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Old 06-03-2010, 03:34 PM   #1
BlackAle1
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Default Impatience

hello fellow brewers.

My first batch has been in the fermenter for the last 6 days. Everything went relatively good throughout brew day, and the airlock started bubbling away withing 8 hours.

I watched the airlock for about 30 minutes last night without any bubbles. I decided to open it for the first time since brew day to take a gravity reading. This is the first time I have seen the brew and when I opened it there was a thick (maybe 1/4 of an inch) layer of light brown bubbles and crusties. Does that mean it's infected?

The other option is that it is Krausen. I admit ignorance, and I don't know really what the krausen is supposed to look like, but it looked kind of nasty, but it didn't really smell bad.

The other mistake I made was a gut reaction, which was stupid. I moved about a 2-3 inch circle of the crust out of the way with the gravity meter in order to stick it in for the gravity reading.

I got a gravity reading of 1.021 and the initial gravity was 1.050. This indicates an ABV of right around 4.0% This beer is supposed to end at 5.0%. Do you think I messed it up by opening too early or moving the krausen?

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Old 06-03-2010, 03:40 PM   #2
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yes your brew is infected.... with yeast.

RDWHAHB. your beer is fine just wait another 2 weeks. just because you don't see bubbles doesn't mean that fermentation is over. all it means is the CO2 pressure is escaping elsewhere. assuming you sanitized everything you touched the wort and krausen with your fine.

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Old 06-03-2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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what tipsydragon said!

Relax
nasty foam = cleaner beer
Time, just forget about it for a week or 2..more is better!

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Old 06-03-2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
The other option is that it is Krausen. I admit ignorance, and I don't know really what the krausen is supposed to look like, but it looked kind of nasty, but it didn't really smell bad.
It's the Krausen. Love the Krausen.

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Originally Posted by Unknown
If it don't smell like Satan's taint, it ain't infected.
You didn't mess up anything, as long as you didn't infect it by touching it with anything you didn't sanitize.

Forget the bubbles (it sounds like you are using a bucket - notoriously leaky - not a problem, though). Go by gravity... you're doing fine
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
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Yeah, sounds like this beer is doing great! Opening it and moving the krausen shouldn't do anything, as long as you were careful with sanitation.

Give it some time and it might move to 5%. Then again, maybe not. I've only hit my target final gravity about 50% of the time. It probably takes practice.

Good luck!

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Old 06-03-2010, 04:15 PM   #6
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As Revvy would say...Step away from the fermenter!

Your beer is just fine, however, it isn't ready for you to do anything. Let the yeast finish its job fermenting, cleaning up off flavors, and clearing your beer. I know it's hard but let it sit for a couple more weeks, then bottle it up.

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Old 06-03-2010, 05:50 PM   #7
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As a new brewer like you (just bottled my third batch) I have definitely learned to be patient. A loss of memory helps. I just forget about my beer for a few weeks. Krausen is an ugly/beautiful thing. As said many times, sanitize everything going into the wort and you will be fine. Your SG will probably drop another 3 to 5 points.

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Old 06-03-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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Thanks to all who responded to this thread... the gravity meter was sanitized, I was more worried about aeration or some other results of moving the krausen around or opening the seal too early. I'm not even going to touch the damn thing for 10 days... I promised myself after last night. My initial plan was to bottle at 21 days. So if I check gravity the 17th-21st days and it remains the same I will bottle. If not I will wait. right?+

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Old 06-03-2010, 09:36 PM   #9
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Good plan! Next thing is to start getting your next batch together so you have something to occupy your time while you wait.

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