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First Time Brewer

Hey everyone,

So I’m a first time brewer, I purchased the standard brewing kit with the Caribou Slobber ale. I brewed on Saturday, today is Wednesday and my air lock has no bubbles, I’m worried that I’m not fermenting, any guidance on what to do would be great.

Thanks

Easy answer is it is probably fine. Don’t rely on the airlock to tell you what is going on. What does the beer itself look like? If you are nervous you could always take a gravity reading and see if it has been fermenting. Does it smell like fermentation?

Apart from that… what temp are you fermenting at? What temp did you add the yeast at?

It’s probably fine.

What was the temperature of the wort when you pitched your yeast?

Are you fermenting in a bucket? If so, the NB buckets really don’t seal, so you may not get bubbles. Pop the top and see what’s going on.

So I added the yeast at just under 80 degrees, I am using the bucket to ferment. I just spooked at it,
it has a layer if light brown speckled like substance on the top, and beer underneath is dark brown.

I’m also fermenting in a room that is maintained at about 69-72 degrees, coolest spots have. I don’t know how to take a gravity reading.

I think this should post the photo I just snapped of the beer.

Were there bubbles before? It’s entirely possible primary fermentation is over. IT still doesn’t mean it’s ready to bottle, the yeast need to clean up after themselves and re-absorb off flavors and such. IME, the faster the primary, the more it needs to sit afterwards.
You’re probably in good shape, as Papazian said, "relax, Don’t Worry, Have a (home)brew.

80 degrees is a little higher than desired for fermentation, but certainly not hot enough to kill the yeast. My guess is at that temp it fermented out very fast and is already done.

Look inside the bucket. Fermentaion is easy to see and smell. If it is already past high fermentation you should see signs (leftover “scumline” from the Krausen for example - should also smell like beer.

Gravity readings are pretty easy to figure out once you get a hydrometer and test jar.

Although . . . if you pitched just under 80 and the room is 69-72 with no temp control on the fermentation . . . you’re probably going to have some pretty hot tasting beer. It’ll still be beer, but you’re going to notice a “hot”, solventy taste from alcohol products other than ethanol.

This is likely the case. But from my experience, I did not always pick up on all those off flavors when I first started out. Now that I have been doing it for years I notice just about anything.

Follow through on this and see what you think of it. Next time try and get that starting temp down.

Right now you are just trying to get the basics down. Don’t worry too much about the finer details.

But yes, that is going to be a little “hot” tasting for sure.

I know this is your first batch and all but patience is rewarding in this hobby. My advice would be to put the lid back on and just forget about it until a week from now, then take a gravity reading with a hydrometer

, check it again a few days later and if it’s the same you can go ahead and bottle. NB doesn’t include hydrometers with their kits anymore, which is kind of odd because I think it’s one of more important pieces of equipment a brewer can own, you can pick one up at a brew shop or a place like Amazon.com.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”]Right now you are just trying to get the basics down. Don’t worry too much about the finer details.
[/quote]Good advice, get this one under your belt. In the meantime you can read up on fermentation temperatures and ways to control it and all kinds of good stuff, right here on this forum.

Even easier…put the lid back on for 2 weeks, then bottle. Sounds like it is already done heavy fermentation. Unless there is an actual problem (which sounds doubtfull) it will be ready.

But yes, you may want to get a hydormeter eventually and learn how to use it.

+1
This should be in every intro to brewing book/video/kit instructions.

+1
This should be in every intro to brewing book/video/kit instructions.[/quote]
…or the first kit could be something like a Hefe. You know it’s fermenting when the bucket lid explodes.

Both batches of CS that I have brewed had a very active and quick fermentation. The first was my very first batch-I had no temp control, and room temp was probably about 70(so my fermentation was at about 75).made good use of the blowoff tube. Still turned out good.

Second batch is in primary now. I brewed sunday, pitched at 11am at 56F, and had activity during that night. Went all day yesterday with the blowoff tube(definitely needed it) and stopped sometime this afternoon. Beer temp was at 62 or lower during this entire time. So I only had about 36 hours or so of what I would call very active fermentation. So even with the temp control, my observable activity didn’t change much-short and sweet. What I do expect to change, though, is the quality of the beer.

This is my eleventh brew and I still feel like a total newbie. But with the help of all these fine folks, I’ve been able to make some pretty good beer. So Drox, leave that sucker in the primary a few weeks longer I’m sure it’ll be fine–and welcome to the most fun you can have with your underwear still on!

Awesome advice everyone, I’ll pick up a hydrometer and let you know how it comes out.

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