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Old 19-11-2017, 01:56 PM   #1
Longhead23
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Default Advice required.

I hope this is the right place to ask advice for kit brewing?
This is my first ever homebrew, so no previous knowledge or experience to call on.
I am using the very basic Wilko 20 pint beer kit.
I started the initial fermentation on Sat 11th Nov. The kit suggest ferment for 4-6 days. If still bubbling then leave for a further 3 days.
Using the fermenter that it came in it does not have a bubbler airlock. So I don't know if or when it has or will stop bubbling.

I have read on this forum that the kit timings are fairly optimistic anyway.

So my questions are, do I bottle now? If not, should I bottle mid week or next Saturday? Will leaving it for a few days after it's finished fermenting harm it, make no difference or improve it?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 19-11-2017, 02:00 PM   #2
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Nip back to Wilco and buy a hydrometer.

If the brew comes in at 1.010 or less then is has finished fermenting. (If it's higher then it's "stuck")

Personally, I don't even look into the FV within two weeks if I can help it as the "four to five days" given in kits is wildly optimistic.

"Patience is a virtue." is an old adage; and essential in brewing!

Enjoy.
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Old 19-11-2017, 02:08 PM   #3
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Hi,
I second Dutto's advice. You'd probably be pretty safe after a fortnight but a consistent hydrometer reading over 3 days will take any worry out of it. To take a sample out I use a sterilized ladle, some use a turkey baster or siphon.Whichever method- just open the lid for as little time as possible.
The longer time in the FV also gives time for the brew to drop out and be a little clearer into the bottle. As you say- quoted times on kits optimistic and do not make for a decent brew.
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Old 19-11-2017, 02:12 PM   #4
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You might find this useful
Basic beginners guide to brewing your own beer from a kit - The HomeBrew Forum
If your beer has followed the normal pattern and you have kept it in warm (say about 20*C) place throughout it should be nearly finished by now. If you have a hydrometer (recommended) the same SG on consecutive days should confirm that. In any case I suggest you leave it for 14-16 days after you started it before you bottle. This will allow the yeast to finish its own clean-up and it will also be quite clear. After you have primed and sealed it up leave it for at least a week in a warm place (two weeks might be better) then put your bottles in a cool place to start the maturing process. After two weeks try one, but you will probably find it is better for leaving it longer. A few beers can be drunk very young but most kit beers are best left for six weeks or even longer in my experience.
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Old 19-11-2017, 02:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutto View Post
Nip back to Wilco and buy a hydrometer.

If the brew comes in at 1.010 or less then is has finished fermenting. (If it's higher then it's "stuck")

Personally, I don't even look into the FV within two weeks if I can help it as the "four to five days" given in kits is wildly optimistic.

"Patience is a virtue." is an old adage; and essential in brewing!

Enjoy.
Thanks Dutto. I do have a hydrometer. If am reading it correctly OG was 1.040. I will leave it for next week and test it then.

Cheers.
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Old 19-11-2017, 02:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhead23 View Post
Thanks Dutto. I do have a hydrometer. If am reading it correctly OG was 1.040. I will leave it for next week and test it then.

Cheers.
Hmmm. Or do I test the SG now?
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Old 19-11-2017, 02:33 PM   #7
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+1 for terrym's guide, it's got everything you'll need for kit brewing.
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Old 19-11-2017, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhead23 View Post
Hmmm. Or do I test the SG now?
There is no harm in taking the SG at this point. It should be around 1.010 give or take point or two. If its around 1.020 and looks as if its stopped fermenting (clearing, no sign of a krausen) then its 'stuck', in which case come back for more advice.
And when you have satisfied your curiosity put the lid back on and unless its stuck forget all about it for at least another week.
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Old 19-11-2017, 04:04 PM   #9
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hi Longhead23, where is the fermenter placed, what is the temp of the room its in? if its on the cool side it could take a while to ferment out, longer than you think, only thing needed with this particular hobby is patience! the temp of the fv should be between 19-22 c, constant temp on fermenting leads to better brews overall
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Old 19-11-2017, 04:55 PM   #10
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Remember "This little piggy went to market?" when you were a kid?

The last little piggy went "Whee, whee, whee all the way home." and it's very similar with beer. i.e. Leave it alone and it will come home!
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