Author Topic: New Brewer, need troubleshooting  (Read 283 times)

Offline Porkchop37

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New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« on: August 06, 2018, 05:55:58 PM »
Hi all,
I just got a Northern Brewer homebrew kit and have begun making their block party ale.  I pitched the yeast Saturday evening and by Sunday morning the vapor lock was going nuts, however by Sunday evening there was no activity in the vapor lock. Should I be concerned or is this normal?

Offline jweiss206

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 06:20:49 PM »
It's quite normal. Certain yeasts, particularly at temps in the upper 60's, get the bulk of their work done quickly and violently. It'll still need at least a few days to reach final gravity though. I've had many beers using the California Ale yeasts finish in as little as three days. I typically let it sit a minimum of a week regardless.

Happy brewing.

Offline Porkchop37

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2018, 06:33:58 PM »
Thank you very much, cheers!

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 06:51:56 PM »
A week or more will allow the yeast to clean up Diacetyl, Acetaldehyde, and other off flavors from fermentaion. Be patient.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2018, 07:45:25 PM »
Definitely normal, and nothing to worry about for your first few batches, but long-term your beers will be well served by figuring out some sort of fermentation temperature control. It doesn't have to be anything outlandish; a shallow tub of water and a towel draped over the fermenter will buy you several degrees. But generally speaking most ales will turn out best when fermented at about 62-68°F.

Edit: And I should have mentioned that absent any control the beer temperature will average about 4°F higher than ambient air temperature, and on a vigorous ferment like this could be 10-15°F higher.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 12:31:15 AM by a10t2 »
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Offline James K

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2018, 10:54:54 PM »
If you have the capability you can raise the temp now, which usually helps the yeast finish and helps clean stuff up. Then you can cold crash your beer and visually it will clear up more than if you don’t.
I recommend being patient. A week fermentation can get the job done, but the beer sitting in your fermentation vessel won’t hurt either. Just don’t leave it for a month+.

What temp did you ferment at? Are you going to bottle this?
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Offline MNWayne

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2018, 01:08:47 AM »
First batch. I wouldn't worry about doing anything other than waiting out the first week. Skip messing with temps, just leave it alone. At the one week mark, if there is no airlock activity, then bottle it. If you have a hydrometer then you can measure for lack of change in gravity, otherwise just follow the bottling instructions. You have plenty of time to read up on temperature control and gravity and sanitation and boils and mini-mashes etc. But for the first batch just marvel in the magic, prime and bottle and wait those 2 long weeks until the bottles are ready. Welcome to the art and science and craft of home brewing.

Offline goose

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 01:14:25 PM »
First batch. I wouldn't worry about doing anything other than waiting out the first week. Skip messing with temps, just leave it alone. At the one week mark, if there is no airlock activity, then bottle it. If you have a hydrometer then you can measure for lack of change in gravity, otherwise just follow the bottling instructions. You have plenty of time to read up on temperature control and gravity and sanitation and boils and mini-mashes etc. But for the first batch just marvel in the magic, prime and bottle and wait those 2 long weeks until the bottles are ready. Welcome to the art and science and craft of home brewing.

Good advice!  As you start doing more brewing your horizons will expand and you will learn new things to make your future brews better.  We all started there!
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Offline Porkchop37

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 05:18:05 PM »
If you have the capability you can raise the temp now, which usually helps the yeast finish and helps clean stuff up. Then you can cold crash your beer and visually it will clear up more than if you don’t.
I recommend being patient. A week fermentation can get the job done, but the beer sitting in your fermentation vessel won’t hurt either. Just don’t leave it for a month+.

What temp did you ferment at? Are you going to bottle this?

I'm only fermenting it at the ambient temperature in my house, which I've been trying to keep in the high 60's.  I don't have any form of temperature control as of yet.  And I intend to bottle it, yes.  I have a nearby homebrew shop that has good prices on bottles.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 05:20:31 PM by Porkchop37 »

Offline James K

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Re: New Brewer, need troubleshooting
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2018, 04:58:35 PM »

I'm only fermenting it at the ambient temperature in my house, which I've been trying to keep in the high 60's.  I don't have any form of temperature control as of yet.  And I intend to bottle it, yes.  I have a nearby homebrew shop that has good prices on bottles.

I use to bottle by mixing priming sugar into a bucket and filling my bucket with my fermented beer. Now I use carbonation drops and put a drop or two (depending on bottle size) into the bottle and then cap. I’ve found that 2 drops works great for a 750ml. One for a 12oz bottle.

As for the temp, there might be a place in your house that just happens to be warmer, but at this point I wouldn’t even worry about it.
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