Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Batch Questions - Part 2

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-07-2011, 11:00 PM   #1
J2W2
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 63
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default First Batch Questions - Part 2

Hi Brew Gurus, I need your help!

Here’s my situation, I started my first batch of home brew, a Midwest kit for Irish Red Ale, on Saturday. I got everything in the fermentation bucket and pitched the yeast at about 5:30 that afternoon. The kit came with dry yeast, so I re-hydrated it before I added it to the wort. Here’s what’s happened since:

Sunday morning I checked on it. The thermometer on the bucket read 81 degrees and bubbles were coming out of the airlock like crazy. I put the fermentation bucket in a cooler with some ice water, wrapped a wet towel around it and put a fan on it. As the temperature dropped, the airlock activity slowed down. By Sunday night, the bucket thermometer read 68 degrees and the airlock activity had stopped.

Monday the bucket read a consistent 68 degrees and there was no activity on the airlock.

Tuesday the bucket read a consistent 68 degrees and there was no activity on the airlock.

Wednesday morning it was the same thing, so I removed the wet towel. 12 hours later, the bucket thermometer reads 74 degrees, which is the ambient room temperature. There is still no activity on the airlock.

It’s been four complete days now, with visible fermentation on day one and nothing on days two, three and four. So, what is your advice? Give it some more time? Open the bucket and take a look (and a hydrometer reading)? Should I get the wet towel back on and take the temperature back down? I was planning to transfer it to a 5-gallon carboy in a couple of days – should I proceed with that or wait? Thanks for your help!

__________________
J2W2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2011, 11:06 PM   #2
daksin
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
daksin's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,095
Liked 272 Times on 238 Posts
Likes Given: 323

Default

Sounds like my first batch. I pitched warm and fermented warmer (80+). Primary fermentation was insane, but done in about 12 hours, maybe less. I would guess that nothing's wrong with your yeast, they just finished up quickly because of the temperature. Since you're 4 days in, though, you should be good to take a gravity reading to calm your mind, but I would just leave it. You should be fine.

Next time, you'll keep your beer cool, though, won't you? I know I did

__________________
daksin is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2011, 11:16 PM   #3
J2W2
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 63
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
Next time, you'll keep your beer cool, though, won't you? I know I did
Yeah, I'm already working on plans for a fermentation chiller. Plus I'm thinking about going with all carboys next time so I can see what's going on. Is a 6-gallon adequate for a primary on a 5 gallon batch?
__________________
J2W2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2011, 11:32 PM   #4
daksin
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
daksin's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,095
Liked 272 Times on 238 Posts
Likes Given: 323

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J2W2 View Post
Yeah, I'm already working on plans for a fermentation chiller. Plus I'm thinking about going with all carboys next time so I can see what's going on. Is a 6-gallon adequate for a primary on a 5 gallon batch?
Yea, it should be, but you'll want to use a blowoff for at least the time when you've got crazy bubbles going on. Most places sell a 6.5 or 7 gallon primary for about the same price, though. Couldn't hurt.
__________________
daksin is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2011, 01:10 AM   #5
J2W2
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 63
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

OK, I opened the bucket. Some material is floating on top, but not very much. There doesn’t appear to be any activity in the bucket. I used the Thief to collect a sample – it was very cloudy.

I’m not sure if I’m even using the hydrometer correctly. To me, my initial reading on Saturday was 0.000, which I think water is supposed to be. Should my wort have been there? Anyway, today’s reading appeared to be at 0.003, which would indicate a very low alcohol level. And those readings were, I believe, based on 60 degrees while mine is more like 74.

The strangest thing, to me, was the activity in the thief. When I filled it, I pretty much took it to the bottom of the bucket. When I tried to get the reading, it was difficult because there were bubbles all around the top. At first I thought it was just from filling it, but then I noticed that the wort inside the thief was bubbling.

So, what’s my next step? If my hydrometer reading is at all accurate, the fermentation has barely begun. And the bubbling inside the thief seems strange. Should I attempt to gently stir it at this point or should I just close it up and leave it? I used the drill attachment with the plastic blades to aerate the wort before I pitched the yeast, so it should have had plenty of oxygen.

Thanks again for your help!

__________________
J2W2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2011, 06:48 PM   #6
daksin
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
daksin's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,095
Liked 272 Times on 238 Posts
Likes Given: 323

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J2W2 View Post
OK, I opened the bucket. Some material is floating on top, but not very much. There doesn’t appear to be any activity in the bucket. I used the Thief to collect a sample – it was very cloudy.

I’m not sure if I’m even using the hydrometer correctly. To me, my initial reading on Saturday was 0.000, which I think water is supposed to be. Should my wort have been there? Anyway, today’s reading appeared to be at 0.003, which would indicate a very low alcohol level. And those readings were, I believe, based on 60 degrees while mine is more like 74.

