Author Topic: No Alcohol Beer  (Read 7964 times)

Tubarama

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No Alcohol Beer
« on: July 13, 2008, 12:06:24 AM »
I live in Japan and tried making my first batch of beer with a 5-gallon Youngs Plastic Fermention Bin. It has no airlock and believe that the Japanese instruction say that air will exit through the lid rim. Is it better to get an airlock and grommet and attach one?

My first batch started fermenting and the lid puffed up from the pressure. After a day, though, the pressure went away and the lid went back to its normal shape, other than being slightly warped from the upwards expansion. The alcohol level of the beer is at just under 1%, though the fl aver seems like it would taste like beer with a little carbonation.

The weather has been hot (26-28 degreed Celsius) in my apartment and I have a feeling the yeast (Blackrock Lager) died prematurely because the liquid was too hot. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 09:57:13 PM »
Hi,
  An airlock is needed - it is possible the temperature and increased pressure may have led to an untimely death.  However, I would still expect fermentation to produce more than 1% alcohol.

  I would probably not toss the beer yet - get an airlock, lower the temperature by wrapping it with wet towels and put a fan on them.  You can cut about 10F off the temperature if you use a fan and change the towels a few times a day.

  The beer might come out just fine - but only time will tell.

Cheers,
Brad
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Tubarama

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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 04:12:27 AM »
Thanks for the advice and I will try bringing the temperature down. Do you think bringing it down to 72 degrees F would be low enough?

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 07:05:12 AM »
I also agree you should be using an airlock. Although you can go without by leaving the lid on loosely (Open fermentation) but if this is your first beer you should be using an airlock.

One day is not enough time to ferment the beer, average for me is 7 days, 4-14 days can be expected. Use the 1-2-3 method (1 week primary, 2 weeks in secondary, 3 weeks in the bottles). I would say that you should ferment per the instructions between 18 and 22 C. My understanding is that this yeast is not a true lager yeast which would ferment from 10-15 C. I have not tried this kit myself, but I'm sure it will be good. Go to the home brew store and get an airlock and another package of yeast (Just in case, store the yeast in the fridge). Roust the yeast a little bit by stirring gently and then bring the temp down into the fermentation range how ever you can and it will probably start going again in a day or so. If after 4 days and you don't see any activity in the airlock you can pitch the second yeast. Just dump it straight in don't mix with water. I always keep a package of dry yeast in the fridge for just such occasions (Danstar Nottingham Ale is my preference).

As far as the temp's If you can stay on the lower side of the recommended fermentation temps it would be best (each yeast will be different). I have had the most dramatic change in my beer by doing just that. Lowering the fermentation temps.

Cheers

Preston
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Offline bonjour

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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2008, 10:17:09 AM »
I'll disagree a bit,  An airlock is NOT NEEDED,  but the lid must be on loosely.  Drill a 1.25 hole in the lid and use a stopper with an airlock.  This will fit most brewing apparatus. 

Beer is done when beer is done,  I do not like the 1, 2, 3 rule, especially the 1 part.  I'd rather see it as a 2,1,3.  Too many brewers rack their beer before it has completed fermentation and then wonder why it doesn't finish as dry as it should.  Best to measure the gravity with a hydrometer and then give it a few days after it finishes fermentation.

Fred

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2008, 11:24:23 AM »
Tubarama
As you can see there will be many answers to the same question.
Beer is done when beer is done,  I do not like the 1, 2, 3 rule, especially the 1 part.  I'd rather see it as a 2,1,3.  Too many brewers rack their beer before it has completed fermentation and then wonder why it doesn't finish as dry as it should.  Best to measure the gravity with a hydrometer and then give it a few days after it finishes fermentation.
Fred
Totally agree about the Hydrometer, BUT! For a First Timer like the OP, keeping it simple should be paramount, There is enough to learn in the beginning and it can be overwhelming for a first timer. Remembering back when I made my first, Although I read everything probably 10 times at that point. I still was confused about a great deal of things! Hydrometer readings was one of them. Only by doing and watching others brew did I learn what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong.

