First time brewer, couple Chinook IPA extract Q's

First off, hello everyone. Recently started brewing and my first batch is the 5 gallon extract kit from NB. I used everything in the kit and kept the recipe simple as described. I have a couple questions that I’m sure are relatively basic for most but I just want to make sure I’m on track.

  1. How long is typical for this recipe to ferment? This was brewed Sunday morning and Mon/Tues/Wed morning the yeast was doing serious work. Wed night the bubble slowed and by Thursday (today) they are at about 2 per 90 seconds. It is about 68 degrees in the room. Is this typical? Is there any need to pitch more yeast?

  2. I know the recipe kit calls for 6 total weeks to ferment, but much of what I have read says that may be a bit long. Here is my current plan:

12 days in primary
7 days dry hop
Bottle for 7 days

Total of 26 days from start fermentation to drinking. Any suggestions on this? I unfortunately do not have a hydrometer (will definitely pick up for next batch) so taking OG and FG is out of the question.

Thanks a lot in advance for any advice, looking forward to hearing any responses!

I probably speak for most everybody on this list when I say brewing beer without taking SG readings is out of the question. Go on ebay if you can’t afford a hydrometer and flask anywhere else. Most starter kits come with one these days. The problem is that you can’t tell if your beer is done or your fermentation stalled. If you bottle a stalled beer and if starts fermenting again, the bottles will explode. So if you think risking a visit to the ER is better than saving a few bucks, well that’s up to you. We can’t tell you when a beer is done. All beers ferment at different rates. Even the same kit brewed at the same time could ferment differently. The only way to ascertain the completion of a beer is to do SG readings.

This is true about the hydrometer reading. But if you ferment fo two weeks and then add your dry hops for another week I’ll bet that beer will be pretty much done especially at that temp. If you bottle them try a couple after a week and then after two. Once they get were they are good just keep them cold and they will not ferment anymore. Drink up, but do get a hydrometer.

John Palmer has a free online version of How to Brew. I suggest reading it to assist in understanding the brewing process. Also, get on this forum… Read read read. Hope this helps you.

Edited to correct autocorrect errors.

New brewer hear also. So I will give you my point of view as a newbie also.
I have 2 finished beers and 2 almost done so far all extract as of now.
First was the Caribou Slobber that came with the kit. I pretty much followed the directions to a tee, 2 weeks in primary, 2 weeks in secondary. One thing I wish I would have done some more research was on using priming sugar for carbonation as they turned out very carbonated, once the head dies they do taste very good so I am pleased overall with the beer. I did not take any gravity readings as I didn’t have the equipment and probably wouldn’t have known what to do if to high or low at the time.
I have read that when doing extract following instructions gravity should match what they show on the recipe pretty good.
Second beer was the Zombie Dirt, again followed the instructions, only thing I changed was it said 1-2 weeks in secondary then add 3oz of dry hops, then 1-2 weeks more, I added 1oz to secondary then racked beer, then 10 days later added remaining 2oz for 2 weeks. By then I had purchased a kegarator, so racked to keg force carb’d at 20psi for 3 days moved psi down to 9 and beer was nicely carb’d.
Third beer was the bourbon barrel porter, I did take OG and was right on what recipe said, only thing I did different was also add vanilla beans soaked in vanilla vodka to it. I plan to keg Monday, carb then put on nitro, can’t wait.
Fourth beer was a 1 gallon Cranberry Wit. In bottles currently I did not take any gravity readings since only getting aprox 10 beers out of 1 gallon don’t want to waist the beer.
Once I start doing BIAB I will start doing gravity readings more regularly. I have kept my beer in my secondary bedroom which consistently a little cooler then the rest of my place so typically 65-68, and have found fermentation kicks off good and runs for a few days. I haven’t got any bad or weird tastes so far.
Like someone mentioned it becomes addictive and you can spend quite a lot quickly, as I said I went to kegging after just 1 batch.
I would recommend staying as close to the recipe as possible for at least the first few batches, I know the waiting is the hardest part, one of the reasons I am going to try and 1 gallon batches so I can get some beer in 3-4 weeks.
Have fun and enjoy the beer.