New brewer looking for comforting words. I brewed a 5 gal batch of NB Caribou Slobber on 23 Mar and all seemed well and I had robust activity at the airlock within 8 hrs. As of today, the airlock activity has ceased. However, there is a small ring of brown/gray materiel floating with tiny bubbles, additionally, the brew seems to be layered with a top 1/3 looking dark amber and the bottom 2/3 a cloudy amber. Room temp is 66 and shaded.
I’ll leave alone but I’m wondering now how do I tell when it’s time to go to the secondary? (I don’t have a specific gravity test set ((ordered one today)) so I don’t have starting point to reference.)
P.S. The NB starter DVD shows some serious fermentation activity in the carboy, just wondering why mine looks lame compared to that.
Thanks for any advice,
Fermentation activity is a function of yeast, gravity, and temperature, so you can’t directly compare (or worry about the differences between) your fermenter and one in a video. The stratification you’re seeing in the fermenter is yeast and sediment settling towards the bottom with the upper portion clear and the bottom concentrating (and a different color). You will know when it’s time to rack to secondary (if you choose to do so) by taking a hydrometer reading that indicates the desired FG followed by a matching FG reading a couple days later.
I brewed that kit a few months as my first. I remember it slowing down after about two days. I also didn’t have a hydrometer at the time and I just left it in the primary the max it said to on the directions. I think it was at least 2 maybe 3 weeks. I then transferred it to the secondary for the max time mentioned in the directions. One thing I read over and over was “don’t rush it”. It turned out great by the way.
Thanks ShadeTree & Rob. I’m looking forward to that first glass.