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1st time brewer...1 gal. Small batch brew

I’m currently 1 day into the fermentation process of a 1 gallon batch of Irish red ale. I have the car boy in a dark area behind my bar in the basement and the yeast is working hard.

The ambient temp is reading around 57 degrees. Is that too cold? I dont know the fermentation temp right now because my fermometer is in the mail so I’m concerned about this. Should I move it to a warmer area in the room or should I leave it until the fermometer arrives? The spot that it’s in is the darkest/quietest area in the basement.

This is my first attempt at home brewing so an ad all advise is greatly appreciated

No pro here but from my experience that should be fine, it might just take a little longer to fully ferment so give it the full 3 weeks.

Typically the brew will be a little warmer by about 3-5 degrees, depending on the size, than the ambient temp.

Assuming you’re using the Nottingham yeast that comes with that kit, 57 degrees is right at the bottom of the recommended range, so no worries there. It’s probably a couple degrees warmer than ambient during active fermentation. Once the bubbling starts to slow, though, you could move it to a warmer area just to help keep the yeast from going dormant as quickly.

If you put an old sweatshirt or towel or something over the fermentor that will also keep the light out.

Yes I did use the Nottingham Yeast. I guess I’ll leave it where it is for now. I didn’t want to move because I was worried about disturbing the yeast and the fermentation process. I’m a patient guy so I can wait another week if needed.

Thanks

[quote=“DrunkinScotsman80”]Yes I did use the Nottingham Yeast. I guess I’ll leave it where it is for now. I didn’t want to move because I was worried about disturbing the yeast and the fermentation process. I’m a patient guy so I can wait another week if needed.

Thanks[/quote]

I thought I was a patient fellow until I started brewing though! Good luck with your brewing.

If the bubbles stop after two weeks or earlier is it ok to leave for another week?

Bubbles will likely stop in the coming days but that doesn’t mean fermentation is over.
If you have a hydrometer you can take some readings to see when fermentation is over but I’m guessing you don’t have one just yet.

It will be ok to leave it for a while, I left my first batch for 3 weeks.

Also, I was just curious if anyone else lost some wort to evaporation during brewing. I brewed 5 qrts of water for my brew for 45 minutes and when I syphoned the wort into the car boy I was left with a little more than 3/4 of a gallon. Is that normal?

[quote=“DrunkinScotsman80”]Also, I was just curious if anyone else lost some wort to evaporation during brewing. I brewed 5 qrts of water for my brew for 45 minutes and when I syphoned the wort into the car boy I was left with a little more than 3/4 of a gallon. Is that normal?[/quote]Evaporation rate is a function of the surface area of the kettle and the strength of the boil (and a lid and the ambient humidity/temp play roles as well) - with a solid rolling boil, I’ll typically boil off 1.5-2.0 gallons per hour depending on which kettle I’m using. Losing a quart in a 45-minute boil is perfectly reasonable.

I thought I was a patient man, but this process is killing me and it’s only been 10 days since I pitched the yeast. The bubbling stopped after around 72 hrs and I’ve been watching the calendar ever since. The plan is to hold out for another 4-5 days to bottle. What do u guys think? Should I push it past the 2 week mark? I check the temp every day and it’s keeping at 60 degrees.

Once I bottle this batch I have another 1gallon extract brew ready to go. I got the Honey Ale. Brewing another batch isn’t helping my patience, or lack there of.

I’m guessing you don’t have a refractometer or hydrometer right?
Do you still have it at around 60* ambient? Try moving it into a warmer area around 70* to keep those little yeasties workin.

Patience is a virtue. Even after you bottle it’ll be another 2 weeks minimum.

[quote=“sammysam”]I’m guessing you don’t have a refractometer or hydrometer right?
Do you still have it at around 60* ambient? Try moving it into a warmer area around 70* to keep those little yeasties workin.

Patience is a virtue. Even after you bottle it’ll be another 2 weeks minimum.[/quote]

I do not have either. I do have the fermometer sticker on the glass car boy and it reads between 60 and 62 degrees and the ambient temp in the room is between 58-60 degrees, I hope I’m fine. I will go and get a hydrometer but I have to research how to use it.

If it is at the lower range temp. wise you have to just be more patient. I always start the fermentation with the temp. at the low end of the range to prevent any off flavors although it does increase the lag time. Then after a few days I start gradually warming it up to get better attenuation of the yeast. So yeah warm that bad boy up somehow.

As for the measuring tools they are pretty easy to use. It definitely isn’t hard but a good way to see what is happening during fermentation.

Hydrometer readings for 1 gallon batches seems iffy to me. At several ounces being burned off per sample, that could quickly add up to a sizable portion of the whole batch getting sacrificed on the altar of the obsessive-compulsive gods.

+1 Only have a handful of 1 gal. batches under my belt. I don’t plan on using a hydrometer until I start doing 5 gallons.

Sorry I totally forgot you were doing 1 gal.

Yeah a hydrometer is a little too much of a sample for a 1 gal.

Better just give it time.

If it is at the lower range temp. wise you have to just be more patient. I always start the fermentation with the temp. at the low end of the range to prevent any off flavors although it does increase the lag time. Then after a few days I start gradually warming it up to get better attenuation of the yeast. So yeah warm that bad boy up somehow.

Is it worth attempting to warm it up this late in the fermentation? Did I possibly mess this batch up by keeping it at the low end of the temp spectrum? Also, I store it in the finished area of my basement and that’s the warmest/quietest spot to keep it. I already have a towel wrapped and tied around it.

Temperature is important, protection from UV light is important, keeping the beer in a quiet spot is not important. As it is a one-gallon jug, you could just put it in a cardboard box and stick it under your kitchen table. Or in the back of a closet. Wherever you can find a spot that is in the high 60s would be ideal. And yes, if the yeast were sluggish due to the low temperature, warming it up a bit now would be helpful. Though it is much more likely that the spot you had them at was sufficiently warm for them to work well.

It’s bottling day and I just have one quick question…I have brand new bottles from Northern Brewer…do I need to clean them with PBW or is just sanitizing them good enough??

No need to clean new bottles, just sanitize with StarSan or the like. I’m fairly new at this as well but just a little advice that I heard many times but still didn’t practice. Most of the beers you make get better with age! My first batch I just couldn’t wait any longer and started drinking 2 weeks after bottling. It really started tasting good by the time I got to the last few bottles and that was a 5 gallon batch! When I drank the last one I was pretty upset that I didn’t take the advice offered so many times on this forum. Good luck to you and welcome to the hobby/obsession!
:cheers:

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