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Old 05-05-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
rydia131
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Default When to worry?

Ok so I know through reading posts on here that it is suggested especially to beginners to relax and don't worry. I also know that there are a million threads with worried first timers. But as a first time brewer that's feeling the impending doom of a first brew failure...when should I begin to worry?
It has been 80 hrs since I finished brewing. I have seen no signs of activity in the airlock. I can't smell anything around the lid of my bucket. I'm doing an Irish red. I used dry yeast and chose to hydrate it in warm water for ten mins before pitching it. The first two days I had it on my kitchen table and figured it was running a bit high (72). So I moved it to my closet and it lowered the temp to about 69-70. I know ill be asked to take a hydrometer reading but I don't think I have anything to put the sample in. I have a hydrometer and I'm going to get something for the sample when I hit an off day in a couple days. I opted to pop the airlock off and look at the beer last night. Without knowing anything I thought it looked ok? No signs of infection that I could see and little bubbles comin up little but definitely no krausen to speak of. I'd really like it if my first batch wasn't a huge fial. I just don't know what to do other than wait and take a hydrometer reading as soon as I can. Ay suggestions on what I can do? Is this beer in serious trouble? Any clue on what mistakes I could have made in the brewing process because I want to address them the next time. Thanks for the help

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:35 PM   #2
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Right now you have no idea IF anything went wrong.

You do need to take a hydrometer reading. You know the tube that the hydrometer comes in? Use that.

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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You can always just float the hydrometer in the bucket.

But as to your thread question, my answer is "never." As you've read here, airlock activity is not a good sign of fermentation. You could have a weak seal on the bucket or around the airlock grommet. It could be that the most vigorous fermentation happened when you were sleeping/working/not watching.

Take a reading, you'll feel better!

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:59 PM   #4
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So i can just drop it in the bucket? Also what number am i lookin for?

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Old 05-05-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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You are looking to compare the hydrometer reading before you pitched the yeast to the current reading. If the reading is lower its fermenting. If you didn't do a hydrometer reading before pitching the yeast, your kit instructions may tell you what the Original Gravity (OG) should have been.

Questions:

1. You said you rehydrated your yeast in warm water? How "warm" was the water. You don't want to use 90-100F water like you do with bread yeast.

2. What was the date on the yeast pack?

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Old 05-05-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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Pull the top off your bucket and look inside. Look for a ring of brown gunk stuck to the side above the beer. If you have it you're done worrying, its fermenting without your involvement. If you don't have a ring of brown gunk, put in another pack of yeast. Don't even bother to rehydrate this one, just sprinkle it on top, put the lid back on and quit worrying.

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Old 05-05-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAFSooner View Post
You are looking to compare the hydrometer reading before you pitched the yeast to the current reading. If the reading is lower its fermenting. If you didn't do a hydrometer reading before pitching the yeast, your kit instructions may tell you what the Original Gravity (OG) should have been.

Questions:

1. You said you rehydrated your yeast in warm water? How "warm" was the water. You don't want to use 90-100F water like you do with bread yeast.

2. What was the date on the yeast pack?
This is wrong. Many dry yeast manufacturers instructions say to rehydrate dry yeast in 90-105F water. I do it for 30 minutes,as some are a little slow to krausen. The warmer temps help bring them back to life. The trick is,cooling the hydrated yeast down slowly to within 10 degrees of current wort temp.
So once again,yeast ferment temp isn't the same as bottle carb/condition temp or rehydrate temps.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
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I'm not sure if this will help calm the nerves, but, im a noob too. My 3rd beer was an Irish red and I had similar concerns. I didn't have a hydrometer at this point, so- I let sit a few weeks, bottled, waited, and it was great! I've made a few ipas and stouts and they ferment like crazy! But the red was the slowest for me!

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Old 05-05-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hehawbrew
I'm not sure if this will help calm the nerves, but, im a noob too. My 3rd beer was an Irish red and I had similar concerns. I didn't have a hydrometer at this point, so- I let sit a few weeks, bottled, waited, and it was great! I've made a few ipas and stouts and they ferment like crazy! But the red was the slowest for me!
That deffinatley makes me feel better. Just knowing that something similar happened before to someone else and they still had a drinkable product. Thanks for the input.

Referring back to some previous posts...i didnt know that floating the hydrometer in the bucket itself was even an option. I just thought it would be top heavy and flip over or something.
Also, i did notice the ring of brown gunk above the liquid. I assumed this was from when in aerated or something and residue just stuck to the sides and dried
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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Ring of brown gunk is what remains of the krausen. Looks like the majority of your fermentation is done. As for the reading on the hydrometer you are looking for, look for something close to what the FG of your recipe calls for. Otherwise from how it sounds look for the standard same reading on 3 days meaning you are done.

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