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Old 03-20-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
Kila
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Mar 2012
Edinburgh, Scotland
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Started my first ever brew, pretty excited!

It's a lager in a 5 gallon container - a gift from a friend. I sterilised the container to the best of my knowledge (10 minutes and rubbing a cloth round the top and edges and lid), before rinsing it out about 4 times.

I was keen to get my first brew tasting as good as possible without complicating things (the malt extract etc was from a tin/kit), and the guy in the local home brew shop suggested I use spray malt instead of brewing sugar, as it would give it a richer colour/more body. I was just worried it would taste like Fosters/Tennents (i.e. piss!).

Followed the instructions quite clearly, and the temperature of the water was around 21'C when I added the yeast and spray malt.

Now, the container lid didn't have a hole in it, and the guy in the shop was rather surprised it didn't, and said there was usually a valve of some sort on the top to let gas/pressure out. He said to not seal the container all the way round, and leave a slight gap in one side.

So, after a couple days, it was looking good - frothing/bubbling up. The room I have it in has been 16-18'C constantly. The instructions said 4-6 days, though given that it has been slightly colder in the room than the ideal 18-21'C, I thought I'd maybe give it an extra day or two.

Day 3/4 the bubbles had what appeared to be dried froth on the top. Today is day 5 of fermentation and all the froth has gone along with most of the bubbles.

Does these photos look normal? I was planning to bottle it tomorrow (Wednesday).
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
two_hearted
 
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Looks like a healthy fermentation and krausen to me.

Usually there is a drilled whole with a rubber grommet where you can fix an airlock. I know some people who just do it the way you did by not sealing the lid. Loads of people like to sit and watch their airlock bubble, however.

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Old 03-20-2012, 09:27 PM   #3
H-ost
 
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Looks great, give it more time.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:27 PM   #4
Kila
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Mar 2012
Edinburgh, Scotland
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Thanks for quick response!

So it is normal for dried patches of froth to appear on the top and a sticky gooey residue around the side where the froth had been? I was concerned something had gone wrong!

Given that it has been colder in the room, does it look like it is ok to bottle in 24 hours time? Should all the bubbles/froth be gone or is that fine as it is now?

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:28 PM   #5
iv_hokie12
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Looks very normal. I would put a hole in that top as soon as you are done with this batch though. Not having a seal is asking for trouble. Normally the best practice is to leave your beer in primary for a couple of weeks, but without a seal I would probably bottle as soon as your gravity stabilizes.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
Tinga
 
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the clean looking foam is more or less yeast and other proteins from the brewing process and the green goop is hop sludge from the boil. looks perfectly normal to me.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:32 PM   #7
two_hearted
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilamite View Post
Thanks for quick response!

So it is normal for dried patches of froth to appear on the top and a sticky gooey residue around the side where the froth had been? I was concerned something had gone wrong!

Given that it has been colder in the room, does it look like it is ok to bottle in 24 hours time? Should all the bubbles/froth be gone or is that fine as it is now?
Fermentation is an ugly/messy process. I would not bottle yet. Do you have a hydrometer? You need to make sure that the beer is finished fermenting other wise too much CO2 can be produced in your bottles and cause them to burst. (search: bottle bombs).

If you have a hydrometer, you need to take measurements and ideally have maybe 3 days of consistently same readings to know if its done. Beer can also greatly benefit from patience. Even though fermentation may be complete, it will get much better after another 1-2 weeks. Basically yeast produce lots of things that cause beer to taste "off." Fortunately, when they are done eating all those sugars, they then eat all of those byproducts.

I know its hard with a first brew, but you will be rewarded.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
GulfCoastGirl
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilamite View Post
Does these photos look normal? I was planning to bottle it tomorrow (Wednesday).

OMG that beer is ruined! Ship it to me immediately for proper disposal

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:34 PM   #9
two_hearted
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iv_hokie12 View Post
Looks very normal. I would put a hole in that top as soon as you are done with this batch though. Not having a seal is asking for trouble. Normally the best practice is to leave your beer in primary for a couple of weeks, but without a seal I would probably bottle as soon as your gravity stabilizes.
I disagree, infection can only happen from things falling in your beer. nothing is going to creep up the side through a tiny crack in the side where your bucket isn't sealed. Lots of people just loosely cover with foil even.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
Kila
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Mar 2012
Edinburgh, Scotland
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Instructions said 4-6 days for a quick brew - I'd be happy to perhaps bottle 10 now and keep it fermenting for another week? Or once you start draining do you have to do it all?

I really wish I had done hydrometer readings - but I guess today is the first day I can take a reading given the amount of froth there was before?

 
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