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Fermentation

When the brew day is over and the equipment has been cleaned, it is time to allow the yeast to ferment your beer. Your beer will ferment best in a place that is warm, out of sunlight and not easily disturbed. 

Most brewing yeasts have temperatures between 55-75 F, but each yeast will prefer different temperature ranges. In most cases, ale yeast will work best at a consistent between 65-75 F. If the temperature is too cold, the fermentation will proceed very slowly or the yeast will hibernate. In the case where the temperature is too warm, it is possible to develop undesirable off flavors or kill the yeast.   

Sunlight can change the flavor of beer by modifying the hops in your beer. This flavor and aroma has been described as skunky, which is not very desirable in beer. This is the reason that most beer bottles are brown in color.  Your fermenter should be out of direct light or covered, if it is clear.

Airlocks (or Fermentation locks) are a wonderful tool to brewing.  They allow CO2 gas to escape while preventing anything else from getting into your beer.   The "red cap" should be attached once you have added your neutral spirits or cleaner.

You should start to observe signs of fermentation after 48 hours after pitching. Although bubbles in the airlock is the most obvious sign of fermentation, it is not absolute or the best indicator. Some fermenters may not be 100% airtight, which would allow the CO2 being produced to escape without going through the airlock. If you do not observe any bubbles after the first 48 hours, you can verify that the fermentation is occurring by opening the lid slightly and looking for a foam layer on top of the beer or a ring of sludge around the fermenter. 

After several days, the fermentation activity will slow down and stop. This is an indication that the majority of sugars have been consumed. At this point in the fermentation, the yeast are eating the last of the sugars and cleaning up after themselves. The beer is considered 'green' at this point, and will need some more time to mature into the right flavors. You can allow the batch to sit for the entirety of the 14 days without any issues.