Hi all, I’m a first time brewer but long time beer lover. I brewed the American Wheat beer kit last Thursday PM (5 days ago) using Safale dry yeast provided with the kit. I have had next to no airlock activity since sealing the bucket and I opened today and noted no presence of krauzen. I pitched the yeast when the wort was ~75 degrees and the bucket has been in a 66 degree room since the boil. Could the beer have already completed fermenting or perhaps I somehow killed the yeast? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
It could be all done with visible activity by 5 days. You could have a leaky top that let gas escape.Is there a visible ring just above the liquid surface where krausen would have been?
But, the only way to really know is to take a SG. I normally would wait for a couple weeks, but in this case I’d take a sample just to give me peace of mind. Because if there truly has been no activity, then you need to get some active yeast in there asap.(by the way- your temps were very good)
Thanks for the response Jim. Yes, there was a ring at the top of the liquid that looked like it may have been the remnants of the krauzen. Would it do any harm pitching new yeast for the remainder of the 2 week fermenting period recommended with the kit? This has been fun so far and I’d like to have some drinkable beer out of this batch and learn as I go. Should I just wait until the 2 week recommended brew period is over, then bottle and hope for the best? Thanks again for the help.
I would bet that your active fermentation is finished. Jim’s right, probably a leaky lid. You’d be wasting yeast if you pitched more. Let her go for a good two weeks, three wouldn’t hurt. Then take an SG reading. Take another one two or three days later. If they’re the same, then it’s finished. But don’t bottle until you’ve given the yeast time to clean up after themselves. There’s still a lot going on even after the bubbling stops and the krausen falls.
American Wheat was my first brew too. I made a few mistakes but it came out great. 66 is an ok temp to ferment this beer at, but if your room is at 66, then your beer will be at least 5 or 6 degrees higher during active fermentation–the time where fusel alcohol and weird flavors can be produced if the temp is too high. Decide on a fermentation temp and shoot for just a degree or two under that before you pitch, then do your best to hold your temp steady for at least 3 or 4 days. Google ‘swamp cooler’ for ideas on keeping temps down.
This is a fairly forgiving recipe, and it looks like you’re doing fine. Just be patient-this will be beer, and might be way better than you even expected!
Welcome to the obsession jb, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on!
I just started my first brew as well using the American Wheat (this past Sunday). I have been paranoid ever since I put the batch in the primary fermenter. Here is what I can tell you with my batch:
- First 12 hours nothing happening - temp 66
- By 24 hours, was seeing bubbles, and the air lock was doing its thing - temp 68
- By 48, no more bubbles
- Currently, a Krauzen layer has formed and I can see yeast action in the brew. - temp 70
Attached is a picture as of last night.
Hope this gives you a reference.
Thanks to all of you for the posts and insight. I got a hydrometer yesterday and I’m going to let the yeast keep munching away until next Thursday (2 weeks since boil), then check SG and take another reading a couple days later and bottle if SG remains steady. Thanks again, I’ll let you know how it turns out!
Jim, Ron, Jason,
An update to let you know that all of your advise was spot on and that my beer turned out better than I could have hoped. I popped the the top on the first bottle on Thursday and am very pleased. My next attempt will be an Irish Ale. Thanks again for your sage advice.
That is good to hear. I have a few more days to reach my 2 week bottle conditioning. I tried one last week and it tasted pretty good, but needed a little more carbonation. Hopefully the extra week will help.
This style benefits from good carbonation. A good trick I learned from this forum to get the most out of the remaining yeast is to gently invert each bottle twice during conditioning to rouse the yeast.
I do this as well. We probably read the same posts! :cheers: