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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: safi on December 12, 2012, 02:45:34 AM

Title: nothing is Happening
Post by: safi on December 12, 2012, 02:45:34 AM
So i dont like starting new threads every time i have a problem, but im a bit confused and lost at the moment im trying to get a English Brown Ale to Ferment but not having any luck. I used one of those kits i got from a local homebrew place. I started Fermentation on 11/30/12 and doesnt look like its doing anything. The kit came with a dry yeast, and i threw the yeast in there without getting it started, i keep it at around 65-67 thanks
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: jamminbrew on December 12, 2012, 02:47:33 AM
Have you checked your gravity? Did you check before fermentation?
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: safi on December 12, 2012, 02:54:21 AM
before Fermentation it was at 5.3%  i havent checked it recently, but i did just taste it, and it tastes like watered down beer that is really bitter, what do you experts think?
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: morticaixavier on December 12, 2012, 02:58:17 AM
before Fermentation it was at 5.3%  i havent checked it recently, but i did just taste it, and it tastes like watered down beer that is really bitter, what do you experts think?

I think it's done. you said it yourself, watered down BEER wort is sweet and if nothing had happened it would probably also be somewhat sour and nasty but the yeast did their job and you now have beer! bottle it and drink it.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: tschmidlin on December 12, 2012, 02:58:55 AM
When you say it was at 5.3%, do you mean 1.053?  Have you checked the gravity to see where it is now?

Can you run us through what you did exactly?
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: garc_mall on December 12, 2012, 03:00:11 AM
I don't quite know what you mean by 5.3%, but I am going to guess you mean potential alcohol. That would put you at a very low gravity (1.040 ish). If that fermented down, it could be a little watery if fermented rather dry (one of my tricks on session beers is to mash REALLY HIGH to get a very high final gravity, like you would end up with in a more standard beer). If it is fermented and done (my guess) you may have just over-bittered it.

If it still tastes sweet and bitter, it may not have fermented, but at this point, something is bound to have started fermenting your wort.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: safi on December 12, 2012, 03:12:26 AM
sorry i meant the potential alcohol was at 5.3% im going to test the gravity in a second and report back in a jiffy
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: safi on December 12, 2012, 03:18:53 AM
so just checked the gravity and its at 1.010
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: garc_mall on December 12, 2012, 03:24:32 AM
I put you at a roughly 4% beer. might be a bit thin, and I don't know what the bittering hop charge was on the recipe, but you might have over-bittered for the style. I would bottle it and give it a month or two. the bitterness will smooth out.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: safi on December 12, 2012, 03:28:23 AM
 :D for a second there i though id have to restart the fermentation process, i will hopefully bottle on Thursday, when i have the time thank you.
Title: nothing is Happening
Post by: majorvices on December 12, 2012, 03:34:45 AM
If I may add, you may ask any question on this forum and you will be answered no matter what it is. We want to help you make the best beer possible. So never hesitate to ask. But you would do yourself a HUGE favor by reading a good homebrewing book. I recommend www.howtobrew.com
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: garc_mall on December 12, 2012, 07:17:12 AM
I agree. I used both "intro to homebrewing" type books. I use "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian as sort of a philosophy of homebrewing type book, and "How to Brew" as a technical manual to refer to when I am in the middle of brewing and don't know what to do. I think both of them have their place, and I would recommend both to any new brewer.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: safi on December 12, 2012, 07:27:38 AM
i have the how to brew book, i think chapter 6 off the top of my head, thank you for all the help, this is my first batch, so hopefully i didnt mess up somewhere  :P
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: garc_mall on December 12, 2012, 07:40:29 AM
I think it will be fine. It won't be the best batch of beer you have ever had in your life, but who does something perfect their first time? That wouldn't be half the fun of doing it. You'll get the hang of it, and as you brew more and read more, your beer will get better. Keep going, and start brewing your second batch. Believe me, you will need it.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: goschman on December 12, 2012, 07:37:53 PM
Depending on what the kit was I bet it won't turn out half bad. Carbonation and conditioning can really change a lot. Sounds like you had a decent fermentation which is great. I always had issues getting my extract batches to finish low enough.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: erockrph on December 12, 2012, 07:48:13 PM
Carbonation makes a HUGE difference, especially in a lower gravity beer. Reserve judgement until it is fully carbonated (2 weeks at room temperature after bottling, then at least 2 days in the fridge). I bet it will be a damn good beer.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: Slowbrew on December 12, 2012, 07:56:05 PM
Carbonation makes a HUGE difference, especially in a lower gravity beer. Reserve judgement until it is fully carbonated (2 weeks at room temperature after bottling, then at least 2 days in the fridge). I bet it will be a damn good beer.