My average in primary is 7 days. Usually finishing primary in 4-5 days and then a rest for 2-3 days. Big starters help get things moving at an early rate. But once again I go to the first timer statement. Keep It Simple. There will be enough yeast in suspension to finish the job if it was not finished in the primary to finish in two more weeks. Personally I think that one week in secondary is to short (I like clear beer). Some yeasts don't flocculate well and giving it some extra time to clear for me is preferred. Although the same amount of time has passed when transferring out of secondary, you are going to get some yeast from the primary into the secondary, its inevitable.

Cheers

Preston
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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2008, 11:41:36 AM »
I don't use secondaries (ok, very rarely) and just leave it in the primary untill it drops clear.

Fred

harebare

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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 03:42:18 PM »
I disagree with all of you. (Just kidding!)

Note he didn't say fermentation had stopped. Just that the lid wasn't domed after a day. I'm sure that pressure found a way out. It always does. (My current batch blew through the airlock the first night despite more than a gallon of headspace in the primary.)

Remember, he's a noob (I mean that in the most endearing way, Tubarama) and doesn't have a frame of reference to say it is or it isn't still going.

My advice:

  • Do try and keep it as cool as you can.
  • Watch for bubbles rising in the beer. When they subside, watch for the beer to turn clear
  • If you have not already, invest in some way to test the specific gravity of the beer. Either a hydrometer or a refractometer. If the bubbles stop, the beer clears but one of these puppies says you still have a lot of sugar, then worry.

Until then, let nature (yeast) take it's course and you'll have your first brew in no time.

Welcome to the forum. Great guys (are there any women around here?) with strong opinions and great ideas. Stick around and keep brewing. You'll learn a lot.

- Hare

Tubarama

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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2008, 04:26:32 PM »
Thanks everyone for your advice! I have wanted to try making my own beer for a long time and am happy and excited to finally be doing it, even if the first batch didn't work out. I tried cranking up the A/C and brought it down to 22 degrees Celsius for a day or two but still no bubbling or pressure in the fermenting bucket.

Unfortunately, I live in on a small island in Japan and don't have access to more brewing yeast so I had to chuck the batch. The good news is that I just returned to the States today and am going to my local brewer's shop to get what I need to take back.

I will get one or two airlocks and grommets and attach them to the lid of my fermenting bucket when I get back to Japan. I am also going to pick their brains about ideas for what to bring back to Japan, such as yeast(s) that work well in hotter temperatures.

Any suggestions for yeast types for summer brewing in the subtropics?

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Re: No Alcohol Beer
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2008, 09:44:13 AM »
You could do a Saison or a Lambic. I would do the Saison. "Dupont Saison" is one of my favorites in the style. Pick up a 6er and try one. As stated earlier in the thread. Pick up a Fan while you are there. Put the primary in water, put a towel around it then point the fan at it and you can drop the temp about 6C from room temp. Then you could make anything you want. Granted yeast works better on the lower end of spectrum, but it would still ferment out.

so I had to chuck the batch.
If you don't already have one, get a Hydrometer while you are there. This is VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT. You may have thrown out good beer! If you have one, did you check your reading before you kicked it? If you don't have one and you bottle before the beer is ready, you get Bottle Bombs! Like I said this is VERY VERY IMPORTANT. I would think you can get anything including beer kits over the internet.

Belgian Saison
Laboratory: Wyeast Labs Flocculation: Low
Product Number: 3724
Average Attenuation: 78.00 %
Type: Ale
Minimum Temp: 21.1 C
Form: Liquid
Maximum Temp: 35.0 C
Size: 1 Pkgs
Use Starter: No
Best For
Belgian Saison beer
Notes
Classic farmhouse ale yeast. Spicy, complex aromatics including bubble gum. Tart and dry on the palate with mild fruitiness. Finishes crisp and mildly acidic. Ferment at warm temperature. May have vigorous fermentation start.

Lactobacillus Delbrueckii
Laboratory: Wyeast Labs
Flocculation: Medium
Product Number: 4335
Average Attenuation: 67.00 %
Type: Ale
Minimum Temp: 15.6 C
Form: Liquid
Maximum Temp: 35.0 C
Size: 1 Pkgs
Use Starter: No
Add to Secondary: Yes
Best For: Belgian gueze, lambic, sour brown ales, and Berliner Weisse.
Notes
Lactic acid bacteria isolated from Belgium. Produces mild acidity and sourness found in many types of Belgian beers. Always used in conjunction with S. Cerevisiae and wild yeasts.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Cheers

Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

 

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