After more than a year of me threatening to start brewing, my wife and mother conspired to get me a deluxe kit for Christmas. Like most, I started with the Caribou Slobber kit. Everything went fine and I think the only rookie mistake I made was not taking an OG reading. Lesson learned and I’m not really worried since it’s extract and you can’t really mess the OG up unless you don’t use all the extract for some reason. Now the question I pitched at around 68 deg and then put the carboy near an outside wall of my house which is around 61 deg ambient (we keep it cool here). The fermometer is saying about 64-66 deg. I have good active fermentation going now at the 24 hour point with a nice krausen that isn’t pushing into the air lock. Should I move the carboy somewhere cooler or try a water bath or do you think my temps are OK at this point? Thanks for any input - this forum has been a wealth of info since I starting creeping here two months ago.
Those temps sound good to me. 61F ambient. Fermenting beer temp around 65F. I would give that fermentation 2 thumbs up.
+1 If it doesn’t go up much over 70F you are golden. I assume you’re using US05 yeast?
I do recommend a swamp cooler though, it will keep the beer from heating up much more than the room temp.
Those poor ladies have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into
+1 that 65 degrees BEER temp for this style is excellent and should make a nice clean beer. You might be able to get it a bit dryer if you move the fermenter into a warmer room (66-68) after day 4-5 or so. This will allow the yeast to ferment the rest of the longer-chain sugars at a more comfortable temperature. this is entirely optional though…some (including me) feel that this temp increase can help the yeast ‘clean up’ off flavors that may have been created during fermentation.
Just make sure to let it be for at least 2-3 weeks. I know its tough with the first batch. I couldn’t wait to bottle that sucker. If you find yourself wanting to rush it, just rush to your computer and buy another kit (and ale pail/fermenter) from our gracious host and brew it!
Actually the kit came with Danstar Windsor Ale yeast. It’s giving off a pleasant somewhat fruity aroma at the moment. I’m going to keep an eye on the krausen this evening and if she seems to be getting more aggressive I think I will set up a water bath. I contemplated doing that to begin with but my first floor seems to be the best temp range. Basement is in the 50’s and would be too cool I think and the upstairs is slightly warmer. Since I don’t have any closets I can use downstairs I have it covered up with the box to keep it dark. My worry about the water bath is keeping it dark. Thanks for the replies, by the way. Hope this brew turns out well. I’m contemplating if I should move it to a secondary for aging before bottling or just leaving it the primary. The only reason I would transfer it would be to start another brew… a good dilemna to have.
Edit: I had also already planned on moving it upstairs after 1.5-2 weeks so that it’s a little warmer to finish out. FIgured 3.5-4 weeks and then to the bottles for a couple weeks. I want to rush but I’ve enough patience to realize that giving it about two months is going to yield the best product.
I’d think you could bottle that brew after two to three weeks total. Its not that big of a beer and the British ale yeast will work wuickly and settle out completely. I’d move it to a warmer place after a week, at that point I’m guessing most of the ferm activity is going to be done.
are you fermenting in a glass carboy? Keeping it dark isn’t crucial if in an ale pail. They protect against light damage. I agree with Sawyer on 2-3 weeks in the fermenter then bottle btw.
Yes, it’s in a glass carboy. If I give it three weeks in primary how long should I bottle condition. Only reason I was thinking to wait was that a lot of the reviews said Slobber is best if allowed to age out. Seems the flavor profile develops a lot more with just a bit more aging. Thanks for the advice. I will probably get to bottle earlier than expected then…
One other question - should I use all the priming sugar to carb? I seem to recall reading somewhere that I may not need to use it all for some reason…
Bottle conditioning is where it will help to let it go a little longer. You’ll probably have carbonation in two weeks if kept warm, but it’ll taste better at four weeks.
Even though I keep my carboys in the basement, I do put an old(clean) T-shirt on them. Helps keep out the light, and if I set up a water bath/swamp cooler, it acts as a wick.
3 weeks in primary, 2-3 weeks in bottle, then you can crack one open and see what you think. I bottled a CS last June. It was good then, and my last few bottles are even better.
If your kit came with the standard 5oz(3/4 cup) dextrose use it all.
Nighthawk posted a handy hint that I want to try next time I bottle:
Take a sanitized plastic soda bottle, fill with your beer, squeeze out the excess air and put on the screw cap. As carbonation happens, it will fill the bottle so you can judge when carbonation is complete.
Thanks for all the advise and info. I did see the bottle trick and will utilize that to monitor carbonation. It seems to have hit high krausen and is falling. Still really strong bubble activity though. Feels pretty cool inside the box - not much above ambient. Seems like things are rolling pretty smooth. I think I’ll skip the transfer and maybe order another kit to have handy around the time I bottle this one. I’ll probably go for a bigger IPA next since that’s my preference. Though that Belgian IPA is tempting too…
In response to an earlier reply - my wife is actually a pretty big beer geek as well. We’re always trying new stuff together. Call me lucky.