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Old 01-03-2013, 02:25 AM   #1
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Default Worried about my first batch - think it's ok?

I am relatively new to both legitimate home brewing and forums in general, although I have had brief exposure into both. I was given a Mr. Beer kit when I was in college but stopped brewing once the starter kits ran out. I found it to be too difficult to sterilize everything in a small one bedroom apartment kept in college conditions and therefore, did not yield a product worth reproducing. This Christmas my wife surprised me with a True Brew Gold Home Brew kit. I went to the Brewmasters Warehouse and selected my recipe. I went with a SW pale ale, using dry ale yeast. I went to great lengths to keep everything sanitary, even having my wife handle some basic tasks once I was "scrubbed in." The batch is now fermenting in a six gallon carboy. It is in a dark unused room holding steady at 68 degrees. The first couple days went fine, bubbling away, but on the third day I came home to a drastically slowed bubble, and I am worried as I was expecting at least 7 days in the carboy before the yeast died. Am I being overly concerned or is this ok/normal? If it is ok, how long should I wait before transferring to the bottling bucket? I would like to get a higher alcohol content but first priority is to have a great tasting first batch. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Even if this batch doesn't go as planned, I fully intend to learn from it and start again. At this point in my life, I'm much more patient and enjoy taking time to make quality things.

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:33 AM   #2
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Everything is fine. Wait until you are about two weeks in and take a gravity reading (using a hydrometer). Three days later, take another. If they are at the same level and where the recipe suggests you should be (the recipe should provide a target FG), you can think about bottling. Wait a few more weeks at 70*f before a few days in the fridge. Then enjoy.

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:36 AM   #3
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Just because the bubbling in the airlock stopped doesn't mean the yeast aren't working. You should have a layer of krausen on the top which will settle to the bottom. I would leave it alone for two weeks in the primary and transfer to the secondary for another two weeks. Take a gravity reading with a hydrometer when you transfer, and bottle as long as you are close to your final gravity... Bottom line, relax, you'll be fine!
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:23 AM   #4
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Just leave it in the primary for 3-4 weeks. It won't hurt it. Definitely do not move it until you get a steady gravity reading 3 days apart. That way you are not moving it until it is done fermenting which could cause problems.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:42 AM   #5
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Don't get lured into the timeframes given in brewing instructions, they are not reliable. Use your hydrometer and be patient. As logan3825 states, 3-4 weeks before even checking it is a good reference. Be sure to use proper sanitation when taking your sample and either toss it or taste it then toss it...drinking it will help you learn the flavors of green beer.

Something is always fermenting....
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