Home brewing fermentation techniques will help you to be successful in brewing an excellent batch of brew. If you have decided to make your own beer then it is important to have the necessary information regarding fermenting the brew. Here are some excellent tips that will help you to become an expert on home brewing and very soon you will be able to bottle the best tasting beer.
Beer ferments for about 3 weeks when yeast is added. During this period of fermentation, the yeast consumes all the sugars present in the wort and gives out Co2 gas and alcohol till there are no fermentable sugars left or the level of alcohol gets increase to a very high level that is intolerable for the yeast. During this particular period it is essential that a steady/stable environment is provided.
Before the home brewing fermentation period, you have to make sure that a hydrometer reading is taken which will let you know the starting/original beer gravity. In other words, this measurement is the wort density which is a lot higher than that of water on account of the malt sugar concentrate. This is where a hydrometer is used. It is placed into a jar that contains a sample of the brew. A deft spin of the jar will release trapped bubbles at the bottom.
After adding the yeast, seal the fermenter. A blow-off tube allows the foam and carbon dioxide to escape without allowing any airborne particles to enter. The fermenter should be placed in a dark cool place that has a steady temperature of around 60 to 70 degrees F. In case the location is too bright, a cloth or heavy towel can be wrapped around the fermenter. This will also provide insulation. It is important to note that bright light affects the flavor and taste of the finished product giving it a “cardboard” taste.
In about 12 to 24 hrs the beer begins to actively ferment. One can see a thick “foam layer” formed on the top. This is known as “kraeusen”. Using a glass fermenter will allow you to see the movement of the beer in a swirling, churning motion. The blow off tube helps to get rid of the foam that is being pushed out. Using an airlock would make it get clogged and this in turn could cause a pressure “build-up” that could blow out the fermenter cork and even cause the glass carboy to break.
Around 5 days later you will notice that the “kraeusen” has almost disappeared and fermentation has slowed down a lot. This is the time to get the beer transferred to a second fermenter. This is important if you want a thorough and complete fermentation with the beer having a cleaner appearance and taste. The beer has to be siphoned off into a secondary fermenter in order to stop the air mixing with the beer.
Home brewing fermentation involves more knack than you know. Once you transfer the beer, make sure that there is an airlock on the secondary fermenter and let the process of total fermentation complete in 8 – 14 days. You will know that it is complete because the bubbles in the airlock will occur less than one time in a minute, the beer is very clear at the top even if it is cloudy at the bottom.