+1

Uncarbed beer doesn't taste like beer, often times.

Paul
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: safi on December 12, 2012, 10:47:59 PM
for my second batch i was thinking of starting fermentation right away in the Carboy, then use a water bath with a fish heater in the 72 degree range what do you think?
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: morticaixavier on December 12, 2012, 10:48:25 PM
for my second batch i was thinking of starting fermentation right away in the Carboy, then use a water bath with a fish heater in the 72 degree range what do you think?

I think 72 is to warm. Think maybe 65.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: safi on December 12, 2012, 11:11:29 PM
for my second batch i was thinking of starting fermentation right away in the Carboy, then use a water bath with a fish heater in the 72 degree range what do you think?

I think 72 is to warm. Think maybe 65.

if 65 is better then i wont need to do a water bath, i thought i would have started at a higher temp to get the yeast going.  My house normally sits right around 65-68, but what about the carboy idea?
Title: nothing is Happening
Post by: majorvices on December 13, 2012, 12:32:40 AM
Assuming you are pitching the appropriate amount of yeast, starting off cooler is generally better. "Getting the yeast going" at warmer temps also generates more esters and, especially, fusels. Most fusels are generated in the first 48 hours of fermentation, and fusels are generally unwanted (they cause head retention problems and head aches and "hot" alcohol flavors).

That said, 72 is not in a big danger area for fusels, though you would not want it to be higher than this. But, for the best beer, IME you are better off starting most ale yeasts in the mid to low 60s.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: Slowbrew on December 13, 2012, 12:15:18 PM
If the yeast are healthy they take off at lower temps just fine.  It gets stated a lot on the board that the internal temp will be a few degrees warmer than the air.

As for starting out in a carboy?  Assuming the carboy has a gallon or so of headspace it should work great.  I use 6.5 gallon carboys as primaries for 5 gallon batches all the time.  One warning: be prepared for blow offs using carboys.  The neck restricts where the krausen can go and sometimes it can get messy.

Paul
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: ncoleman on December 13, 2012, 07:33:15 PM
:D for a second there i though id have to restart the fermentation process, i will hopefully bottle on Thursday, when i have the time thank you.

I brewed a kit English Brown a little while back. The kit beer began visibly fermenting in less than 48 hours but only got me to around 3.8% ABV. The real success came 2 weeks later when adding Wyeast when I went to secondary to make the beer sour. It kicked me up to about 4.8%. I left the beer in secondary for 8 weeks and had outstanding results - I recommend the same process if you like sour ales.
Title: Re: nothing is Happening
Post by: anje on December 13, 2012, 07:46:56 PM
for my second batch i was thinking of starting fermentation right away in the Carboy, then use a water bath with a fish heater in the 72 degree range what do you think?

I think 72 is to warm. Think maybe 65.

if 65 is better then i wont need to do a water bath, i thought i would have started at a higher temp to get the yeast going.  My house normally sits right around 65-68, but what about the carboy idea?
My house always sits in that range, too, but I use a water bath. My logic is that this cushions the temperature swings substantially and helps to keep the temperature down during the stages when fermentation is really going. During that time, the temperature inside the fermenter can get quite a bit over the ambient temperature, so cooling is helpful.