My buddy and I ran our first brew day on Saturday and had a blast. Prior to the brew, I had made a 2000ml starter yeast the day before. (I used the dry yeast option from the recipe kit) After 24 hours, we had a flask full of what appeared to be happy yest (good foam, active solution). We pitched the yeast into the chilled wort using a glass carboy as the fermenter. We had initially put an airlock on the carboy but then switched to the blow-out tube and bucket airlock based on what I had seen in the starter flask. 6 hours later, the krausen was moving up and out the blow out tube and we had the wonderful sound of bubbling water. I replaced the blow out tube the next day with an airlock once the krausen had settled down.
It is now 48 hours since we pitched the yeast and the gas is escaping about 1 bubble every 30-40 seconds. What had been a consistent milkish brown solution has now cleared with a 1" layer of light brown setiment at the bottom of the fermenter. Does this sound right to the folks here on the forum? Recipe calls for 1-2 weeks primary and we are just 48 hours into the fermentation with what looks to be a completed primary fermentation. (we did invest in the upgrade kit so we can measure OG and plan on starting that process this evening)
Should we be planning to transfer to the secondary fermenter or are we just being nervous new fathers on our 5 gallon bouncing baby? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thor and Scooter
- You really do not (and perhaps should) not make a starter when using dry yeast
- If you do use liquid yeast or harvest yeast for the future, and make a starter, you need to give it a full 5 days - 3 to ferment and 2 to cold crash so you can decant the liquid before pitching
- This being your first batch, perhaps you fermented too warm, which caused it to ferment too fast and vigorously, which may produce off flavors
- You do not need to transfer to secondary, but if you do, give the beer at LEAST 2 weeks in Primary, preferably 3 before transferring
Unless you fermented at the low to mid 60’s, you need to search and read up on controlling fermentation temps
I’m about 4 weeks ahead of you in the process. I’m also new - I got the brewing kit for Christmas and brewed the Slobber on 12/26. I pitched my dry yeast directly on top of the wort. It took about 18 hours to start bubbling and had a pretty active fermentation for about a day after that. It didn’t blow off, but the krausen did creep pretty close to the airlock. (I didn’t use Fermcap on that batch)
After 48 hours, it settled down to one bubble every 1-3 seconds for a day or two. Not much after that. My temperature maxed at about 70-71F in a 65F room.
The OG was 1.052 (you did measure this before fermentation started, right?) and I measured 1.012 on 1/7 and 1.013 on 1/10.
I left mine in the primary for 3.5 weeks and it gradually got a bit clearer every week. I bottled it on Saturday and it was very clear.
Everything you’re describing sounds right to me.
Thanks guys, room for fermentation is set at 64 oF and varies between 63-65 (actually whole house is set at 64 since I’m a cheap bas@#!d). Temperature of fermentation reached 68 about 6-8 hours in, therefore, the krausen grew legs and crawled out of the fermenter. Batch currently at 65. I will put it in the basement and leave it alone for the next 3-4 weeks.
Starting O.G was ~1.054 I’m going to pull a sample tonight before I take it down to the cellar.
We have another batch planed for the weekend and we will actively manage fermentation temps and use the dry yeast straight up. Thanks again!
Which one are you brewing next? I did the Irish Red on the 12th and the Hefeweizen this Saturday. Feels odd that I’ve brewed three batches without tasting the product yet. Other than drinking the thief, of course
Enginir, doing this with a friend means we have two set-ups. Another Slobber Ale this weekend followed by Bavarian Hefe and Nut Brown over the next two week. After that, we are scheduled every Saturday through mid April. We are ending the extract journey with the Wee Heavy and Barley Wine at which point we have the summer to talk through and invest in all-grain. Our wives are going to regret saying yes to this activity… :cheers:
Having a partner to share a batch with is a great way to double the variety of beers you have on hand. But also reducing the number of actual bottles on hand.
Glad to know I’m not the only one planning way ahead. I’ve got my schedule set with 7 beers within two months and 10 more through the end of the year. I’ve also got the Wee Heavy up next, followed by a mix of high gravity and lawnmower beers.
I’m sharing the proceeds and some of the work with my brother, who gifted me the setup. It’s so much easier to bottle with a friend!
Absolutely right Nighthawk, I will unfortunately need to share the output…I’m considering this a growth opportunity and finally learning to share.
Thanks Nighthawk. We are fermenting in a utility sink in a cold part of the house. For the next batch I plan on leaving 6" of water in the sink and draping the fermenter with a beach towel. I’ll pull an old fan out of storage and keep it cool until fermentation moderates. Cheers!
O.G. last night came in at 1.018…