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First brew, how does it look?

Made my first batch yesterday. I chose Caribou Slobber since it’s dark and winter time where I live. I finished cooking about 11 am yesterday and bottled it up. Around 10 last night, it had a nice thick layer of brownish yellow foam on top. This is what it looks like at 9 this morning? How does it look? Figured the thick layer of foam would have been around longer. Thanks!

Here is a pic of this am

Looks like beer that was fermented very warm, finished the most active fermentation overnight, and had a small blow off leaving beer in the airlock.

Clean and sanitize the airlock?

What temp did you ferment at if you know and what yeast did you use?
I agree, looks like it got a little warm, but it’s still fermenting isn’t it?

Still has some foam on top and little bubbles coming through. It’s in the center closet inside my house. Temp stays around 68 so I imagine it stayed around 70. Should I take the airlock and clean and sanitize it? I waited til the beer was very cool before I racked it.

I used Danstair yeast that came with the kit

Yes. Clean and replace the airlock and google swamp cooler as a way to control fermentation temperatures which can become problematic for new brewers(and old brewers):slight_smile:

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Yeah I would take it off and clean it just for good measure. That thing is covered in gunk now. I know there’s fluid in the airlock, but why take the chance of bacteria spreading.
I’m sure it’s fine. The thing I’d make sure of is fermentation stalling and calling it quits too soon. Sounds like that isn’t an issue yet tho with it still bubbling. Don’t remember what your original gravity was? Assuming you checked.

With this being my first kit, I didn’t test it nor do I have the equipment just yet. Haha. Should I clean with PBW and sanitize or just rinse it and sanitize? Thanks for your help. Nervous about my first kit and feel like I will have to find a new place to keep my fermenter next time.

My (limited, but recent) experience with Windsor yeast is that the active fermentation stage is short - the thick layer of foam that you describe will disappear within 1 or 2 days. So what you are seeing seems reasonable to me. There is still a lot of fermentation activity going on, so let it sit for two - three weeks (from the brew date) before bottling.

This temperature range will be OK for your 1st batch. Ask the forum how it measures temperature and what some other options might be for controlling temperature.

For your next batch, in addition to the a swamp cooler, consider a blow-off tube for the 1st couple of days of activity fermentation:

You can just wash it with regular dish soap and give it a GOOD rinse sonthere isn’t any aroma from the soap. Dunk it in starsan and your good.

And remember, you have a 1 gallon batch. There isn’t a huge volume of sugars for the yeast to consume.
Like Chertel recommended, use a blow off tube next time. The tube can just go into a jar of water and starsan.
Another thing, if you haven’t done it already, probably wouldn’t hurt to buy John Palmers book called HOW TO BREW. Great read and I know a lot of experienced homebrewers that still reference info in that book.

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Another thing to remember is that fermentation is exothermic and produces heat. So if you are fermenting at 70° ambient your temps can easily go into the 73° range which is pretty high for most yeast.

As somebody mentioned, search swamp cooler for easy cheap ways to keep the temps down.

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I think my kit came with a 3/8 hose that I think is for that. So next time, hose in water and sanitizer for a couple days then replace with blow off? Speaking of checking temperature, I have seen some people with a stick on temperature gauge to the outside of the carboy, where do I find those at?

Got that book right after someone got me my kit, read the first chapter before I brewed and have read a couple of chapters since then. As far as cleaning the blow off, after I clean it, I put a tablespoon of sanitizer in it before attaching it, right?

There should be a fill line on the air lock. The three piece is great for use with a blow off tube. My general preference is the S-style. Good idea to have a couple of spares on hand. They can get cracked if not handled gently. I had to cut the tubing off a three piece the last time I used it to attach a blow off tube.

I use the strip type fermometers. I don’t think NB carries them anymore. The strip type is ideal for one gallon fermentors since they are attached horizontally with less chance of being in the water of a swamp cooler.

Quite frankly you could use vodka or whisky for your airlock if you wanted. It’s kind of a waste but you’ll have to mix a small cup of star San and water and pour that in. I know things can be overwhelming with numbers and calculations, but when using a small amount of star San for an airlock,just use common sense when mixing it. You just need something in there.

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Recently used vodka in an s type airlock because the darn starsan kept bubbling away into the atmosphere with the vigorous fermentation with Wyeast 1028 in a porter. Problem solved with cheap vodka!

Correct.

amazon.com appears to still have have the long fermometer strips @flars mentioned. If you have a local homebrew store, they may have them as well.

One gallon carboy geometry suggests that you could put the carboy in about 4" of water with the new FermagraF°™.

  • it’s 8" from the bottom of a one gallon carboy to the bottom of the “one gallon” lettering
  • the taper of the carboy starts at about 7" from the bottom of the carboy
  • FermagraF°™ are 3" x 3"
  • so that would leave about 4" of water for the carboy to set in.

4" of water may be enough.

Also, I have trimmed the long fermometer strips to fit within the ribs of the Little Big Mouth Bubbler®:


so it may be that the FermagraF°™ can be cut in half to add 1.5" to the water that the carboy can sit in. Packing tape on the bottom of the fermometer or FermagraF°™ does offer some resilience to water splashed on it.

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