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Old 04-08-2006, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default concerns about fermentation

Just bottled my first batch of stout. My airlock only showed activity in the primary for about 30 hours. The guy at the local shop where I purchased my equipment said "not to worry". I it siphoned it into the glass carboy after six days and the airlock showed activity for 7 days. He recommended bottling at that time. Should I have waited longer? When I siphoned back into the bottling bucket, the brew tasted like a stout. After mixing the corn sugar I noticed a bitter taste. Is that normal? 24 hours ago I cooked a batch of steam beer. I added the yeast with the wort temp at just over 70 degrees. I was having trouble cooling it quickly. I had mixed my yeast in a sanitized bowl in warm water as advised by the yeast package. The yeast was growing rapidly and had been in the bowl for nearly 30 minutes, so I added it to the wort at 72 degrees. It has been 20 hours and I have no activity at the airlock. Should I be worried? Also it was not recommeded that I purchase a hydrometer. I quess I need one.

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Old 04-08-2006, 05:48 PM   #2
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Whew!

Ummm, the stout probably finished. If oyu used the irish ale yeast, it goes really quick. If the beer doesn't taste overly sweet, it is done. Let it age a while and the bitter taste you describe might mellow.

The steam, let it ride. If you don't see any activity 24 hours from now, repitch some more yeast.

EDIT: A hydrometer could definitely be a good tool for times like this. Eases the mind a little.

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Old 04-08-2006, 05:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcroyd
...Also it was not recommeded that I purchase a hydrometer. I quess I need one...
Man, talk about opening a can or worms?

This is one of my peeves when it comes to giving the new brewers advice. If you've never brewed before how on earth does anyone expect you to know when it ready if you don't use a hydrometer? "It'll be OK after 3 weeks" just doen't cut it with me.

Listen, you are going to have people arguing this on boths sides. I've been brewing for over 13 years and I still use mine because I like to know the state of my beer at any particular moment in time. Others will argue the 123 method, and well, whatever works for them may not necessarily work for you.

I recommend go get one and learn how to use it. If later on you find you don't need it then sell it. Simple.
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:05 PM   #4
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A hydrometer is indeed a good tool. But, if you are new to brewing and are brewing a lighter (OG < 1.060) ale (or something else that ferments above 60F) the airlock activity can be used to tell when it is done. Stuck fermentation are very unlikely with these kind of beers (correct me if I'm worng here) and the bubbling will slow down if there is nothing to ferment left. Top fermenting beers will also keep fermenting in the secondary just because you are not taking them off the yeast.

Your stout: well, it was quick I have to say . But if it didn't taste sweet and like a strout at bottling toime (before adding the priming sugar), I agree with the Dude that it was done. Strange though that it tasted bitter to you after you added the sugar. But nothing to worry about.

Your steam beer: How did you aerate the wort. But since you pitched dry yeast, aeration is not that crucial to get things going. If nothing happenes, listen to the Dude's advise and pitch more dry yeast.

Kai

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Old 04-08-2006, 06:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I've got a lot to learn. I learned to cook by asking questions, watchng, and doing. I will get the hydrometer. I also need a good instructional book or dvd. Any Idea's. Thanks to everyone for their input!

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Old 04-08-2006, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I also need a good instructional book or dvd. Any Idea's. Thanks to everyone for their input!
The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian is an excellent guide to homebrewing. Well written, easy to understand, and applicable to all experience levels. Most bookstores will have it, you could probably get it on Amazon, or your LHBS might even sell it.

-Josh
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JRGSPE73
The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian is an excellent guide to homebrewing. Well written, easy to understand, and applicable to all experience levels. Most bookstores will have it, you could probably get it on Amazon, or your LHBS might even sell it.

-Josh
I don't think they should sell a starter kit without it!!
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:06 PM   #8
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I don't think they should sell a starter kit without it!!
I'd have to agree with you there hb...I'm not even halfway through it yet, and between that and the knowledge I've gained on this forum, I feel so much more prepared as I get ready to brew my second batch (hopefully this weekend).
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:46 PM   #9
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Default input appreciated

I broke down and opened a partial bottle of the stout that was bottled three days ago. It was starting to carbonate and the taste was good. Since I don't have a hydrometer, I presume the alcohol content my be suspect. I will certainly will buy the book and I will use this website. Thanks.

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