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-   -   fermenting problem? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/fermenting-problem-2528/)

captaineriv 09-27-2005 02:03 AM

fermenting problem?
Hi everyone. This is my first batch and I used the Cooper's 3.3 lb ingredient kit that includes the malt and dried yeast. Also, my local homebrew store reccomended that I use 3.3 lbs more of malt for 5 gallons. I did all of this, combined the wort to the water in my fermenter, gave it a few brisk stirs to aerate, took an initial hydrometer reading of 1.041, and pitched the ale yeast at around 83-84 degrees (so said my brewing thermometer). Just as expected, the float piece in the airlock rose, bubbling started around 18 hours following pitching, and peak bubbling (1 bubble every 2-3 seconds) started at around 36 hours. However, at just less than 24 hours after peak bubbling, the bubbling stopped completely (I watched it for a while) and the floating piece in the airlock is no longer pressed up against the airlock's cap like it had been. The temperature in the room has not changed from 70-72 and there is a very good seal on the fermenter. From what I've read, it seems a little too soon for fermentation to subside so drastically for using 6.6 lbs of liquid malt. Is this a correct assumption? If so, can anyone offer some possible solutions. Also, is it too late to add more yeast to restart the process or has the damage been done? Any help would be great!

Sasquatch 09-27-2005 02:53 AM

I've used Cooper's dry yeast a bit, and it seems ridiculously aggressive. It honestly seems to ferment to 95% completion in about 40 hours. SO, don't worry. Transfer to secondary, and wait a couple weeks.

captaineriv 09-27-2005 03:34 AM

Hey and thanks for replying. I've posted on a couple of other boards and everyone seems to agree with you that everything is probably all good. I just don't have anything to compare to with this being my first batch. I don't have a secondary yet, so on day 7 or so, I'll probly go ahead and prime and bottle. Thanks again!


homebrewer_99 09-27-2005 04:14 AM

Do yourself a favor and get a carboy. Rack this batch into that for about a week and your beer will be much better and clearer.

Lost 09-27-2005 06:00 PM

I agree 100% with the recommendation for a secondary.

As for the ferment, I tried coopers dried yeast for the first time recently and noticed a very very quick and violent ferment. I wouldn't be suprised if it's done fermenting. You can be sure though by testing the gravity of your beer with your hydrometer (great tool BTW). Basically, your reading should be in the neighborhood of 1.015.. and please draw a sample to test, do not just pop the top and drop the hydrometer in there.

captaineriv 09-27-2005 08:51 PM

Just took a sample. Lost, you'll be glad to know that the reading was EXACTLY 1.015 after I made the +.001 correction for 75 degrees. It looks like I'm at around 3.4% ABV. If the beer store has a carboy in stock, I guess it's ready for 2ndary? Wonder why the ABV is so low? I used two 3.3 lb cans of liquit malt extract. What would be the best way to get ABV up to at least 5% next time?

Walker 09-27-2005 08:54 PM


Originally Posted by captaineriv
What would be the best way to get ABV up to at least 5% next time?

add more sugar (corn sugar, cane sugar, additional malt extract, honey, etc).

be aware that more alcohol means the beer will be thinner.

You will soon learn that FLAVOR is what's it's all about, and not ABV.


Walker 09-27-2005 09:05 PM


Originally Posted by Walker
You will soon learn that FLAVOR is what's it's all about, and not ABV.

My apologies. That comment seems a little "snooty" by itself, and I do not want to come off this way.

My point is that I would rather drink two GOOD TASTING beers at 3.5% ABV than one BAD TASTING beer at 7% ABV.

I had a friend several years ago that would always start his thinking for the next batch with how much alcohol he wanted in it. He would add in more sugar to try and reach his goals. The first time he acheived target ABV, the beer was thin, dry, and terrible to drink. It gave a hell of a buzz at 7%, but you had to really try hard to convince your throat to let it pass to the stomach.

We had to end up mixing it with different beer just to make it tolerable to drink.

If you want an ABV boost, go for the additional extract and not raw sugars. The beer will be more pleasant to the mouth.


Darth Konvel 09-27-2005 09:07 PM

*nods head in agreement*

Good beer is goal #1, ABV being only a fraction of the overall process.

FYI, LME has a lower % of fermentable sugar per pound versus DME, so even 6.6 pounds of LME isn't really a whole lot for a 5+ gallon batch.

captaineriv 09-27-2005 09:15 PM

Thank you both for the advice. That makes sense, plus I learned something new. I just figured that 3.4% might be a little too low to be "acceptable" for lack of a better word, but I guess homebrewing is all about appreciation of taste.


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