1st post, 2nd batch

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beerfiend

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Greetings from New Zealand.

I started my first ever batch of homebrew about a month ago, and am now fermenting my second batch.

The first lot was a kit using liquid extract, and I just followed the manufacturer's instructions to the letter - I used dextrose brewing sugar. Fermentation was all done in about 4 days, so in my impatience I bottled it, and now I have strange tasting beer (supposed to be a Scottish Heavy Ale), that does have good carbonation! It seems to be improving every week I try one though!

My second lot is a Yorkshire bitter, and this time I replaced the brewing sugar with an adjunct from my local HBS. - called brew enhancer for English Bitter, and it's a mixture of malt, dextrose & hops. I also used Safale US05 yeast. The main gist of the post is that this batch has been fermenting for over 11 days now..... I'm still getting bubbles through the airlock every minute or so.

Has something gone wrong? Is there a reason for the longer ferment? (temperatures have been similar). Any ideas from wealt of expertise out there?

cheers!

SteveM
 
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Fermentation occurs in a vastly different time span. Usually the fermentation on mine are finished up by then though (however I still don't bottle them for several weeks). Have you or can you check the specific gravity, really that is the only way to determine the status of fermentation. Activity (or lack of) in the airlock is not a good indicator.

When you get the same specific gravity reading from the hydrometer over several days you can assume fermentation is over.
 

Danek

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Welcome to the forums, Steve! :mug:

To answer your question, I'd be almost 100% certain that there's nothing wrong with your beer. Fermentation is a very variable process and in my experience no two brews have ever been the same - some have been violent and fast, others have been so quiet I've doubted any fermentation was happening. In every case they've turned out fine. For your beer, I wouldn't worry about activity from the airlock. As Chris_Dog says, measuring gravity with a hydrometer is the only way to know for sure that fermentation is done. You can leave beer in the fermenter for at least a month (and probably even longer - though this is a moot point), so there's no need to rush the beer into bottles. Just take a hydrometer reading to make sure you don't have a stuck fermentation (if you do, you can give the beer a gentle stir with a sanitised utensil to rouse the yeast up again). When you get the same gravity reading three days in a row, it means your beer is done fermenting. You can then leave it for another few days if you like, as this gives the yeast time to clear up some of the undesirable byproducts of fermentation. Or if you're in a hurry for beer, you could skip straight to bottling.

And if you have any other questions, post 'em on here and someone will be right along to answer them. :tank:
 
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beerfiend

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Thanks for your replies - I've measured the gravity (1.020), stirred the brew, and had a taste (now that's more like it!).

I'll check the gravity again in a few days and go from there....

Steve
 
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