First batch ever, Fermentation started late?!?

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treedstrom

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I am a first time brewer and first time poster and just had a couple questions to see if I ruined my first batch. Please take it easy on me, I'm trying to learn. :eek:

A little over a week ago I made my first batch from a kit, midwest supplies amber ale. I cooled the wort, put it in a bucket and pitched the yeast (I used the dry yeast that came with the kit). I then placed the bucket in my closet and left it. I went back the next day to check it out and see if I had any activity and the temperature was about 60 degrees so I moved the bucket to a warmer area of the house. The temperature is sitting right around 70-72 degrees. After a full 72 hrs I hadn't seen any bubbling so I did a little reading and wasn't too worried about it because I thought I might have had a bad seal on my lid. Well it turns out that on Friday night it started to bubble (a WEEK after the yeast was pitched and a bubble every 5-10 seconds) and it continued through the day Saturday but began to taper off. This morning it has completely stopped bubbling.

Have I ruined my first batch? I haven't seen anything on the bubbling starting that long after the yeast was pitched. I don't know if I should let it sit in the bucket for another week or two, transfer it to a carboy or what? :confused: I am basically at a loss as to what to do with this batch and can't find anything to help me out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

aiptasia

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It sounds underpitched to me, but it should be fine. Don't worry. Let it sit a full three weeks in the primary. FWIW, airlock bubbling activity isn't a reliable indicator of fermentation. You can have fermentation going on in your beer with absolutely no airlock activity at all.

My rule of thumb with most styles of beer I make is three weeks in the primary and no secondary necessary. Two weeks for the main fermentation and an extra week on the yeast cake for it to clean up (AKA Diacetyl rest).
 

RM-MN

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Let it sit for another week or two (or even 3) is what I would do. It's probably OK but you won't really know for some time. After a couple weeks in the fermenter, open it up and take a sniff (not too close or you will get a snoot full of CO2 ). If it smells like beer, take a hydrometer reading. If it smells putrid, dump it out.

Your beer may have been fermenting at 60 degrees but very slowly. When you brought it to a warmer location it might have picked up speed or it might just be a change in temperature.

One cue for fermentation in a bucket is to shine a light through it. You should be able to make out a krausen ring above the level of the beer.
 

unionrdr

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Yeah,the light should show that "ring around the collar" just above the srface of the beer. It's a crud ring that the krausen leaves behind after initial fermentation is done. It'll then slowly,uneventfully creep down to FG in a couple of weeks.
 
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treedstrom

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Thanks for the responses. I shined a light through the top of the bucket and was able to see a krausen ring which has me sitting more at ease now. I'll leave it in the fermentor for a couple more weeks and then pop the lid to see where I'm at. Again, thanks.
 
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