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Old 12-13-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
JonClayton
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Default Quick question on fermentation

Put my first batch in the carboy yesterday for fermenting. True Brew branded Nut Brown Ale. Checked on it after about 10 hours and it was bubbling away nicely but this morning it seems to have slowed. There is still bubbling in the airlock but not as much as last night. I assume thats probably normal but would like your oppinion?

Btw, if i read the hydrometer correctly OG was 1.034 and has an potential ABV of 5.5%.. Does this sound about right for that brew?

I know ideal temp for fermenting is 70, but would say 66-67 cause an issue?
I have the carboy back in a spare bedroom, I keep the house at 69 in the winter but that room always feels slightly colder.

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Old 12-13-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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I've never seen that kit before, so I don't know if that OG is common or not. What do the instructions say it should be?

As far as bubbling/not bubbling, that's really not a reliable indication of how the fermentation is going. If it started yesterday, it might ferment out in 24 hours, or it might take a week. Either way, it's fine so don't worry!

As far as temperatures, when the yeast manufacturer suggests a fermentation temperature range, they are talking about the actual temperature of the fermenting beer, not room temperature. I like those "stick on" thermometers that go on the outside of the fermenter, and tell you the temperature of the liquid. Most yeast strains will say something like "optimal range 62-70 degrees". I almost always ferment my ales at about 62 degrees. A room temperature of 70 degrees is a bit high, since fermentation produces heat and it could be 8-10 degrees higher inside the fermenter, especially when fermentation is very vigorous. I'd recommend keeping it cooler if at all possible.

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Old 12-13-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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+1 on everything YooperBrew said. If you can get that ferment temp down a bit (since the actual beer is probably around 4 degrees more than the ambient temp) that will give you better beer in the end. Don't pay to much attention to the Potential ABV scale on your Hydrometer, that's assuming that your yeast will ferment out to 1.000, look at the instructions that came with your kit to get what the OG and FG should be. And I'd give your beer at least 3 weeks in the fermenter before checking your gravity, it gives the yeast time to clean up after themselves.

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Old 12-13-2009, 02:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response. I can definitely get it a little cooler in that room by closing off the heat vent. That room is always the coolest in the house anyhow.

I'll head out to walmart in a few and get an aquarium stick on thermometer, should be the same as the ones you get from brewshops right?

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Old 12-13-2009, 02:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JonClayton View Post
Thanks for the quick response. I can definitely get it a little cooler in that room by closing off the heat vent. That room is always the coolest in the house anyhow.

I'll head out to walmart in a few and get an aquarium stick on thermometer, should be the same as the ones you get from brewshops right?
Yes, but look at them. I bought a couple that don't get lower than 64 degrees. I guess they were for tropical fish, because they went up past 80 degrees!

Most should go down to 60 or 62, which would be good enough.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:48 PM   #6
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oops the instructions say OG should be 1.049-1.051.. I am pretty sure I read the hydrometer right at 1.034.. did I mess up?

One thing we did differently is this kit called for boiling 1.5-2 gallons of wort, but I had heard that if you have the ability to boil more it's better. So we actually made 3.5 gallons of wort (wound up about 3 gallons after all the boiling).

Sorry for the noob questions.

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Old 12-13-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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oops the instructions say OG should be 1.049-1.051.. I am pretty sure I read the hydrometer right at 1.034.. did I mess up?

One thing we did differently is this kit called for boiling 1.5-2 gallons of wort, but I had heard that if you have the ability to boil more it's better. So we actually made 3.5 gallons of wort (wound up about 3 gallons after all the boiling).

Sorry for the noob questions.
You didn't mess up! BUT, your reading was probably wrong unless you added way too much water or didn't add all the ingredients.

The reasn makes sense when you think about it. The wort you boiled (and you're right- more is better) is "thicker" and heavier than the top off water you added at the end. Even if you stir like crazy, and mix like a madman, the heavier wort will tend to sink. So, your sample from the middle or top will be "lighter" and give you a lower OG reading.

That's not a problem, though- the yeast know exactly where to find the sugars. If you used a set recipe with extract, your OG can't be off of the reading the instructions gave you. The sugars are there, and there are a set number of them in the extract. Very slight variations occur, because maybe you add an extra cup of water for example, that's why they give you a range. But you can be assured that if you used all of the kit ingredients, and the correct amount of water, that your OG was right around 1.050.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:58 PM   #8
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Sounds good, thanks! We did add the wort tot he 2 gallons of top off water and mix as best i could, and then poured from the carboy back into my test tube for the hydrometer reading. I stirred with a sanitized long handle spoon and shook the carboy but there is a very very good chance I didnt have it mixed well so that makes a lot of sense.

Thanks

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Old 12-13-2009, 03:07 PM   #9
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It'll mix as it ferments, no worries. Relax and let those yeast make beer! ;0)

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Old 12-16-2009, 02:35 PM   #10
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One more question, Wyzazz you said 3 weeks in the fermenter. The instructions in the kit said to bottle after a week. We had planned on bottling after 2 weeks. Is there any advantage/disadvantage for bottling sooner or letting it sit. Might be nice to bottle this weekend so I can get the next batch started (1 week in the fermenter), but I don't mind waiting 2 or 3 weeks.

Thanks!

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