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Old 12-29-2011, 02:27 PM   #1
alpine_guy100
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I just started fermenting my festa brew dry kit, I am new to this as it is my very first time brewing, is it ok for the temperature to fluctuate a little bit with out messing up the fermenting process.

Also any general tips for the steps ahead would be greatly appreciated.

Also when doing the fermentation process is it ok to leave the cover half snapped on to keep pressure down, so the cover doesn't blow off.

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Old 12-29-2011, 02:36 PM   #2
jkovac
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Here is a really good book that you should buy:

How to Brew - By John Palmer

How to Brew, by John Palmer

Most people use an airlock on their fermenter (available for a few dollars at homebrew stores or online) to let the CO2 pressure out but keep the bugs from getting in.

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Old 12-29-2011, 03:06 PM   #3
Fennis
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It is okay for the temperature in the room to fluctuate some, within a 5 degree range or so I'd say, but it might be good to know more. What temperatures are you talking about? 60s, 70s? If you fluctuate too much you may create some off flavors, especially if you are getting up into the mid 70s, but if you are say somewhere in the 60s or low 70s, I think you will be okay.

I am not sure what your fermenting setup is like, but you want to try to keep that sealed up as tight as you can and get yourself an airlock. Leaving it half open is probably okay, and some here would say its not an issue at all, but there is that chance that it may allow wild yeast or other bacteria to form in your beer and cause a problem--again its probably unlikely, but it would be best to keep your the fermenter as air tight as you can and get a airlock that will allow the pressure to escape without allowing it to introduce any bacteria.

As far as future steps, if you don't have a hydrometer, get one. After a week or so, it may look like nothing is happening any longer, but that yeast may still be working away. The only way to know is to get a sample of your beer and test the gravity. Basically you are looking for a consistent gravity reading over the course of a few days. Once its consistent, then you know the yeast has done its work and you have a few choices from there. You can get ready to bottle your beer since its done fermenting, you can let it sit there in the primary for another week or so and let the yeast and other things really settle out and clear up the beer, of if you have a second fermentation vessel, you can transfer it to that and let it clear up further--many people here would say this is an unnecessary step, I have mixed feelings about it but I am beginning to fall in the camp that there isn't a need for it as I skipped that process in my last two batches and they have turned out just as clear as transferring to a secondary--and as a beginning brewer I wouldn't bother with this step, I am just mentioning it to be thorough on your options.

That also reminds me, if you do get samples of your beer while its fermenting, which I just use a turkey baster to grab what I need, always sanitize it before you allow it to touch your beer.

Other than that, just relax, you have done all the hard work, now you just have to wait for the yeast to do its work. I was nervous in my first few batches, but once you get the process down, its such a great hobby. Welcome to the obsession!

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Old 12-29-2011, 04:32 PM   #4
alpine_guy100
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Ok I do have an air lock just no hole in th bucket to put it in. Also I do have a second clear plastic jug for the step u say can be skipped, I also have a hydrometer so I think I should be ok, also me temp goes anywere from around 64 to 70.

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Old 12-29-2011, 04:56 PM   #5
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Well after this batch, drill a hole in the lid and either get a rubber grommet or a drilled stopper to line/fill the hole to stabilize it.

As for your temp range, I wouldn't worry too much. For most yeasts that is ideal for a temperature, you are fine.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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Ok great I can't wait now, I probly will drill a hole and I have a number 9 gromet I might just drill it out tonight. Thank again, ill post again once I start my next steps.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:49 PM   #7
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Some fluctuation is ok - the beer will not fluctuate as fast/much as the room anyway. However, the less fluctuation the better. Also, I would try to keep temps in the low to mid 60s - the ideal temp for ale yeasts is the fermentation temperature and not the ambient room temperature. Fermentation is an exothermic process so your beer will be several degrees warmer than the room - if your room is 70F, your beer is likely fermenting at 75F. And at 75F you'll probably get some off flavors.

It is not generally a problem to leave the lid on loose for a while - I do this routinely. You just don't want it wide open once fermentation is done.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:54 PM   #8
alpine_guy100
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Ok jlem that sounds good, I was told by the local wine beer shop, that the lid will only matter once it is finished fermenting.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:57 PM   #9
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Sounds like you are well on your way to making beer. Good luck, and use that second fermenter to brew up a batch of something else!

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