First time with fermenting bucket

This is my third batch of NB kit beer. I’m fermenting the Bourbon Barrel Porter and it’s my first time using a bucket instead of my glass carboy and also my first time using a yeast starter with Wyeast Scottish Ale strain. I made the starter a day before brewing. I left it out at room temp for about 12 hours then stuck it in the fridge for another 12. After brewing the Porter, I decanted the starter, added 8 oz of boiled, cooled water, vigorously swirled it and pitched it into my batch (which had cooled to a lovely 78* thanks to the greatest invention, the Immersion Chiller). I snapped the lid down, locking onto my bucket and took my airlock from the sanitized and put it on. It’s been 16 hours since and I don’t see any activity in my airlock. The level has moved back and forth between the chambers but only slightly. I’m used to being able to see Krausen activity by this point and with the bucket, that isn’t possible. Am I just being neurotic and paranoid I’ve screwed up this batch? Thanks for taking your time with this lenghty read. I enjoy all your feedback. :cheers:



Its because you can’t see it now. You are used to seeing the krausen, putting you at ease that the yeast are doing their work!

One other thing though, you want to cool that wort WAY cooler than 78*. I would chill it down to a few degrees below your fermentation temperature then pitch your yeast. At what temp are you fermenting this beer?

Thanks. I know I can get very paranoid about these things. I’m fermenting at about 67*. Think I should move it to a warmer spot? As the day drags on, the ambient temp in my living room tops out at 72*. I just put slight pressure on the top of the lid and I got a bunch of bubbles moving through the airlock so that, coupled with your reassuances, my mind is somewhat at ease. I’ll be waay better once i transfer to secondary.

Just keep in mind that airlock activity does not equal fermentation activity. I know those bubbles makes us feel all good and happy, but often times they really don’t mean anything other than CO2 escaping (which CAN be generated by fermentation).

Also keep in mind that you need to monitor temperature of the BEER not of the ambient air. Fermentation generates heat, and it can be up to 5-7* WARMER than your room. Think of a bunch of people having an orgy and a gluttonous feast in a small room…that room might be a little warm…or, on second thought, don’t think about that at all…

Therefore, if you are fermenting in a room that is 72*, the BEER could be at 78-80* very easily especially during high krausen. That is outright hot. I would suggest getting a small tub of water that will fit your ale pail, and keeping that at your desired ferm temperature (think of that same group of people in a bigger room). It will be harder for the activity to raise the temperature because it will be a bigger thermal mass.

This sounds like a big beer, and it will be alcoholic/solventy/fusely if you don’t keep a collar on that fermentation temp.

Grab a temp strip (or a few) on your next order, stick them to your fermenter, and read up on temp control. It will change your ‘homebrew’ to ‘beer’.

No, do not move it to a warmer spot. Pushing on the lid is just creating a negative pressure in the bucket, it doesn’t mean it’s fermenting. But it probably is. Avoid pushing on the lid in the future. How big of a starter did you make? In the future, try to make the starter at least 2 days in advance. Since you did the day before this time, you should’ve just pitched the whole thing, if it was a 1 liter starter. It probably wasn’t completely finished yet. Either way, you’re likely to make beer and it will probably be pretty good as long as you sanitized like a mo-fo.


I agree.

But seriously, right now I’m using a glass carboy for primary for the first time, after 2 years of only using buckets for primary. I can’t believe how fugly it is!

I assume mine is OK. Yours will be also!

Bucket lids don’t always seal well. CO2 escapes under the lid. If you pop off the lid I bet its got krauesen unless its already dropped due to the warm temp. RDWHAHB

There’s nothing stopping you from opening the lid to check if you want to. And you really need to get that fermenter somewhere around 60F ambient if possible.

Thanks for all the advice. I’m just crazy about making good beer. I did make a 1L starter and it may not be enough for the full bodied, high alcohol of this brew. Well, this whole homebrewing has been a humbling undertaking. No one does anything perfectly their first time out and if it were easy, everyone would do it. I guess if I mess up, I’ll just have to brew more and drink that and brewmore and drink etc., etc… :mrgreen:

Temp. Control.

Worth every penny. :cheers: