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Bourbon Barrel Porter fermentation

OK, I just have a bad feeling about this. Let me run through the things I did and maybe you can make me feel better (or worse) about it all lol.

First off, I used all of both bags of DME. Now, I could have sworn one had 0.5 lbs and one had 1 lb but the instructions list 1 lb of each and say to use 0.5 lbs of one of them (wheat I think?). I definitely used the entire contents, whatever that was.

Because my house is 76 and I feel I’ve been fermenting too warm, I put my fermenter in an ice chest with cold water surrounding it. The water actually started off around 57 (a little too cold) but I suspect the in-fermenter temp was about where it should be (low to mid 60s).

This is a 1 gal small batch, but because of the violent fermentation characteristics I’ve read so much about, I bought a 2 gal plastic bucket fermenter and used the standard airlock on top. It bugs me that I can’t see inside though…and the lid doesn’t really fit tightly. It’s flush, but I can lift it off.

Because my yield has been low, I started with more water (close to 1.5 gal) and ended up with a bit more than 1 gal in the fermenter.

OK, so that’s what I did. What I’ve noticed were no airlock bubbling, at least not that I could see…I didn’t sit there and stare at it for minutes at a time, but still. I pulled the lid at one point, and it looked like stuff was happening, and nothing smelled weird. But still. I expected more visible activity, even with the 2 gal bucket.

So…how screwed am I here?

No, you are fine. Quit looking at it and give it a day or two to get going. In the end, you will have beer.

Quit looking at it…I HATE the plastic buckets for this reason :smiley:

Don’t worry too much about the lid not fitting tightly. Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer speak frequently of the benefits of open fermentation. Jamil states he thinks airlocks are over-used and he has stated that for primary fermentation a piece of sanitized foil will keep O2 out of the fermentor while allowing CO2 to escape. Relax, remember that brewing a good beer is only slightly more difficult that brewing a bad beer.

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