Back to Shopping at

New to Brewing, When is it Necessary to Watch Primary Daily?

Hello! I am brand new to brewing, my wife bought me the deluxe starter kit with the Irish Red Ale and Plinian Legacy for Christmas. I have been reading up on the brewing process, and I have a bit of a predicament. I am not home every day during the week, I usually am away on Tuesdays and Thursdays for work. I know that you need to watch the fermentor to make sure the foam (pardon my forgetting the technical term!) doesn’t overwhelm the airlock and, if needed, attach a blowoff. But is there usually a timeline for when this is a concern? i.e., if I brew on a Friday night, do you think I would be safe to leave it from Tuesday morning to Wednesday night, unattended? I’d hate to either cause a mess or ruin my first batch, or both. I would be brewing the Irish Red first, and then the Plinian Legacy second once resources and time free up.

As I understand it, there is some wiggle room in terms of when you move it to the secondary fermentor, and then when to bottle it, so if I have to wait an extra day due to me not being there, I won’t ruin the batch. Correct me if I’m wrong on that.

Please excuse me if I seem unknowledgeable (I certainly am), but I’m going to try to soak up as much info as I can because this seems like something I would enjoy doing for a long time!

Thanks for your help!

Just put in the blowoff tube when you pitch the yeast and don’t use an airlock. Make sure you keep the fermenter where its a steady temp mid 60s is perfect then forget about it for at least two weeks at which point you will have beer.

I agree to just start off with the blowoff tube if you’re at all concerned. But, with most of my fermentations(I keep them down in the low-mid 60’s for most ale yeasts) the first 3 days are the critical time. If I need a blowoff, it’s usually in the 1st 72 hours. After that, I switch back to an airlock. And by the end of the week, I warm things up to mid-high 60’s to help the yeast finish.
By the way- congratulations! Keep that wife, and go out of your way to do the little things that let her know you appreciate that awesome gift.( Me, I wash the kitchen floor after each brewday)
Good luck with your first brewdays. Don’t be afraid to post more questions. :cheers:

If you can keep your yeast happy (within their desired temp range), then you can let your beer set in the primary fermenter for weeks, or even months. The need for a secondary vessel is a hot topic of debate right now, with myself skipping it and leaving the beer in primary until bottled.

Welcome to this new obsession, I mean hobby, and Namaste

Thanks for the help! That definitely makes things easier with the blowoff tube. What is the downside to the blowoff as opposed to the airlock, besides obviously taking up more space?

I actually ordered a Private Rye to do as my first brew… I wanted to start with a single stage brew to get my feet wet. I can’t wait!

No advantage/ disadvantage to blow off tube. It’s only purpose is to ensure nothing can get into your beer. It provides a one-way barrier for air to vent, same as an airlock.


A couple of additional points for some of the other comments you had

First of all, as noted above the blow off tube will be a huge help the first week or so. But you noted you are brewing on a Friday and it would be the following Tuesday morning through Wednesday you would be away the longest. In my opinion it is the first 3 days you need to really worry about. If you make it through Sat Sun and Monday you will (normally) start to get on the slowing down of the fermenting and the period you need to really watch is anyway

Second you had a question about “missing” the date to move it to the secondary or bottling by a day or so and if that would matter. It won’t matter at all. What matters the most is fermentation is done. You can test this by hydrometer readings after a few weeks - if you go 2-3 days and get the same reading you are done. Even then if you then needed to wait another week or so it won’t be an issue.

I might go as far as recommending for your first number of batches (and maybe most of them) not to even worry about a secondary. It is just another chance to introduce an infection etc with little benefits. I don’t know about the Plinian Legacy (I have not done that one) but I know the Irih Red really has no reason to even secondary. I’d keep in primary 2 1/2 to 3 weeks and skip secondary and go straight to bottling.

welcome to the hobby and the board. You won’t find a more helpful bunch of guys anywhere, so don’t be shy with the questions

Back to Shopping at