Author Topic: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit  (Read 13529 times)

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #45 on: February 29, 2012, 05:50:52 PM »
Also I've had good results with cascade hops.  Very tasty.  I bought a pound of them and intend to use them again on my next batch, a hoppy red ale.

Offline Brew Doc

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2012, 09:43:48 PM »
Question for the pros out there...first batch brewed and now in fermenter.  I finished it all on Saturday.  After 48 hours went by with no bubbling through the airlock, I (by the guidace of John Palmer) proceeded through several measures:
1) Low pitch rate or bad yeast--at 48 hours I carefully rehydrated a new packet of Cooper's Ale Yeast and pitched it into the fermenter.  Well, 24 hours later-->no bubbling.
2) Maybe its not warm enough?  Well, I put the fermenter in a dark closet and put a heater in there so that the rooms temperature was effectively raised by 6-7 degrees (nearing 75 F)--24 hours later and no bubbling. 
3) Maybe the fermenter is not air-tight?  Well, I think it is because when I put a bit of downward pressure on the lid, the fluid in the airlock rises--I'm pretty sure its air-tight. 

I feel like my whole brew day process was good, I kept records of everything that I did and I can't figure out why I don't see bubbles to help me know fermentation is actually taking place.  Like I said, I've been through Palmer's diagnoses and cures and am just stumped--any ideas, or is my very first batch a loss?

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2012, 09:48:25 PM »
Question for the pros out there...first batch brewed and now in fermenter.  I finished it all on Saturday.  After 48 hours went by with no bubbling through the airlock, I (by the guidace of John Palmer) proceeded through several measures:
1) Low pitch rate or bad yeast--at 48 hours I carefully rehydrated a new packet of Cooper's Ale Yeast and pitched it into the fermenter.  Well, 24 hours later-->no bubbling.
2) Maybe its not warm enough?  Well, I put the fermenter in a dark closet and put a heater in there so that the rooms temperature was effectively raised by 6-7 degrees (nearing 75 F)--24 hours later and no bubbling. 
3) Maybe the fermenter is not air-tight?  Well, I think it is because when I put a bit of downward pressure on the lid, the fluid in the airlock rises--I'm pretty sure its air-tight. 

I feel like my whole brew day process was good, I kept records of everything that I did and I can't figure out why I don't see bubbles to help me know fermentation is actually taking place.  Like I said, I've been through Palmer's diagnoses and cures and am just stumped--any ideas, or is my very first batch a loss?

take a gravity reading. was there any krausen? (a layer of foamy stuff on top)

The good news is that you probably didn't hurt the beer to much by raising the temp because if it fermented then after a couple of days the worst of the temp related dangers are mitigated.

don't trust the bubbles from the airlock. particularly if using buckets. they do leak. It is possible that the downward presure on the lid sealed it just enough to get a little upward action in the airlock. this doesn't mean it is sealed when you are not pressing on it.

again. Take a gravity reading and you will know. I guess it's pretty close to finished.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #48 on: March 07, 2012, 11:44:55 PM »
Yeah, step one should always be take a gravity reading.  I think it is most likely fermenting away, you really can't trust most bucket lids.

Next time, don't heat the wort as high as you have, high 60s is as high as I would go for almost any ale strain.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline repo

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2012, 06:00:19 AM »
Yeah, good advice abve. I however  might suggest that the first step be the easiest when diagnosing problems. In this instance as Morticai alluded check for the  krausen, a visual inspection of the beer can tell you what may be happening. Is there krausen or evidence of it having come and gone? Also using fermometers and monitoring temperature can also indicate fermentation is progressing, as it will rise.  I have a carboy blowoff hood that doesn't seal and  I have never seen one bubble through numerous fermentations, I can see the beer though and know that its fermenting.

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2012, 07:00:14 PM »
my batches haven't been bubbling in the airlock either.  they are clearly fermenting though, after a week I'm already at one point off target gravity on my latest batch.

Offline Brew Doc

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2012, 08:24:21 PM »
Thanks for all the replies, everyone's imput and guidance has been invaluable.  I popped the lid this evening and there are a few areas on the surface that still appear like foam, or like foam fading so to speak.  My OG was ~1.042 (brew date 3/3/12) and my gravity reading tonight was 1.010--I'm thinking this is good news, something ate the sugar. 

Being new to this and most of my education coming second-hand per books and the AHA, should I be concerned that the bucket doesn't seal airtight, doesn't this put the fermenting process at risk for mold contamination or over oxidation?  Should I use my carboy from now on, do you guys think this is easier and makes evaluation of the fermentation process less of a hassle? 

Thanks again, good weekend to everyone...

Offline hokerer

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2012, 08:27:57 PM »
Being new to this and most of my education coming second-hand per books and the AHA, should I be concerned that the bucket doesn't seal airtight, doesn't this put the fermenting process at risk for mold contamination or over oxidation?

It's common for buckets to not seal.  You don't have anything to worry about as fermentation gives off CO2 and the pressure of that makes sure that things move in the right direction - away from your wort.  Whether it's out through and airlock or out through a leaky seal, keeping things moving outward makes sure that nothing like bugs or oxygen can move inward.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #53 on: March 09, 2012, 11:06:21 PM »
Thanks for all the replies, everyone's imput and guidance has been invaluable.  I popped the lid this evening and there are a few areas on the surface that still appear like foam, or like foam fading so to speak.  My OG was ~1.042 (brew date 3/3/12) and my gravity reading tonight was 1.010--I'm thinking this is good news, something ate the sugar. 

Being new to this and most of my education coming second-hand per books and the AHA, should I be concerned that the bucket doesn't seal airtight, doesn't this put the fermenting process at risk for mold contamination or over oxidation?  Should I use my carboy from now on, do you guys think this is easier and makes evaluation of the fermentation process less of a hassle? 

Thanks again, good weekend to everyone...

well there you go. you've got finished beer. bottle that stuff up and wait patiently for a couple more weeks and then drink them.

Yeah, the bucket lid not sealing doesn't seem to be an issue with contamination or o2.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #54 on: March 13, 2012, 02:54:39 PM »
My third batch, sweet stout has come out pretty good.  It's got pretty good body, could be thicker but it ain't bad, a good roasty flavor, a pretty nice head with some staying power and very nice sheets of lacing.  The taste is pretty good and not too far off the style, perhaps a little bit hoppier than I expected but quite tasty!

Batch 4 will have to be bottled tomorrow or thursday and won't be touched for six weeks.  Goin' on a mission, won't be able to taste it till may!!