Hi, I’m Mark Emiley on behalf of Expert Village.
In this next segment, we’re going to focus on our fermentation processes. Now that we’ve
got our beer all ready, we’re going to start worrying about our fermentation. So, for ales,
we’re going to want to keep the fermentation temperature between sixty and seventy degrees.
You can go on the higher end for some of the higher strength beers like the IPAs, and also
for the wheat’s which will pull out a little more of the interesting phenolics. For lagers,
such as a bock, or a pilsner, we’re going to want to go as cold as we can which means
we want to hit or aim for fifty degrees. So, with this, you’re going to want to take your
bucket, put it into a nice, relatively cool dark place in your house and let’s start our
primary fermentation. In about twenty-four to forty-eight hours, you should start to
see your airlock bubble a fair amount. In about three days, your bubbling should be
very, very vigorous, maybe even once every second or maybe once every two or three seconds.
After that, it’s going to start slowing down. Once it hits about one bubble every six seconds,
you’re going to want to go through your first racking operation which is described in a
later segment. Once you’ve done your first racking operation, the bubbling is going to
go down significantly. Okay, at this point, it’s going to be going into its second fermentation.
All the yeast is going to be falling out of the solution, kind of sedimenting down at
the bottom and you’re going to have a nice, clean beer. If you did buy a hydrometer, you
can track the progress of your fermentation a lot with this. So, you’re going to start
with your initial hydrometer reading, then in about five or six days, when your primary
fermentation is done, you should be down to about thirty percent of what your initial
hydrometer reading was. So, if you were starting at ten fifty that would mean you’d be about
ten fifteen. At that point, you’re going to siphon. And then after that you’re going to
kind of watch your secondary fermentation. It may drop down a couple more points. It
may get down to twenty-five percent of what you started at. If you get to that point,
you’re in good shape. Even if you didn’t, you still may be okay as long as it’s not
still bubbling. And if you’re lower, you’re still good. The lager yeast strain that you
used is going to want to be fermented at about fifty degrees, so the closer you can keep
that, the better. So here are a couple of tips for doing that. First, you can put your
carboy or your pail in a nice basic bin and dump some ice in there to help bring down
the temperature, and some water. That will help stabilize it a lot. To make it a little
better, you can add on a t-shirt and you can keep the t-shirt wet and that will help evaporate
some of the heat as well. Another step past that, is you can blow a fan on that. And that
will even remove more heat from that. Ideally, you’d like to put this in your refrigerator.
However, this takes up a lot of space in there, it kind of knocks out all your shelves. So,
this is probably the best way you are going to want to go about this. Now, to do the best
lager that you can, what you’d like to do is after fermentation, start dropping the
temperature by about one to three degrees per day down to about freezing (which is thirty
two). Don’t worry, the beer won’t freeze, it has alcohol in it. At this, you can let
it sit there for a couple of weeks and it will give off the wonderful lager characteristics
that you are looking for in this beer. However, if you can’t do this, the beer is still going
to come out fine, this just adds a little extra to it.