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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Fermenting in an open mouthed jar, covered with cheesecloth
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:50 AM   #1
Questor
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Default Fermenting in an open mouthed jar, covered with cheesecloth

Hi, I'm a new brewer and I'm quite poor. I'm getting into this hobby quite slowly.

Currently I have two quart jars of ale fermenting in mason jars covered with cheesecloth (rubber banded down). It's a simple SMASH that I brewed the other day.

It's been 50 hours or so since I added approximately 1 gram of Safale-05 which I started as though I were making bread (warm water, sugar).

I have seen very, very little in the way of activity, even compared to my first run.

I have read on here that within 72 hours, just to wait, and also that no bubbles does not mean no activity. Sadly I do not have a gravity thingy.

Should I just relax and forget about it, or pitch some additional yeast?


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Old 02-24-2009, 01:53 AM   #2
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What's your process and recipe?

BTW, I'd use aluminum foil instead of something permeable like cheesecloth.


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Old 02-24-2009, 02:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
What's your process and recipe?

BTW, I'd use aluminum foil instead of something permeable like cheesecloth.
+1 on the use of sanitized tinfoil. Cheesecloth might keep insects out, but it's not stopping bacteria. With a widemouthed vessel like a jar, this is an even bigger concern.

But yeah, let's have a look at your recipe.
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:15 AM   #4
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I did a 21oz mash with 3/4 lb Breiss 6 row pale ale barley (1 hour), a 21oz sparge with approx 1/15 oz cascade hops (10 min), and then a 1 hour boil.

I brought the mix back to room temperature by backfilling what had been reduced to 15oz to 42oz by adding water.

After priming the yeast with warm water and a small amount of sugar, it was somewhat bubbly but not growing a head like baker's yeast does. I added it anyway.

Now I'm looking at what appears to be flat beer.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:21 AM   #5
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Hmm... it could be that your yeast were no longer viable. Or it could just be that you can't see what's going on. Either way, if/when you decide to upgrade your equipment, you'll definitely want a hydrometer so you can tell for sure what's going on in there.

I'd say give it another day, then if you still don't see anything, pitch another 1g per container. Just my two cents.

Edited: Oh yeah, and toss that cheesecloth in the trash. Replace with sanitized tinfoil. That is all.
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
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Funny, the first home brewing I ever saw was 30 years ago and kind of like you describe. My fiancee (Ukrainian) does a wine on a recipe from her grandmother and it uses fresh fruit and airborne yeast for fermentation. She makes it too sweet for me but it comes out pretty good and no off flavors.
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #7
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This kinda reminds me of this thread...http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/brea...-5-days-99786/

You may find this and the thread I linked it it helpful...http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/frugal-brewing-105251/

Heck if you even get an old mr beer fermenter at a garage sale for 5 bucks you'll be able to brew 1 case of beer....


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