I am a new brewer and started my first brew on Friday night. The fermentation process seemed to be going well through the weekend. There was activity in the fermentation lock and a good amount of foam in the carboy. I took a look this morning, which is 2.5 days into fermentation, and pretty much all of the activity has stopped in the lock and all of the foam is gone. It’s in a dark closet which maintains a temperature from about 68 - 72 degrees. Since I’m new at this, I don’t know if this is normal or not. Any thoughts?
Most likely what you’re seeing is a fast fermentation due to the beer being too warm. If the air temperature is ~70°F then the beer probably got over 75°F. Generally, you want to keep the BEER temperature under 70°F.
Take a gravity reading in a few days, then another a few days after that. If they’re the same, the beer is probably finished fermenting. You could transfer it to bottle/keg at that point, but a little extra time on the yeast will help to clean up the off-flavors from the warm fermentation. This being your first beer, I’d guess you under-pitched as well, and that could also cause problems.
All that said, the beer will probably be fine.
Thanks for the advice. Unfortunatley I don’t have much of a choice in locations. The only other option I have where the tempurature would be different is in my garage. My concern with that is that the temp flucuates too much. This time of year it will dip into the 50’s or colder and then heat up to the 60’s during the day.
A swamp cooler can also be used as a thermal stabilizer. Put in warm water when it gets cool and cool water when it gets warm. The bigger the container, the more it will reduce the temp swings.
Swamp cooler is definitely a good way to go. A good cheap way to maintain your fermentation temps! With cooler weather, plan on using a small aquarium heater in your swamp cooler to maintain adequate fermentation temps. It will kick on and off depending on the abient temp in the room or closet. Then check the temp of the water and dial it in to your temp!