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Irish Red - Update on first brew

So I brewed my first batch last weekend - the NB Irish Red Extract. Fermentation went pretty well and 1 week in, it smelled great. I have the gravity testing kit, but figured I would just wait the 2 weeks in primary recommended then move to secondary.

Well I checked it tonight and popped open to smell and it smells off. Not terrible, but just not right/the same. So I decided to take it off the spent yeast and sludge that was settling at the bottom. Moved it to secondary and it doesnt smell as bad. The spent yeast/sludge though has the same strong smell I was getting when I opened it in the primary.

I do not suspect contamination to be an issue. I was very, very thorough in keeping everything clean as I remember that was a vital part when I was brewing in the past.

My hypothesis is that since it fermented so quickly last week that the spent yeast was quick to settle and perhaps sitting on it for the extra few days threw the smell off. Should I be worried? I am planning on letting it sit in secondary for another 1-2 weeks before bottling. Will this help for the beer to right itself? (Not sure that can happen)

Lesson learned: Check FG 1 week after brew to determine when done. (Although I am not sure sitting on yeast for an extra few days really made all the difference)

Thanks in advance for any help.

very rarely if ever does one mess up by leaving it in the primary for too long. usually if not basically always it is the opposite. and just one week of fermenting is 100% not going to cause the issues.

I think you will be fine, but I would say you are possibly a bit too worried and maybe slightly over analyzing this. had you asked in advance I would say not to worry and leave it in primary at least for 1 more week, maybe 2. but again since you moved to secondary may be just fine. had you bottled today after 1 week I would be more worried.

Thanks for the reply. I tend to do that…overanalyze

To be clear, it was in primary for about 11 days total before moving to secondary

even better. I think you should be fine. I am actually not sure you had an issue in the first place anyway, which is a good thing

Agreed. I leave mine in the primary for about 20 - 25 days … undisturbed … except for an occasional move to manage temperature during the cold months … never a problem.

BB, some folks find the whole fermentation thing to be fairly disgusting. I mean, you have this fungus growing and leaving a thick goop behind, some of which sticks and forms a dried crud on the side of your carboy, etc., etc. I can’t honestly say that I find all of the different aromas to be pleasant. Maybe your nose is just particularly sensitive to one of the less attractive scents in the primary. :slight_smile:

Sure it’s disgusting, but not worse than slaughtering beef/pork.
Cheese is also pretty nasty when you think about it.
Do you know where jello comes from?
Any don’t get me started on honey. -bug barf.

Pretty much all the best things in life are gross when you really start to think about them. :mrgreen:

I find it totally amazing how each step in the brewing process gets progressively more appealing.

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