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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: SCBeerDude7 on February 10, 2021, 07:23:58 PM

Title: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: SCBeerDude7 on February 10, 2021, 07:23:58 PM
My first Brew.  Main issue is that it's still bubbling 1 bubble every 30 seconds through my 3-piece airlock after 10.5 days.  Some funky looking bubbles or foam on top.  I'm wondering if this is normal since I'm not experienced.  My intention is to just leave this in the primary for a total of 3-5 weeks, then transfer it to a bottling bucket for priming and bottling.  Then bottle condition for 2-4 weeks before drinking.

All info is below including photos.  I want to refrain from taking another gravity reading until week 2 or 3 or at least when the bubbling stops to minimize contamination risks.

Beer Type:  Honey Brown Ale

Ingredients:
FERMENTABLES
3 lb. Light DME  (Added at the beginning of the Boil - Turned burner off while stirring it in)
2 lb. Wildflower Honey (added at the last 15 minutes of the boil)

SPECIALTY GRAINS  (Steeped at 160°F for 20 minutes)
4 oz. Chocolate Barley
4 oz. Honey
4 oz. Munich Light
4 oz. Carapils

HOPS
2 packs 1 oz. UK Fuggle (First pack boiled for 60 minutes and the second round for 25 minutes)

YEAST
1 Sachet Safale S-04 (Pitched dry and directly on top of the wort @72°F, then the whole setup was moved to the garage and maintained at 62°F)

OTHER
Super Irish Moss HB (5oz of boiled, then cooled water, then added 1/4 tsp to it and shook for 5 minutes.  Then added to wort in the final 15 minutes of the boil)
North Mountain Supply Yeast Nutrient.  Added 5 tsp to wort at 72°F and before pitching the yeast.

Wort cooled in an ice bath after boiling.  Got to 72°F in about 25-30 minutes.
Wort OG @ 72°F = 1.050

Equipment:
6 Gallon glass carboy
3-piece airlock with #6.5 stopper
Thermowell for constant temp monitoring
Inkbird 2 stage controller
Fermwrap heater
Carboy Cover

Fermenting in the garage in South Carolina.  Outside weather temps have been between 28°F to 65°F for the past 10.5 days, but my heater and controller have maintained the fermentation nicely at 61°F-62°F the entire time.  No need for cooling since it's not summer.

Notes:  The yeast took a little while before it started to bubble the airlock.  ~36 hours.

Photos taken today are below.  It's been 10.5 days since the yeast was pitched.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50930229807_9b7cd9e98b_z.jpg)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50930103181_781b0eb68f_z.jpg)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50929418833_95b76e91da_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: PORTERHAUS on February 10, 2021, 07:48:42 PM

My first Brew.  Main issue is that it's still bubbling 1 bubble every 30 seconds through my 3-piece airlock after 10.5 days.  Some funky looking bubbles or foam on top.  I'm wondering if this is normal since I'm not experienced.  My intention is to just leave this in the primary for a total of 3-5 weeks, then transfer it to a bottling bucket for priming and bottling.  Then bottle condition for 2-4 weeks before drinking.

For a first brew, you are way ahead of the usual! You are all good, the bubbles are fine...just residual krausen from fermentation. Follow your intentions, no need to go 3-5 weeks but let it go another week or so, then bottle. Skip the hydrometer reading until you go to bottle, S-04 is a beast of a yeast, those temps are on the lower side but not out of the ordinary or out of it's range at all. I can nearly guarantee you it is done, the bubble every 30 seconds is just co2 still coming out of solution. Let it be, leave it alone and bottle it up after another week or so, let it carbonate for 2 weeks, then give it a week or 2 in the fridge to condition and be on your way to rewarding your patience with your own great tasting beer.
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: BrewBama on February 10, 2021, 07:55:00 PM
Everything looks fairly normal but S-04 usually finishes in ~3-4 days not weeks.

Don’t trust airlock activity to determine if it’s done. Trust your hydrometer.

Once it’s finish package it. No advantage in letting it sit longer once it’s done.