The strangest thing, to me, was the activity in the thief. When I filled it, I pretty much took it to the bottom of the bucket. When I tried to get the reading, it was difficult because there were bubbles all around the top. At first I thought it was just from filling it, but then I noticed that the wort inside the thief was bubbling.

So, what’s my next step? If my hydrometer reading is at all accurate, the fermentation has barely begun. And the bubbling inside the thief seems strange. Should I attempt to gently stir it at this point or should I just close it up and leave it? I used the drill attachment with the plastic blades to aerate the wort before I pitched the yeast, so it should have had plenty of oxygen.

Thanks again for your help!
Are you using a triple-scale hydrometer? Check the directions and make sure you're reading the right scale (Specific gravity). If your beer is beer-colored, your gravity isn't 0. To use a cliche, RDWHA[craft]B. Check the calibration with some tap water. THAT should be 0. According to the kit instructions, your wort should have started out with an OG (original gravity) of 1.042-1.046 and should end with an FG (final gravity) of 1.010-1.012. Gravities start high (meaning lots of sugar in your wort) and end low (meaning the sugar has been chewed up by your yeast friends).

Because you started with high temp and crazy fermentation, most of your fermentation may be over. That would explain the wimpy krausen, it probably was bigger, but now it's falling back down as fermentation slows back down.

I know it's hard, but don't touch it. Fight the urge to open it up and don't even take another reading until a week has gone by. Every time you open the fermentor, you run a very small risk of contaminating it and you destroy that beautiful blanket of CO2 that's protecting your new beer from oxidation. Just let it sit for another week or two in the primary and chill out.

The bubbles in your thief is probably just CO2 from the fermentation coming out of solution on the surface (new aggregation points). Your beer should still be cloudy. There's lots of yeast, protein, and CO2 floating around in there. Just to be sure though, you're filling up a tall tube with your beer and floating the hydrometer in it, right? Your description wasn't super clear.

I know you've heard it a million times already, but it doesn't sound like you have any problems at all, except possibly (unlikely) a borked hydrometer. So chill out, relax, don't worry, and have a beer. Time to start collecting bottles!
__________________
daksin is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2011, 07:11 PM   #7
kh54s10
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tiverton, Rhode Island
Posts: 6,608
Liked 597 Times on 505 Posts
Likes Given: 160

Default

I made the same mistake on my first brew - letting it get too warm initially. Based on what I was told and have learned since. Leave it in primary at least 2 weeks before transferring to secondary or leave it there for about a month then bottle. The extra time may mellow any off flavors from the warm fermentation. The extra time will also clear the beer.

Check your hydrometer. In distilled water the reading should be 1.000 I suspect that when you say 0.000 it is actually 1.000

Take a sample from the middle so that you are not getting any sediment from the bottom in there.

With the hydrometer floating in the tube of sample = give it a spin to dislodge any bubbles sticking to it. This may make the difference in your reading.

Check the temperature of your sample. The baseline for the hydrometer is at 60 degrees. If your sample is colder or warmer you need to make a correction to the reading. You should have gotten a chart with the instructions for the hydrometer. You can also find the chart online.

Finally since you may have gotten some unwanted results from the warm temperatures do not get impatient. This beer may reach its best later in life, maybe 2 -3 months or longer. Get more ingredients and brew more batches you will learn as you go and build up a selection.

__________________
kh54s10 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
Gustavo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: , ca
Posts: 386
Default

just starting my third batch.. trust me you going be ok!lol With that being said i was worried too. I did not use a yeast starter and also pitched my yeast at around the same temp. My airlock did not have a single bubble for the first 24 hrs... carefully look inside the airlock hole. If you see a foamy cloud ontop of the wort, its a sign of fermination. Also make sure you have a good seal all the way around your bucket. Give it a nother day.

__________________
Gustavo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2011, 07:20 PM   #9
Gustavo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: , ca
Posts: 386
Default

i know im in no shoes to be giving advice but just sharing advice that worked for me

__________________
Gustavo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2011, 07:21 PM   #10
Gustavo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: , ca
Posts: 386
Default

another tip that worked is if you push on your lid and bubbles come out the airlock its a sign co2 is building up

__________________
Gustavo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do you include your yeast starter as part of your batch size? StarCityBrewMaster Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 01-24-2011 11:32 AM
Questions regarding a possible FAIL on my part. srb3189 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 05-03-2010 05:47 PM
Second batch questions ipatch Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 05-01-2010 04:14 PM
1st batch questions Metsbrew Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 01-23-2010 09:00 PM
first batch questions? kabrew Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 06-11-2009 02:02 AM