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Opened my bucket, will it still be ok ?

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CrookhamBrew

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Hey all, new to home brew and making my first batch of an English ale. It's a malt extract kit and all has gone to plan so far. Fermentation kicked in after 24hrs as expected, but seemed to all be over 36 to 48hrs later, well airlock had stopped bubbling. I appreciate from reading lots of other threads that a non-bubbling airlock does not mean fermentation has stopped, so opened my bucket lid and took a sample. OG was 1040, now it is reading 1014, so it's consumed 65% of the available sugars I believe. However I am not convinced it has finished fermenting, as some bubbles were still being generated. Apart from looking a little like sewage, it did smell like beer, but was not tempted to taste it. I have therefore decided to leave until the coming weekend to check the SG again. I pitched the yeast on Sunday lunchtime, so thought it best to leave for at least 6 to 7 days to finish its magic. Question: since I have opened the bucket and given it a very gentle stir, will it still be ok, or now that I have filled the bucket with oxygen, will it spoil before the weekend when I hope to bottle some and barrel the rest ? Any words of wisdom for a new brewer most welcome. Note: no issues with temperature.
 

Psycotte

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Just be patient and let it work. I don't take a first SG reading until after 2 weeks. If you sanitized the spoon you stirred with you will be fine. You need to leave it for 2-3 weeks before thinking of bottling. Just because the main fermentation is over the yeast are still alive and cleaning up the secondary by products after the initial surge. This will improve the taste of your beer. RDWAHAHB or since this is your first brew go buy a craft beer and drink that while you wait. :mug:
 

dave8274

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It will be fine, but 6-7 days is pretty quick to bottle it. I know it's nearly impossible to wait for your first batch, but I would leave it for a least 2 weeks, if not 3 before bottling.
 

invivoSaccharomyces

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I'd repeat the advice I've seen elsewhere on HBT: We don't tell you to take gravity samples because we're trying to ruin your beer.

There is very little you can do to ruin beer once it's in the fermenter, aside from excessive heat, storing in direct light, or infection. True, every time you open your fermenter you're risking infection, but unless you live in a garbage pit it is an extremely low risk. Keep taking those gravity samples, and give your beer more time than you think it needs.
 
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CrookhamBrew

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Thanks for the words of wisdom and experience. The spoon was sanitised and I was careful to minimise how long the lid was open for. Think I will take your advise and leave for another week at least and drink a couple of beers purchased from the local craft brewery, nice. Thanks again. p.s. How do I work out my alcohol ABV % ?
 

Psycotte

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Thanks for the words of wisdom and experience. The spoon was sanitised and I was careful to minimise how long the lid was open for. Think I will take your advise and leave for another week at least and drink a couple of beers purchased from the local craft brewery, nice. Thanks again. p.s. How do I work out my alcohol ABV % ?
ABV = 131 (Starting SG - Final SG)

:)
 

GASoline71

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A good basic rule of thumb for most beers (beers with OG's below 1.060) is to just leave the feremnter alone for a minimum of 14 days. 95% of your beers will be done in 14 days. Then you can check FG, and if it's finished, you can now dry hop, or rack to keg, or bottle, or move to a secondary if you choose.

If for what ever reason it's not finished, it won't hurt it to let it sit for another 3 or 5 days.

Gary
 
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CrookhamBrew

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Thanks all for support. Feeling a lot more confident now, first brew and all that. Will stay patient and look forward to trying it around Xmas time. Cheers.
 

MrNickVT

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CrookhamBrew said:
Thanks all for support. Feeling a lot more confident now, first brew and all that. Will stay patient and look forward to trying it around Xmas time. Cheers.
That's what we are here for!
 

dave8274

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Patience was hard for me to learn. My 1st 3 brews were rushed and suffered for it. Now I always leave it in the bucket for 3 weeks regardless of how fast the fermentation is.
 
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CrookhamBrew

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Thanks to all. I have left my first brew for a full two weeks and the FG turned out to be 1010, compared to 1012 when I was originally planning on bottling. It had remained static for the last couple of days, so part bottled and part casked. Looked good and even though early days, tastes pretty good for a kit first home brew. Thanks to those for the advice, glad I left it for that extra week. Any advice how long to leave the bottles and cask in the warm to get the 2nd fermentation completed to give me a little fizz ? Plan to keep at around 18 to 20 Celsius for a week, before sticking out in the garage. Is that right ?
 

dave8274

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I keep mine in the basement at room temperature for 3+ weeks, but I usually do sample one after about 10 days or so just to see how it's coming along.
 

jrc64

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As long as everything was sanitized, you're fine. Please do not bottle after 7 days. Let sit at least 14 days in primary fermentor OR move to secondary for 14 days after one week in primary
 
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