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My first beer

Hello I’m new to the homebrew scene and I went with the WH Honey Porter. I brewed as the instructions and fermentation took about a week, I bottled and conditioned in a dark space for a week. I tested one and it was carbonated and tasted like a dark beer. Although I had some issues I need help with, first there was no foam at all so it was like a soda. Second there is floating white things on the beer, what is that? I put the beer in the fridge as per instructions for the second week, was that right? The beer itself was a dark murky brown and not black like a Porter would be. Please give me some pointers I’m confused

I’ll try to answer your questions but may need some extra information for a good diagnosis.

When you opened the first bottle there was a hiss of escaping CO2? This usually means the yeast is working on the priming sugar but the CO2 has not been forced into solution by chilling the bottle for at least two full days.

The white floating stuff is probably bits of yeast picked up by the siphon when racking to the bottling bucket. The yeast usually settles to the bottom of the bottle during conditioning. A smooth pour and leaving the last quarter inch or so of beer in the bottle will keep the yeast out of the glass. In bright light you can usually see when the yeast is about to come out of the bottle with a smooth slow pour.

I have a couple of questions about your fermentation timeline. Did you bottle after one week from the start of the active fermentation? This short amount of time would not have allowed much time for excess yeast and sediments to settle out. Could be the reason for the murky color coming out of the bottle and perhaps accentuated by pouring the sediment.

The bottles were chilled one week after filling? I usually don’t have much of any carbonation when the bottles are conditioned at 70°F or a little higher. I’ll chill one bottle after two weeks of warm conditioning but usually it takes one to three weeks longer with average gravity beers.

Did you check the specific gravity of the beer with your hydrometer before bottling?

I’ll be here for a while this morning. Just starting to get bread ready for baking.

Thanks for the tips. I reached out to NB via text and they said the white stuff may actually be an infection which is odd since I sanitized like crazy. Fermentation was done after a week or so. I actually racked with the siphon higher up and not touching the bottom. After a week of conditioning I tested it and it had co2 since it hissed. They told me to let it sit longer and condition so I’m going to try that but they’re also sending me a new kit since it may be infected.

Can you post a picture of the white spots? A picture would really help. Usually an infection starts as fuzzy raised white dots then forming a spider web with a white oily sheen over the surface.

Nice of NB to just send out new ingredients. I guess their thinking is that a successful brewer is a life long brewer.

We can help with the next one. Let us know when you’re getting ready to plan the next brew day for getting the yeast ready.

Will do in a bit when I figure out how lol

I dont know if that worked.

Here is the clarity

I’ve never brewed this one, or had one offered, so that may be the intended color of the finished brew. The picture in the catalog may be just a stock picture indicating this is a dark beer.

Ever seen the floating white things? Regardless I put them back out for some additional conditioning

Never had that happen. I keep my beers in the primary for at least three weeks before bottling. This allows time for excess yeast and other sediments to compact in the trub layer.

Well I have a pumpkin ale fermenting now and it’s been a week so I’m going to let it sit for another week

Don’t forget to take specific gravity readings to confirm when the fermentation is done. I usually take one about day 10 and a second about day 14.

Except when using some English strains of yeast. Then I’ll take a third reading about day 21. Some strains of yeast can be very slow to finish the last couple of gravity points.

Sadly I don’t have a hydrometer yet. I do want one though

Hydrometer is essential. A beer that finishes fermenting in the bottle can be dangerous due to the pressure developed. I would recommend the finishing hydrometer for extract brewing. With extract brewing the OG will be as stated in the recipe as long as your volume in the fermentor is correct. The finishing hydrometer is easier to read the small changes in the specific gravity.

Get one when NB offers discounts on an entire order. Have you signed up for their emails?

I’m using the 1 gallon kit for all of this. I ferment In the jug and then move to conditioning as per instructions

Some times the instructions are not the best when it comes to temperature control and timing by using a calendar.

I’ve never had an infected beer but, if I did, I would imagine it would look exactly like that! :dizzy_face:
Some thoughts (guesses really) that come to mind:

  1. Were the bottles previously used? If so, could there have been some gunk in the bottom?
  2. Did you use a bottle brush?
  3. Did you rinse well? You mention sanitizing like crazy. Could there have been cleaning solution remaining in the bottle?
  4. Is there an odor?

I always clean with Oxclean and a bottle brush. Rinse well with a jet washer. Then use a Vinator to inject Starsan solution into the bottles.

I’m reusing old bottles but I have washed them out and I sank them in the sanitizing solution for more than two mins as per instructions. I texted back and forth with NB and they suggested I keeep conditioning so I did and since Saturday the white stuff has gone away so I’m wondering if it was t fully fermented to begin with? I might test another one later and I’ll come back with results.

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If there’s any chance the beer wasn’t fully fermented before you bottled it there’s a risk of bottle bombs! I recommend you very carefully move your bottled beer into a covered, waterproof container to finish carbonating. The bottles could burst as the pressure builds and send glass fragments flying. If you’re in the vicinity when they burst, you can absorb some of the shrapnel.

Yes, I’ve been there and done that. It required two sutures to close the cut in the back of my arm, and several minutes to clean up the glass, beer, and blood.

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Aw geez, an old dawg like you needing some sewing up? I would’ve guessed you’d rinse with a very strong brew… Take a big gulp, and slap some duct tape on it and call it a day… :disappointed: Sneezles61

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