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My first brew... is this normal?

I’ve just cooked my first brew with my northern brewer deluxe kit… in fact, this is my first brew, ever, for any kind of beer. i took a picture of the first batch that i cooked today. it is chinook ipa. it seems to have a lot of sediment at the bottom, even though i drained off the sludge. is this normal? please advise… see picture…


Totally normal. Happens with every brew.

cool… thanks! i am breathing a sigh of relief!

but now i’m wondering… does that stuff at the bottom dissolve and become part of the beer or will that stay and be drained away when siphoning off for the second fermentation?

inquiring minds…

That stuff, as well as yeast, will continue to settle, and compress to a dense layer. Then, you can rack the beer, holding your racking cane over that layer and leave it behind.

The generic instructions always say to rack to a secondary vessel for any beer. I quit that a decade ago. The Chinook IPA is one of my favorites. Fermentation is always done by day 10. I confirm final gravity and dry hop in the primary about day 14. Bottle the beer about day 21.

Trub, yeast, and dry hop pellets are compacted in a thin layer at the bottom of the fermentor.

Why is it so dark did you add some dark malt?

that’s a good question… i wonder that myself. but seeing as how this is my first brew, i haven’t a clue… any ideas?

I’d guess it’s an extract and you boiled it to hard

Put a cover over her too! Yeast aren’t especially fond of light… And keep it cool… Sneezles61

Part of the darkness is because the beer is in the fermenter. It will be (at least some) lighter when it gets into the glass.

Assuming it’s the Chinook IPA extract kit, the instructions (link below) indicate a partial boil with all the LME added at the start of the boil. This approach will also darken the color some.

In brewing competitions that use BJCP guidelines, color is only 1-2 points (out of 50). And, in competition brewing, if the beer comes out “too dark” for a normal IPA, many people would enter it as a brown or black IPA :slight_smile: .

So far, your first batch is looking like it’s on track.

Any thoughts on what you might be brewing next?

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I have my eyes on The Plinian Legacy Double IPA, but i feel i may have to work my way up to that… i am definitely an IPA man. always have been… the hoppier (bitter) the better! i think my sweet spot for alcohol is anywhere between 7 & 8%. once i understand how this all works, i may eventually mix my own ingredients… but that’s somewhere in the future.


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Looks nice

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Think why its dark could be due to mailard effect. Put a shirt over the carboy. The yeast likes to live in the dark to do its thing

So i noticed that the yeast started working in less than 24 hours… bubbles moving through the fermentation lock at around one (bubble) every two seconds… now on day 3, the speed has noticeably slowed down. “flars” says his fermentation (for chinook IPA) is always done on day 10… i wonder if mine will be the same… though i followed instructions, i fear that i may have somehow not adequately sanitized the equipment.

…having doubts about racking for a secondary fermentation. may just drop the extra hops in the large carboy when the yeast is finished…

…any thoughts?

I’ve been controlling the temperature of the beer during active fermentation with a swamp cooler to keep the yeast in the temperature range I like for the beer being brewed and to prevent fusel alcohols from being produced. Fusels will be produced with hot fermentations. “Hot” depends upon the what the optimum temperature range is for each yeast.

I’ve begun maintaining the highest temperature reached during active fermentation to make sure maximum attenuation is achieved in the primary. I’ve recently had a problem with highly flocculant English strains not fully attenuating in the primary. Haven’t had this problem with American strains in the past, but will make it a standard practice with all yeasts. I maintain the heating only until final gravity is reached. I’ll let the beer cool off to the ambient temperature until bottling day.

The room I ferment in has an ambient temperature of 66°F this time of year. Heating the water bath of the swamp cooler has pretty much become necessary for all the beers brewed this summer. If your ambient temperature is 70° - 75°F you won’t need to worry about heating to maintain the temperature.

I’ve never had a problem dry hopping in the primary. Should say the largest dry hop I have used is only one ounce of hop pellets. I do use a catch bag on the end of the siphon tube in case some hop particles make it through. Picture of gadget here in post #11.

Second image won’t show but is in post #11.

are you saying that the quick fermentation that i am experiencing might be the result of high temperatures and that they might produce fusel alcohol as a byproduct? our house is kept at 79 degrees during the summer & 67 degrees in the winter. so i reckon that’s what our ambient temperature is… lots to learn!!! funny you should mention a swamp cleaner… i’m going to Burning Man this year and am thinking of making a DIY swamp cooler for the desert.


p.s.- i’ve also figured that the 5 gallon beer making equipment makes approximately 52-53 bottles of 12 oz. beer. the process takes 6 weeks, but i drink about 2 beers a day on average… so that means i only make a 3.5 week supply! if i want a constant supply of my own beer, i’ll have to up the quantity.

cheers again!

You do need temperature control both summer and winter for almost all ale yeasts. Your ambient temperatures are too high. Fermentation is exothermic. The heat produced during the first few days of active fermentation can raise the temperature of the beer 3° to 8°F depending upon the OG.

Kviek style yeasts can withstand high temperatures and still produce a quality beer, but the fermentation temperature does need to be steady. Temperature swings with this style of yeast will still produce off flavors.

Swamp coolers will mitigate temperature swings.

I get 48 to 49 bottles for a five gallon recipe. I prefer 48 since two cases stack nicer.

You need more fermentors. Two beers a day??

I will very often have more than two beers a day, but some of favorite beers are less than 4% ABV.


I will start at mid to upper 60’s until fermentation is just getting rolling along, then turn the temp down to 62-63. I’ll leave it there until it slows way down. I will open the lid on my freeze-mentor to allow it to climb to room temp for a few days. take a sample/test, confirm its done then right down to 32. This has been treating me good, and not much gelatin treating any more… Sneezles61


guess i need to get some climate control in place… hope i haven’t ruined my first batch… thanks for the info… guess i need to read a book on the subject!

RDWHAHB. (Relax, Don’t Worry, Have A Home Brew) don’t put too much worrying into this… you’ll get ulcers… Sneezles61

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