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Irish Red Fermentation temp - Newbie needs help

Just brewed my first beer (Irish Red Ale kit) on Sunday and have concerns with my fermentation temp. I thought my basement was cooler than it was and realized the glass carboy was around 72 degrees for 36 hours so I put the carboy in a tub with ice and water to lower my temp and hopefully regulate it.

Should I be concerned? Was putting in tud with water and ice the correct thing to do? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks from a newbie

Yes, keep the temp in the low to mid 60’s.

A t-shirt draped over the carboy/pail and into the water with a fan blowing on it will drop the temp 5-10* over ambient temp.

You should be fine. Did fermentation start during this time? Off flavors can occur during the first 3-4 days of fermentation. If you are in the low 70’s they should be minimal.

This will be the best 1st beer you ever make. :wink:

Thanks for quick response. It definitely helped.

Yes, fermentation started very quickly at the 72 degrees but has slowed down now that I have been able to keep a constant temperature of 65 degrees.

Is it normal for the fermentation to slow down. I am getting about 6 bubbles per minute out the airlock. The krausen has also subsided to almost nothing.

Anymore thoughts?

Thanks.

You’ll be fine! It’s not ideal but there is nothing to be done at this point other than to check temps next time. You did the right thing and your beer will be beer! :cheers:

Hi Echo,

I had the same sort of issues with my initial batch (also the Red) and went through all the learning steps you are encountering. Best advice is to read, read and read some more. These forums are excellent and many good books on the process as well. Brewing is a strong test of your ability to be patient as well. I would strongly suggest getting and using a hydrometer, which will help you gauge when the fermentation process is completed.

See, you learned about making a swamp cooler and what to do better on your next batch. I thought I messed up a couple things with my first batch, but it is doing great and I am excited to start my next batch with all the new information I learned.

Keep us posted on how things turn out!

One other quick item that I learned very fast. DO NOT use the air lock as an accurate measurement of the progress of fermentation. As I mentioned in my first post, get a hydrometer to test the specific gravity (SG) of your beer. Once you have consistent readings with that, you could move on to bottling, etc. It can be common to see activity in the airlock over the first 48-72 hours and then it die out, but that does not indicate a problem or fermentation being done.

Thanks for the help. I will be heading to the home brewing shop today to get a hydrometer.

It’s going to be a long several weeks waiting to try my first home brew.

Echo,

Do as I am doing and plan for your next batch and read, read and read some more. Gone through “The Joys of Homebrewing” and living on these forums. I am loving the experience and so much to learn that will only make your process more refined and your beer better.

Keep us posted on progress.

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