I have had an interest in brewing beer for some years now. My wife decided to buy me a brew kit for my bday so I bought a ingredient kit from Northern and gave it a run. I picked up the Raspberry Wheat Extraction Kit and went with the Wyeast 3333 German Wheat.
I had watched hours on hours on brew videos as I was terrified of messing up a batch of homebrew. Come brew day, all went pretty smooth. Cooling the wort took a little longer than expected but I was able to get it under 80F (This will be improved for next batch). I aerated the wort (may have not aerated for long enough) and then pitched the yeast. Sealed the bucket lid and added the airlock. I have a stick on temp gauge on the bucket and a digital temp/humidity gauge on top of the bucket. I noticed bubbles out of the airlock for the first few days and also noticed that there was pressure build up in the bucket (bubbles would release with the slightest touch to the bucket lid). My biggest concern at this point was the temp.
Ambient was roughly 79F in the closet on day one so I moved the bucket to my room where the ambient fluctuated between 71-79F but has been at 73F for the last 2 days. I have been watching the temp on the bucket and it doesn’t seem to go over 75F and this is the max temp for the yeast I chose (another mistake…should have got the dry yeast). Today is day 5 and I have seen no bubbles through the airlock. I removed the airlock to look at the krausen and I could see some but the hole is so small it is hard to tell. Ideally I would remove the bucket lid, take a gravity reading and see where I am at. My concern is that I will damage the beer even more by opening the lid. Oh, when I removed the airlock, the lid of the bucket fell inwards as it released pressured (good sign, right???). With the airlock back in, there does not seem to pressure build up. I fear either fermentation has stopped as the temp was too high and may have produced off-flavors. Should I just go ahead and take the gravity reading? I have a pack of the dry yeast being delivered tomorrow in case I need to add more. I may be over reacting or maybe not. PLEASE HELP!!!
Also, I am already looking into a temp controlled setup to take the guess work out of fermentation in the future.