Question on the next step of brewing


On Dec. 27th I started my first batch of the NB Irish Red Ale. It’s been 6 days and the last couple days I have seen no more bubbles in my airlock. The beer is in my bedroom closet covered in a blanket with the airlock still visible. My current temperatures I’m not 100% on, but my guess would be 60-70 depending on when the wood stove gets hot, some mornings its definitely colder. I haven’t opened the lid at all to take any readings, and I’m trying to avoid doing so until enough time has passed.

My question is, its 6 days today…Do I just forget about it for a couple more weeks, or should I do a gravity reading to see if I can begin bottling and conditioning?

After reading some posts on this forum, I’m not going to bother transferring to the other bucket for 2nd stage fermentation and was going to just leave it in the original bucket for 3-4 weeks.

Thank you all for your help.

Let it sit for a couple more weeks then bottle. Take readings if you want, just to know. Ideally, your beer will sit at one constant temp when it’s fermenting. Look up swamp coolers, that may help you keep the temp more constant, even if your temps in the house swing. Basically, it’s sitting your beer in a cooler filled with water. Some people have to add forzen water bottles to keep beer cold, but it doesn’t sound like you have that problem. The water around it will help regulate the temp swings, though. You can get a fermometer for your bucket/carboy to see what temps it’s fermenting at, too.

I would leave it sit for two weeks in the fermentor before bottling. the art of brewing is actually a test of patience and i know it is a tough one. If the readings are stable then yes you can bottle now but the beer will improve and lose the green flavors faster if you leave it on the yeast cake for a week. welcome to the obsession. Cheers

6 days might be enough time for the major part of fermentation to be done - but, your beer benefits greatly from another couple weeks where the yeast continue to “clean it up.” Seeing the bubble and knowing there was active fermentation is always a relief for new brewers (and old brewers) - so you know things went ok. Now, just leave it alone. Personally, I would not touch it at all for 21 days after brew day. Then, I will get it ready to bottle, take a gravity reading to confirm you are about where you need to be 1.01-1.015 probably… and then bottle.

Tip for going forward - get a handle on your temperatures. Fermentation temperature is probably one of the 2 or 3 most important things in brewing good beer. The first step is knowing what they are. They need to be kept steady, and for most “ales” something in the low to mid 60’s (beer temp) is really the goal. Fermenting beer can easily run 5 degrees higher than room temperature. So, if your room is 60 and your beer is 65 - great. But if your room is 70 and your beer is 75 . . . . that is not so good.

Sounds like you are off to a good start though - just be patient. The thing that will REALLY help with patience is to go buy a couple more fermentation buckets (they are cheap) and get another beer or two in the pipeline. If you get a regular stream of beers that are fermenting/conditioning/ready to drink, it is easy to leave them alone early on.

Thank you all for your detailed replies, it definitely helps me know that I’m on the right path.

Braufessor: The waiting is killing me, ha. I wanted to bottle the day after I brewed it, but I will take your advice and get my NB IPA going. I’m gonna have so much beer I won’t know what to do with it.

Do you have any suggestions on buying bulk bottles and bottle caps? Is buying them on this website the best way to go for the $?

Thank you!

The best way to buy bottles is full ones! Any pry off top bottle will do. I always found Sam Adams labels came off really easily and you could get 12 packs on sale a lot. Also, ask friends to keep bottles for you, or any local bars or recycling centers.

The best way to get bottles is to buy Sam Adams, New Belgium, etc. beers and saving the bottles. Any bottles that are dark and pry off.

[quote]Do you have any suggestions on buying bulk bottles and bottle caps? Is buying them on this website the best way to go for the $?

I don’t know about caps I just buy the bags of 144 gold caps from our host here. As for bottles the posts should start about never having to buy bottles. And they are right, save empties, get from your friends,make friends with a local bar tender, there are lots of ways to get bottles, just make sure they are pry offs. If you do buy bottles get them local shipping is expensive on them. (i had to buy a case of 22 oz bommers for xmas) Cheers

Edit: took to long to post, bottle post have begun :smiley:

Blasphemy!! No such thing as too much beer. But really, it’s amazing how quickly it goes. On bottling day you’ll be overwhelmed by all the bottles, but they quickly disappear; even faster if you give them to friends and family. Yesterday I realized that I’m down to “only” 3 gallons of bottled brew- Time to brew! :smiley:

As a general rule of thumb, I like to give it a week beyond when I “think” it is done, just to be sure. Another week or so never hurts, and often helps. Welcome to the hobby, and enjoy. Best way to help with the waiting: get another fermenter and start your next batch now. :cheers:

Bottles - ask at bars, redemption center, have friends save them, save your own. Share your beer (make sure it tastes good first:) with the people who give you bottles -especially if they are nice enough to rinse them out first. Bartenders and redemption center people have always been happy to give me bottles for 5-10 cents apiece, or even free for some homebrew from time to time.