter and then bottle. Then it stays in the bottle for a period of time to carbonate and mature. That time to mature varies with the beer with the higher alcohol beers taking longer and the darker beers taking longer and the ones with higher alcohol and darker taking the longest. I might enjoy a wheat beer (low alcohol and light in color) in a couple weeks but I know that the stout won't be really good for a couple of months or possibly even 3.

Yes it is bad to leave it in the fermenter too long as your yeast can autolyze and give you some really horrible flavors. It just hasn't been fully determined how long is too long. I've left a brown ale for 9 weeks and it came out really good. Another poster reported leaving a beer for 8 months without the bad flavors. You won't have much to worry about in one month.
I am using only a basic starter brewing kit with a plastic 25L fermenter and basic ingredients : Coopers Real Ale, Sugar and Yeast. Does it still matter how long i leave it? will my ale still taste better the longer i leave it?

Also as a young beer enthusiast (18yo) i was wondering if there were some tips to make different and better tasting beers? i am a uni student so i am trying to still be as cheap as possible.

Thank you
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:00 AM   #9
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When yeast consumes the malt sugars it does more than excrete ethanol and CO2. It creates a whole host of other compounds, some are intermediate as the sugars are broken down and will later be turned into ethanol, some will hang around as off flavors, like banana or cloves or even higher alcohols. Given time on the yeast cake that forms at the bottom of your fermenter, a lot of these compounds will be consumed by the yeast and broken down to more alcohol or something inoffensive. You can do a couple of things to reduce these compounds. Pitch the appropriate amount of yeast. To much or not enough will cause stresses on the yeast. The major one for me is temperature control. I find I don't get much off flavors if I start with cool wort, pretty close to the low end of the yeast's preferred range. It doesn't seem to hurt to chill the wort a little below that and let it warm up slowly.

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