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Old 11-11-2012, 03:07 PM   #1
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Default Two questions - primary fermentation and off-smell

So, my first batch of beer, I used a yeast starter (kit came with a smack-pack, not dry yeast) The first two days it bubbled like mad. Today it is down to a gurgle every 45 seconds or so- is it ever the case that primary fermenation will take less than a week?

Secondly - there is an off smell in the bubbler (vodka in the bubbler) but when it does gurgle there is a decidedly sweet beer-y smell. Is this cause for concern or do I just go with it?

Thanks!

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Old 11-11-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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Read the sticky on "Ruined Beer"

It helped me with a lot of my anxieties
I would say yours is probably fine. What kind of beer is it? What makes you think the sweet "beer-y" smell is bad? I love sniffing airlocks.

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Old 11-11-2012, 05:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euripidez
Read the sticky on "Ruined Beer"

It helped me with a lot of my anxieties
I would say yours is probably fine. What kind of beer is it? What makes you think the sweet "beer-y" smell is bad? I love sniffing airlocks.
No the air lock has a decidedly bad smell. Not sure how to describe it. But when it does gurgle the bad smell is displaced by the sweet beery smell.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:49 PM   #4
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I don't know what an airlock smells like, I've never done that. The bubbling is not an indication of anything but excess CO2, your fermentation continues long past any bubbling you will see. Monitoring your gravity is the only way to monitor your fermentation. The only reasonable visual sign of the end of fermentation is when the yeast flocs out and the beer clears. Even then, the yeast will continue to cleanup for another 48 hours or so.

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Old 11-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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Most of my beers ferment out in 3 days or less, but I still leave them in the fermenter for at least 3 days after they are finished. With cooler fermentation temperatures, it takes a bit longer so often a 62 degree fermentation will take 5 days or thereabouts. I normally package my beers at about day 10-14, even if fermentation ends much sooner.

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Old 11-11-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Maybe it's the beers' aromas mixing with the vodka that smells bad. Then the co2 bubbles through,& you smell fermenting beer. It also sounds like it's just initial fermentation getting done. It'll uneventfully,slowly creep down to FG from there.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Also, what was your OG? Your yeasties will handle an ordinary bitter differently than they will a barley wine.

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Old 11-11-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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I don't fear many things, but the hydrometer is something I didn't use. I don't even have a beer thief. I've got to pick up some PBW and starsan at Austin Brewing supply- I suppose i'll add a hydrometer and thief for the next go around.

Essentially it is a scottish brown ale with additions of mulling spices and orange peel. I'm planning on letting it sit tomorrow and moving to secondary on Tuesday. The beer has cleared out as of late last night. (It is in the guest bathroom and I pass it everytime I go to the computer room...)

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Old 11-11-2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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There is really no reason to move it to secondary unless you are looking for better odds of getting an infection or oxidizing your beer.

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Old 11-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frtrey
I don't fear many things, but the hydrometer is something I didn't use. I don't even have a beer thief. I've got to pick up some PBW and starsan at Austin Brewing supply- I suppose i'll add a hydrometer and thief for the next go around.

Essentially it is a scottish brown ale with additions of mulling spices and orange peel. I'm planning on letting it sit tomorrow and moving to secondary on Tuesday. The beer has cleared out as of late last night. (It is in the guest bathroom and I pass it everytime I go to the computer room...)
You can save money and use oxyclean instead of PBW. (edit: corrected autocomplete)
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