Worried ...

About my first 5 gallon batch. (Brewers Best English Brown)

I brewed it on Saturday and put it in our slightly cool basement, ambient temp low 60’s. On Sunday afternoon not much bubbling, the fermometer read at 60 (lowest temp for ale). So I wrapped the bucket in an old carhart and set it in the bottom half of a Styrofoam meat shipping cooler, in a 6’x4’ basement closet with a 60w bulb left on.

Yesterday the fermometer read either 66 or 68 (BB recipe range said 64º - 72ºF), it was bubbling away pretty good BUT there was a pretty boozy smell in the closet. I was just reading the Air lock near disaster thread and it sounds like that boozy smell is bad news.

This morning still bubbling not as vigorously, and the smell was still there but dramatically less.

Long story short:
Am I worrying too much here? (I just want the beer to turn out)
Is a smell normal? The closet is pretty still and my hockey gear is in there, so that may add to the smell a little.

Thanks! I already gotten so much good info here, this is a great troubleshooting resource.

Yes, you’re worrying too much. It would have been fine at 60F, but is definitely fine in the mid to upper 60’s. If your yeast range was from 64-72F, then 60F ambient is perfect, IMHO. I ferment almost all my ales very close to if not at 60F ambient to start. Then raise the temp a little after 4 - 7 days.

For a new brewer this sound like an appropriate time to introduce RDWHAH (Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew). Your beer will be fine and even if it isn’t a perfect product the first time around you’ll love it because you made it.

As soon as I clicked the submit button I realized the poster cannot in fact just “have a homebrew” because this is their first beer so I’d say any beer in general will work in this case.

Actually, I do have a finished gallon batch, but I think it needs a little more conditioning time. I do have one chilled I might as well try tonight now that my nerves are soothed.

Thanks all.