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Caribou Slobber Primary Fermentation - Krausen Fell

So I’m a new home brewer and my first batch of Caribou Slobber is in primary fermentation. Not knowing how the fermentation should look as it progresses, I have a question.

After transferring the wort into the carboy, aerating it, and then pitching the yeast my fermentation started going for it 11 hours later (nice thick krausen and the airlock going crazy). After roughly 24 hours the krausen had fallen pretty much all the way and airlock activity dropped to about one bubble per minute. From what I have read I was under the assumption that active fermentation should last about 48 hours and then start to decline. I’m just wondering if this is normal, if it’s bad, and if the finished product will still turn out alright.

Here are a few details about the brew day and fermentation.

I didn’t have a kettle big enough to bring 6 gallons to a boil so I settled for 5 gallons.
I followed the instructions on the kit for steeping specialty grains and for the hop additions
I added half of a whirlfloc tab in the last 15 min of the boil
I put the wort chiller in the last 10 min of the boil
cooled wort to 80 degrees in about 15-20 min
I transferred the wort into the carboy and added 1 gallon of water to bring it to 5 gallons
I sealed the carboy and rocked it to aerate the wort
Pitched the yeast (dry variety that came with the kit) when wort was at 74 degrees

Fermentation: starting temp (fermometer reading) was 74 degrees
day 1: within 11 hours active fermentation started
day 2: krausen fell and temp was reading 64 degrees
day 3: krausen was gone and temp was holding at 64 degrees, I swirled the carboy to try and stir up the yeast thinking that might help.
day 4: nothing changed and temp still reading 64 degrees.

I would really appreciate any input or advice.

Thanks!

#1 Hydrometer readings are the only real way to gauge fermentation. So no matter what anyone says in response to your thread it is as good as your current guess.

#2 http://www.howtobrew.com
As an addition to your first kit instruction/s if you haven’t yet found Johns free resource.

ITs is right. The only way to tell is with a hydrometer reading. With that being said you pitched your yeast at 74° which means that it likely went into hyperdrive and fermented the wort that fast. I like that you maintained temps at 64° but at that point the bulk of fermentation was started/done. The first day is the most important in terms of temps and off flavors. Next time get your wort to mid 60°s before you pitch and hold it there.

Thanks for the input and additional resources. I forgot to take my OG reading before pitching the yeast (newbie mistake) so I wasn’t sure it would be worth taking a reading at this point with nothing to gauge it against.

Too early to take a gravity reading IMHO. You’re only 4 days in by the timeline you show above so just let the yeast do it’s work. If you had taken the OG you could determine your ABV with that number and the FG but if you have a hydrometer that’s your best tool to determine when fermentation is complete. A consistent gravity reading over the course of a few days will tell you that fermentation has completed.

So give it at least 2 weeks before your first gravity reading, sanitize your thief and do NOT put the samples back in the fermenter. Drink it! Wait 2-3 days and take another reading. If gravity is still dropping then leave it alone for a week or so and repeat. Once you get 2-3 consistent readings you’ll know your yeast has finished making beer for you.

Update:
So I couldn’t wait two weeks to take a gravity reading… hopefully my patience will increase the further down the road I get in homebrewing. Here are the results after two readings. The wort had not had any noticiable changes during the 3-4 days leading up to the first reading (still holding at 64 degrees and no krausen)

Gravity reading 1:
Taken 1 week into fermentation it was reading 1.014. Tasted alright considering it isn’t finished yet.

Gravity reading 2:
Taken 9 days into fermentation it was still reading 1.014…maybe a hair lower but not by much. Tasted about the same this time as it did the first.

Should I leave it alone for another week before racking to the secondary or do the two readings indicte that it’s time for the transfer?

Thanks.

as far secondary’s go with ales I only do them to dry hop or if I need to get the yeast to fall out more. Has the beer cleared up any yet? 14 days is when I bottle most of my ales, but some would say that is to early. all I can say is that my beer tastes good. to get the beer clear you can lower the temp a few days before bottling but 64 is not to bad. I put mine on the cement floor for two days then bottle. the temp down there is at about 56. I would give it 2 weeks then bottle. good luck p.s the earliest I have ever bottled an ale is at 10 days.

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