Author Topic: First brew questions  (Read 543 times)

Offline pnutbutterfluff

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First brew questions
« on: July 07, 2020, 02:57:47 PM »
I brewed my first ever batch of beer on 7/4 using an Ale kit from MoreBeer that came with my kit.  All went well so far I think I just have some fermentation questions. 

First how it went then my questions.

I put my cooled wort into my fermenter I had throughly sanitized with StarSan and still had a decent amount of foam in it when I transferred the wort in.  This foam remained and still does today (7/7) I am not sure if now it is just krausen but either way there is still a good amount.  Upon original transfer I did have a little of the hops go in very little but did see it in that foam.  My original gravity was 1.044.  I poured contents of one packet of sanitized Cali dry yeast (CellarScience) straight into fermenter with wort at 75degF at that time.  First day were fermenting at 74degF then second day found a better spot in my house and has been at 65degF since then.  I just took a sample and my SG at day 3 is 1.012.  I also sampled it and it tastes really good not what I was expecting for ale because it has so much flavor and a noticeable hop flavor.

Questions:

1. Is that a really fast fermentation change in SG?
2. Is the krausen (possible persistent StarSan foam) going to hurt anything?
3. According to my recipe I am .002 from my target FG what if I hit this in a few days do I bottle? Or do I need to let yeast complete there thing and clean-up and wait till SG is stable multiple days and foam has gone?

Thank you for your help.  I realize on rereading this I seem to have a foam complex with this first batch.

Photo is today Day 3.


Offline BOB357

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Re: First brew questions
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2020, 08:53:47 PM »
1. It's not rare for a beer to ferment out in 2 or 3 days, especially a low gravity beer, but there's no reason to waste beer for hydrometer readings this soon.

2. The Krausen is perfectly normal. Once fermentation is complete it will recede and then the beer will begin to clear. (the Starsan foam is long gone by now.) The type of yeast you're using is most often slow to flocculate and drop out of suspension. Allow it to do so before you think about bottling. Once the churning and milky appearance of active fermentation is gone, gently swirling the fermenter a couple times a day and/or reducing the temperature can help speed the process.

3. The target FG is an estimate and can vary, so don't treat it as Gospel. Once the Krausen has receded check the gravity. Wait 3 days and check again. If the gravity hasn't dropped the beer is ready to bottle. Best practice for new brewers is to wait to bottle until at least 2 weeks after you brewed the beer. The sediment will be more compact and it'll be a lot easier to leave it in the fermenter when you transfer to the bottling bucket.
Bob

Offline Oginme

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Re: First brew questions
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2020, 06:13:43 AM »
I can only add to what Bob357 has stated.

Fermenting at 74F/75F will stress the yeast a bit, so your active fermentation may be done but there is a greater chance of off-flavor byproducts due to the rapid yeast activity.  Give the yeast cells some time to settle themselves out and a few yeasts will absorb the byproducts of their metabolism to create more energy.  This is a slower process so don't hurry it.  I typically give my ales a good 10 to 14 days in the fermenter before cold crashing.
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Offline pnutbutterfluff

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Re: First brew questions
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2020, 01:39:00 PM »
Thank you guys for your responses!  It is looking better today the Krausen has gone down a lot.  It is stable at 64 degF so I hope the yeast will eat up any byproducts were made.  In the future since I don't have a temp control area should I cool the wort down even more before putting it in the fermenter to avoid the high activity in the beginning? I don't know how much cooler I can get it with my water temp.

Offline Oginme

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Re: First brew questions
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2020, 01:51:17 PM »
Getting the wort temperature down during hot weather is always a challenge.  I usually aim for chilling down to slightly below my target fermentation temperature and then pitching and allowing it to warm up.  Yeast metabolism produces heat, so the temperature of the fermenting beer will be higher than the room temperature during the high yeast activity.  Placing the carboy or bucket in a water batch will help to minimize this increase within the carboy.  Placing a towel which drapes over the carboy and hangs into the water will keep it pretty cool (AKA swamp cooler).
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Offline BOB357

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Re: First brew questions
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 04:35:55 PM »
Now I'll add to what Oginme posted :) You can also place frozen water bottles in the water bath if needed to help control temperature during the most active part of fermentation. Just rotate them between the freezer and water bath as needed.
Bob

Offline pnutbutterfluff

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Re: First brew questions
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2020, 05:09:08 PM »
Awesome! That is great advice the swamp cooler idea is brilliant but also a terrible thing in home cooling in my experience in El Paso anyway. haha thanks again guys.  I have a 10Gal kettle coming and a fermzilla 25L to do an English bitter BIAB next hopefully this weekend.  I'm going to use all this info for that!