Not sure what's going on with my first batch.

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twobears

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Hello, first time brewer and first post on this forum.
Directions say to ferment between 60 and 70 degrees. It was fermenting vigerously (bubble every 1-1.5 seconds) the first day, after that it just petered out. Thinking I had a stuck fermentation, I called a buddy of mine that got me into making wine. He said to try warming it up. I put the fermentor in front of a heat vent and made a small enclosure around it with a blanket to trap the heat. When I got up this morning the airlock was bubbling away again but my temp is near 80. I have made wine before and it seems the airlock bubbled fairly steady, about every 30-40 seconds. With this beer, if its not bubbling every second, its not bubbling at all. What's going on? Should I try to keep it near 80 or get it back down to where it was at about 66?
 

cluckk

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Get it back down. 80 is too high. It is normal for a beer to seem to be inactive when the yeast is actually busily working along. The airlock is to let CO2 escape as needed. It is not an indicator of activity. get it back down to the lower temps (60's to low 70's depending on yeast strain) and leave it to finish. The yeast will do their job just fine.

Don't worry though about the time it spent at 80, past is past. You will probably have some slightly off flavors, but it will still be good beer.

For information look at my recent experience here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/perfect-example-how-different-same-yeast-can-act-374737/
 

BrewerinBR

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Fermentation temp will depend on yeast but 70 is normally as high as you would like it to be. Some yeast will develop fruity esters or off flavors at higher temps which can be bad or good depending on what your brewing. It is not all that uncommon for a beer to ferment hard for 24 to 36 hours then appear to slow down. Air lock activity is not the best indicator of fermentation. I would get the temp back down under 70 then ignore it for 21 to 28 days then test it with a hydrometer.
 

GrogNerd

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get it back to 66° and don't worry about lack of airlock activity.

let it sit for 3 weeks, then start taking once-daily gravity readings. 3 similar readings in a row = time to bottle/keg
 
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twobears

twobears

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Thanks guys. In fact I did think airlock activity was an indicator of fermentation. I'll get it back away from the vent right away.
 

unionrdr

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Testing the beer every single day after 3 weeks is a waste of beer. Check it once,wait till the 3rd day,check it again. If the numbers mach,it's done. It won't knock off the last few points in one or two days. It's a slower process towards the end than at the begining.
 

GrogNerd

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testing an extra 100 ml is a 'waste' of .6% of a 5-gallon batch

a little over ¼ of a bottle

the horror
 

cluckk

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Can't you just put the beer back in anyways?
Simple answer, "Yes." Right answer, "No." Samples are best for measuring and tasting. If you pour it back in you greatly multiply your chances of an infection.
 

Golddiggie

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Can't you just put the beer back in anyways?
ONLY if everything that comes into contact with the sample has been sanitized properly (Star San, if you're not using it GET SOME!). The vast majority simply drink the sample. It will help you to learn how things progress as well as let you know if there are any off flavors present. Chances are, you'll have some in the batch you baked (too hot during ferment). :eek: It could take days or weeks to undo that damage. It also might take months, or never go away. Such is the risk when you listen to someone that's never brewed beer before. :eek:

Everyone does the same thing on their first batch.
Not true.
 

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