I just started my first batch of home brew yesterday. I got everything in the fermentation bucket and pitched the yeast at about 5:30 last night. I used a kit for an Irish Red Ale that I got with my starter set. It came with a dry yeast that I re-hydrated before I added it to the wort.
I checked it about 7:30 this morning. The thermometer on the bucket read 81 degrees and bubbles were coming out of the airlock like crazy - it didn't blow out the airlock or anything. I knew this temperature was too high, so I put the fermentation bucket in a cooler with some ice water, wrapped a wet towel around it and put a fan on it.
As of 5:30 today (24 hours since the whole process started). The thermometer now reads 72 degrees and the airlock bubbles about once every 10 seconds.
Will the very active fermentation that occurred during the first 12 hours or so have damaged the beer? Is it unusual for fermentation to start that fast - I have read that dry yeast ferments a lot quicker than liquid? And finally, are a few bubbles escaping every 10 seconds or so normal at this stage in the process, or what should I see for an "active" fermentation?
Since this is my first batch, I want to make sure I'm doing everything right! Thanks for your help!