First Brew Belgian Blonde Kit stopped bubbling need help!

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Hi everyone.

I'm new to brewing and have a few questions about my first beer. I did a Belgian Blonde kit from Dry Dock and everything seems to have gone correctly. I've read the Joy Of Homebrewing maybe 3 x's now and I followed every direction I could to the letter. I cleaned and sanitized all surfaces and everything that touched the beer. Steeped the specialty grains (in a grain bag) in my 16 quart stainless steel pot, then added the LME, candy sugar, and hop pellets (also in a bag) and boiled for 60 mins, adding the other hops at the required times.

After the boil I took out the bags and because I have no wort chiller, stuck my covered pot in an ice bath with rock salt in my sink and sprayed cold water on the outside of the pot. This only brought the temp down to about 170 after 30 mins or so. That's when I decided go with Plan B, Papazian's method of adding the hot wort to cool water directly in the fermenter, in my case, a plastic Better Brew bucket. My water was Walmart bought filtered 3 ways so no worries about contamination. Once I had it filled to 5 gallons with the wort and cold water it was down to 82 or so. I knew I had to bring it down to at least under 80 to pitch my yeast (SafBrew T-58, dry, which I rehydrated in water that had been boiled and cooled to about 70). I added a few handfuls (sanitized hands) of brand new out of the bag clean store bought ice, which brought the temp down to about 75, and pitched my yeast. I didn't take an OG because I was kind of freaking out and just wanted to get the yeast in there.

Everything seemed to go fine. It began to vigourously bubble in the airlock about 6.5 hours later, and that lasted about 24 hours. Then it stopped and hasn't made a peep since. I know that I'm not supposed worry, and should go off of gravity readings, but I'm wondering if the beer got too cold or something? I live in Colorado and Fall just began today and the last couple days it was raining and hot, and then went to raining and cold. The room the fermenter was in got down to maybe 65 one night. Could this have screwed me?!! Or am I just just paranoid, need to relax, not worry, and have a homebrew?

Thanks for your help!

:mug:
 

daksin

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65 is quite a nice temperature for fermenting ales, depending on your yeast. Your yeasts optimal range is listed from 15-24C (60F- 75F). At the high end of that range you'll get some fruity, banana-y flavors in your beer, which some people like and some styles call for. Usually though, you want to stay in the midrange, or cooler, for a nice clean, tasty ale.

What are you fermenting at now? You may want to wrap some wet towels around your fermenter to get your temps down.


TL;DR- 65 didn't hurt your beer at all. It probably helped, actually.
RDWHAHB, as always. Even going a few degrees below your optimal range will just slow down the yeast, but it won't stress them significantly or affect your beer in the long run.
 

Yooper

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Next time, make sure you gently stir the wort with a sanitized spoon as you chill in the sink and stir the water bath, too, and it'll chill quite a bit faster.

The beer isn't bubbling anymore because it's done. Pitching warm (over 70 degrees) means that fermentation probably took off very fast and probably finished overnight. Remember that fermentation itself produces heat, so in a 70 degree warm, and pitched at 75 degrees, the beer could have easily been fermenting at 80-85 degrees! Fermentation will go very very fast at those kinds of temps- it can be explosively fast.

Now, the thing to do is wait. If you are really, really, really worried you can take a SG reading.

The fall and winter is great for making beer, particularly ales. They like to ferment at 60-68 degrees and in my 57 degree laundry room it works out great!
 
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Awesome thanks for calming my nerves guys..

The other question I have is, is it necessary to rack to secondary with a Belgian Blonde? I'm guessing it will make for clear beer?

Thanks!
 

smagee

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I (almost) never use a secondary. If you'd rather save yourself the effort, you won't just it any by just leaving it in the primary the entire time.

Belgians typically aren't that clear anyway, so clarification is likely a moot point.
 
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The Belgian sat in primary for almost a month, and yesterday I racked it to my new glass carboy for a quick secondary before I bottle. Everything went fine, except for the bung not wanting to stay in. I just had to keep pushing it back down until it stayed...

The only thing is although it smells fine and looks great, it had this ultra citrusy sourness/bitterness to it. I'm hoping this is just what Belgians do before you carbonate but maybe I messed up?
 
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