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First Brewing - how to confirm primary fermentation

Thanks. Unfortunately I did not yet have my hydrometer when I started the kit. The sheet for the chinook iPad says the OG is 1.053.
I am going to put the dry hops in today I think ( assuming the gravity reading is constant for the third day). Then I guess I will wait at least a week before bottling. Instructions say 1-2 weeks…
Then I will let it condition in the bottle for two weeks and use your tactic of chilling one and trying it.

Chinook “IPA…”…spell check/ auto correct got me on prev post

HI tominboston, Just one more perspective, I’m a busy newbie with ~50 extract 5-gal batches in my 1st two years of HB’ing. I’ve learned to just give the primary some time… a few days after seeing any airlock activity at all…and having an idea of what to expect from that particular yeast strain… and then transfer to secondary (or on some simple brews, just give it another week or 2 and bottle). I quit bothering with measuring OG and FG (GASP! I’m sure there are differing opinions on this!)… I have a nice steady, not-too-warm basement fermentation spot. I feel like my biggest ‘upgrades’ from a starter kit have been small investments in an oxygenation regulator/wand/stone; a couple Ehrlenmeyer flasks and a $42 stir plate for making starters; a few extra 5-gal plastic carboys; and a few books. Many beers benefit from a few weeks of conditioning… it took me awhile to just not be in a hurry to bottle. Having extra carboys allows me to have multiple batches in process at a time… I fell into some free stuff which is doable if you ask around on your community forums and such… like most hobbies, not everyone sticks with it, (or scales up), and there are probably a gazillion sets of home brewing kits out there gathering dust. Read, meet HB’ers, use good sanitizing practices, try stuff, keep good records, and, have fun tweaking things. I’ve only made one batch I ‘dumped’ so far and that was from going with ‘ehhhhh this looks good’ on fresh vanilla bean without doing any research. OOPS.

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Hey thanks for the tips. Sounds like you have quite a bit of experience under your belt. Sounds like I will be ok with my first batch (Chinook IPA) from the kit. Once I get it bottled I am going to do a nice easy Bavarian Heffe. Since I travel to Germany occasionally it will be interesting to see just how Bavarian it tastes.
I am ready the joy of home brewing now so hopefully I will start to understand all the cause and effect of the ingredients and process variables. I am starting to accumulate quite a bit of “stuff” and I have not even finished the first batch. So I too will need to make a little space in my old cellar to dedicate to the hobby.

What do you do to detect a stuck fermentation?

Never had one when I used to measure, and all my beers have fermented (or at least tasted) great, I am pretty careful to not underpitch, usually use a starter and see the creamy awesomeness of my yeast,my temperature is steady… but the, simplest answer to your question is that I do nothing to detect a stuck fermentation…

I used to live in an irregularly insulated 150 year old house just outside of Boston, and from a brewing perspective it was great! No matter what the weather was like, I could always find a spot that had a perfect ambient temperature for fermenting ale any time of the year regardless of the weather. Could only do lagers during the winter.
There are also some great local brew shops in the area. I used to go to one in Woburn and one in Marlborough. Look them up so you have the option to pick something up fast, or browse to see what’s new.
Also, if you want to learn more about brewing that how, why and what you are doing, pick up a copy of “How to Brew” by John Palmer. It is a great book for new brewers.

Hope you never have a stuck fermentation, but if you do and you don’t detect it, you will end up with exploding bottles. It would be a lot safer to check.
I have had stuck fermentation a few times, mostly because I pitched older yeast strains (all I could get in the bad old days). But not always. If you brew a saison with the DuPont yeast, it is famous for stopping three quarters of the way through, then picking up again after being stuck for a week or more.

And be carefull dont drop the hydrometer in your fermenting bucket. So it brake in two pieces. Damm had that on my second brew. So did buy a testing kit.

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Good to know, thanks.

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