This is my first attempt at brewing. I did the caribou slobber. Moved to secondary fermenter after 8 days in primary. Fermentation appeared done but I didn’t have a gravity test kit at the time. It’s been in the secondary for several days. I noticed it has a strong alcohol, sweet fruity smell. Is this normal, or did I rush the time in the primary?
What temperature did you ferment at?
About 66 degrees.
You may have fermented this beer at to high of temperature for the yeast used. This is just from your description of strong alcohol aroma and fruity smell. Was 66° the temperature of the fermenting beer from the start or the ambient room temperature? If it was 66° ambient then your fermentation temperature was probably 3° to 5° higher. Fusel alcohols are produced at high fermentation temperatures. Fusel alcohols have a very strong bite on the nose though. Your fermentation may not have produced any fusels.
The yeasts offered by NB for the Caribou Slobber will produce fruity flavors at the higher end of their fermentation range. Which yeast did you use?
Eight days in the primary is fairly short. Even if fermentation had been done the cleanup of by products may not have been achieved. Two weeks in the primary is short for my beers. I typically go at least three weeks.
Plan to leave this one in the primary for at least a couple of weeks to see what happens. Take a SG reading as soon as possible, and then another a few days later.
Right now you have a very green beer. Some age in the secondary may change what you are sensing. Keep us posted on how this beer is coming along.
66 degrees was the reading on the fermometer. I used dry danstar Windsor ale yeast. Should I add additional yeast to the secondary?
I might have used Windsor at 62° to 64°, but 66° is not a high temperature fermentation. Your fermentation temperature will not produce fusel alcohols. You are just sensing a very green beer. Let it stay in the secondary at least another week or two to make sure the SG is stable. No need for anymore yeast. Caribou Slobber likes a long bottle aging time. Try your first one after four weeks. Keep the carbonation low, about 2.1 to 2.2 volumes of CO2. High carbonation will have a bite that detracts from the flavors of CS.
Use NB’s carbonation calculator. Weigh the amount of priming sugar to use. Weighing is much more accurate than trying to eye ball a measuring cup.
Caribou Slobber is one of my favorites. Was looking for Windsor today to brew another one, but the local store only has Muntons ale yeasts now.
Caribou Slobber was my first also. My ambient temp was probably around 66 also temp on fermentor was around 70 when fermentation was going heavy for first 3-4 days. I kept it in the primary for 12 or 13 days then secondary for 14. I also re-hydrated the yeast, though some say that doesn’t make much of a difference.
One thing I would not use the 5oz of priming sugar provided! I did and my beers were over carb’d. It took like 10 minutes to pour a beer and let the head die. The beer still tasted very good and got good reviews from all who tried it.
Welcome to the hobby. I started in July and already have a keggerator.
I’ll plan on keeping it in the secondary for at least two weeks. Along the way I’ll do a couple gravity and taste tests. Thanks everyone and I’ll keep you posted!
I did a gravity test which resulted in 1.016. Also drank a sample. The aftertaste is like a semi dry wine. Not sure what to do at this point.
Nothing left to do now except give the CS some more time. Check SG again in a few days. 1.016 is a higher final gravity than the Slobbers I’ve brewed and it seems unusual to have a dry finish at that SG.
Check the calibration of your hydrometer in distilled water. The calibration temperature is often 60°F. The temperature is printed on the card inside the hydrometer. Hydrometer should read 1.000 at the calibration temperature.
Calibration is right on. Came in again at 1.016. Any piont to leaving it in the secondary, or should I just bottle it? It’s very clear, at least.
A quandry. Your CS is very clear which means there is extremely little yeast in suspension. It may be done fermenting. The SG is higher than any of the Slobbers I’ve brewed though. Every fermentation is different because there are variables which are never exactly the same so a minor difference for FG doesn’t mean to much. Maybe just for safety keep you CS in the secondary for a few more days. Might be hard to notice a difference in SG during a slow finish when the readings are one day apart.
While taking the sample I must have stirred up some yeast, because the airlock is bubbling again. ??? I’ll certainly leave it for a few more days at least. Thanks again.