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Old 12-07-2008, 04:38 PM   #1
Burgo
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Default Advice required for a paranoid first home brew kit

I hope I am in the right place, most appears to be about "proper brewing" additionally I am a utter noob in home brewing and my stupid questions may be wasting everyone's time.

I am brewing a Nut Brown Ale from kit, using spraymalt, it has been in the airing cupboard for 7 days at a constant 22 - 23C, in a fermenting tub with a circular style airlock on top. For the first two days the airlock lid was blown off but this was not repeated after. The beer appears lifeless with a few bubbles when I checked today, no foam or gunk like I have seen in articles on the web and I have not seen any bubbles. I checked the gravity with a hydrometer and it reads 1.020, I did not take an OG as my instructions on the kit did not suggest it, it was only once I started reading the forums that I heard and understood it's purpose. I will, of course, take further readings over the next few days. The kit says to move to secondary when 1012 is reached. My question is, is there anyway of working out if the beer has fermented at all, is ruined or whether I am worrying unneccesarily. Before you say it, I know that when it is secondarily fermented I can tell by trying several pints but that seems so far away

Thanks for your time

B

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Old 12-07-2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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It appears that you are going through some very normal worries for beginner brewers. Your beer is not ruined and the OG reading will continue to drop over time until fermentation is complete. Once the vigorous fermentation is complete the krausen will drop off and the airlock activity will be minimal. This lack of apparent activity is not indicative of no activity just the slow down as the yeast continue to work, but at a much slower pace since most of the fermentables have been fermented. RDWHAHB.

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Old 12-07-2008, 05:58 PM   #3
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Nut Brown kits will be around 1.040 to start, so you have had fermentation. The blowout is another clue.

Try rousing the yeast by swirling the fermenter a bit. Just move it around in a circle until the yeast is mixed back in.

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:46 PM   #4
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Or you can do what I did. Throw it in the closet and forget about it. If your beer acted right within the 72 hour period and you have kept it in consistent temps then you are fine regardless of what the airlock is or isnt doing. Dont keep peeking in on it 'just to make sure' because chances are its fine. And even if its not - there isnt a whole lot that you can do about it. (So just ignore it for a few weeks) then bottle it. Im still waiting on my hymen busting batch to finish as well. Ive found that with it in the closet I tend to forget about it. (And time does kind things to our beer)
-Me

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Old 12-07-2008, 11:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your reassurances, reading through the forum I think I am going to give it another week or so to do it's thing. Would it be worth agitating the fermentor before I leave it or just shut the door and leave it.

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Old 12-08-2008, 03:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burgo View Post
Thanks for all your reassurances, reading through the forum I think I am going to give it another week or so to do it's thing. Would it be worth agitating the fermentor before I leave it or just shut the door and leave it.
Agitation is probably not at all necessary, but if it makes you feel better go ahead - just be careful not to splash it around, you don't want to introduce any oxygen at this stage. If it was still at 1.020 after two weeks I might give it a couple of swirls to try and help it.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:42 PM   #7
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Well guys, I left it for a second week and there was no change in the hydrometer reading at 1.020 so I have bit the bullet and bottled it. A further week down the line and the bottles have pressurised nicely.

I will wait until the new year to give this one a taste but one things for sure beer is beer ;-)

Season's greetings to all forum members and visitors

Burgo

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Old 12-22-2008, 02:13 PM   #8
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Congrats! Make another!

Oh, be sure to not drink any until a few weeks have gone by. You need to let them age properly.

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Old 01-07-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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OK, so I have tasted the nut brown ale and it is better than great and I am desperate to start another ;-)

Addictive game this isn't it

Thanks to all those that have lent an ear

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