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Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: SCBeerDude7 on February 10, 2021, 07:58:15 PM
For a first brew, you are way ahead of the usual! You are all good, the bubbles are fine...just residual krausen from fermentation. Follow your intentions, no need to go 3-5 weeks but let it go another week or so, then bottle. Skip the hydrometer reading until you go to bottle, S-04 is a beast of a yeast, those temps are on the lower side but not out of the ordinary or out of it's range at all. I can nearly guarantee you it is done, the bubble every 30 seconds is just co2 still coming out of solution. Let it be, leave it alone and bottle it up after another week or so, let it carbonate for 2 weeks, then give it a week or 2 in the fridge to condition and be on your way to rewarding your patience with your own great tasting beer.

I see, so basically CO2 is still trapped/dissolved in the beer from fermentation.  While dissolved in the liquid, the liquid stays the same volume essentially, but when the beer degasses, that CO2 takes up more volumetric space and causes positive pressure.  Makes sense.

Cool man.   8)  Thanks!
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: SCBeerDude7 on February 10, 2021, 08:04:46 PM
Everything looks fairly normal but S-04 usually finishes in ~3-4 days not weeks.
Don’t trust airlock activity to determine if it’s done. Trust your hydrometer.
Once it’s finish package it. No advantage in letting it sit longer once it’s done.

Thanks BrewBama.  I was going to let it sit longer more for beer clarity (let more stuff fall out of suspension before transferring) and more time for the yeast to clear up any byproducts.  I guess I could wait 3 weeks (from the yeast pitching date) instead of 4.  I'll take a gravity reading at day 14 and another on day 17.
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 10, 2021, 10:51:28 PM
Your beer is probably more clear than you think - a glass carboy viewed from the side is always much darker and less clear than a glass of beer from it.  Like was said, S-04 is pretty quick, usually.  I would take a couple gravity readings and package as soon as it is stable.
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: Drewch on February 11, 2021, 06:06:36 PM
My first Brew. . . .

Welcome aboard!  It sounds like your first batch is on track to be significantly more successful than mine.
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: SCBeerDude7 on February 13, 2021, 05:28:28 AM
13 days since pitching the yeast on my first brew ever.
Decided to go ahead and bottle.

Took a gravity reading and got 1.008
(OG 1.050 - FG 1.008) x 131.25 = 5.5125% ABV

Took a taste and tasted good and very clear. No bad flavors, but a bit flat tasting since not carbonated.

Bulk primed in bottling bucket and bottled into 16 bottles that hold 32oz each.
Then put all bottles into a temperature controlled bath set at 60F.  I'll let it sit in that for 2 weeks to carb up then refrigerate for 1 week before drinking.  The bath uses an aquarium heater controlled by the ink bird.  An aquarium circulator is moving water across the heater and around the bath with constant power. Ink bird NTC sensor is near the input side of the water circulator.

Question..... I used a stainless bottling wand from Amazon. One of the photos shows the headspace in the 32oz bottles. Is this enough headspace???

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50937930692_9ea8eb27bb_k.jpg)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50937820821_1d056208ec_k.jpg)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50937928982_49b35e1b27_k.jpg)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50937132248_32e2e60a2a_k.jpg)
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: Saccharomyces on February 13, 2021, 01:12:11 PM
You do not need to be that precise when bottle conditioning.  Bottles can be stored anywhere from 55 to 75 degrees.  The colder you store them while conditioning, the longer they take to carbonate.
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: SCBeerDude7 on February 13, 2021, 01:19:38 PM
I figured it's like a mini fermentation, so that's why I was trying to control temps for flavor. Is it so small a fermentation it doesn't matter?

What about the headspace in these bottles?  That's the only thing that's concerning me at the moment, because I don't want them to explode.  :o
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: Slowbrew on February 13, 2021, 02:01:06 PM
The head space is fine.  You could even go with less you wanted.  Having too much is a bigger issue that too little due to O2 but your bottles look good.

Paul
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: jeffy on February 13, 2021, 02:37:55 PM
Here’s a tip: mark the fill level with a sharpie.  The level will rise as it carbonates.
I had never thought of controlling the conditioning temperature other than keeping it warm enough.
Title: Re: Honey Brown Ale - First Brew PHOTOS - Would like some opinions?
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 14, 2021, 12:44:32 AM
Next time consider doing one plastic bottle to verify full carbonation.  When it is hard, your other glass bottles are done, too.  Cheers!