This is my first time on the forums; I just started my first batch last week with one of the brewing kits.
My question is regarding fermentation. The first day or two, there air lock was bubbling quite a bit but then it just suddenly stopped. I’m not sure if it matters, but I also noticed a small ‘crust’ on top of the red ring that the air lock plugs in to.
The recipe I used called for and came with a dry yeast. I dumped the contents of the packet on top of the aerated wort as instructed/shown in the video. I did not mix up the contents afterwards though, I just sealed up the lid after I dumped on the yeast. The fermenter is currently being stored in our finished basement in a wine cellar that was built under the stairs; it should be around 67-68F.
Any suggestions? Should I leave it be or do I need to take action?
How warm was the wort when you pitched yeast?
Sounds like the most active phase of fermentation is done. The crust you’re seeing is likely a bit of dried krauesen from a very active fermentation.
The yeast will continue the fermentation for a few more days to a week, usually not longer. Take a specific gravity sample on about day 10, then take another sample 3 or 4 days later. If the specific gravity readings are the same the fermentation is done. I’ll bottle about day 21. This gives the beer time to clear and the yeast/trub layer to compact.
I didn’t do a temperature reading; I just cooled the wort until the sides of the pot were barely luke warm and then added 2 gallons of room temp tap water to the fermentor.
Good advice from @flars
On your next batch try to control the fermentation temperature better. Without knowing what yeast you were using or anything about the recipe I’m guessing you just pitched and fermented a bit too warm. The yeast were happy to do their thing but these conditions don’t always make for the best final product.
Generally with ales you want to pitch on the low end of the optimal temperature range. Typically in the low to mid 60s and keep the temperature in that range for at least the first 3-4 days, the most active period of fermentation. In your 68ish space that means using something like a swamp cooler to lower the temperature 5-6 degrees.
A simple swamp cooler could be a tub of water you could place the fermenter in, place an old tee shirt over it with the bottom in the water and point a fan at it. There are other way…google swamp cooler and you’ll see some other ideas. I personally use cube coolers and place frozen water bottles inside to get my ales fermenting at 62-63 degrees.
Welcome to the forum and have fun brewing!
Thanks for the advice!
It’s my first time, so I went in expecting some errors and for it to be a learning process.