Step 10: Fermentation

Picture of Fermentation
Over the next 7 to 10 days the yeast will do its work of converting sugars in the wort to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Place the fermenter in a cool, dark place. Total darkness isn't necessary but direct sunlight is a definite no-no. The fermentation process is fun to watch but don't be concerned if nothing appears to be happening for 12 to 24 hours. After that time you should begin to see foaming and bubbles escaping from your air lock. After 7 to 10 days the fermentable sugars should be converted by the yeast and you're ready for the next step.
frosh26262 years ago
If I wanted to make a fruit beer, at what point would I add fruit? Im assuming during the fermenting process? I'm just concerned as fruits have a natural sugar of course and could mess with the process.
did you get an answer?
imarunner2 (author)  ygorbulsky1 year ago
I haven't done many fruit beers but I know opinions are all over the board on when to add it, if and how to process it, and on and on. It also depends somewhat on exactly what you want out of the finished product. You duly note the sugars in fruit will be happily consumed by the yeast.

Like I said, there are lots of opinions and techniques for making fruit beers. As a general rule late fruit additions (after primary fermentation is complete) will lend more fruit flavor and aroma to the finished beer...much like late hop additions contribute more hop flavor and aroma.
anode5054 years ago
I've found fermentation temps to be rather critical. I feel one of the most important variables to making a good tasting beer. Too hot (or even cold to a much lesser degree) will stress the yeast and cause off flavors. Some resembling 'lighter fluid' (feusel) taste and other esters. What temp matters, Ales warmer then lagers But I'd ferment in no higher then 70 for Ales (the fermentation creates its own heat, so the beer wil be warmer then the air around it)
I wanted to know how much yeast is in the package and how much in ounces you should use. I have a very large bottle of brewer's yeast and i doubt you have to use 32 ounces of it.
The yeast needs to be active, If it is use a tablespoon or so in a little bit of starter wort and It will wake up.
imarunner2 (author) 8 years ago

diten8 years ago
I use 70% alcohol, to make it, buy alcohol in a drugstore (about 96°), and mix it in about 2/3 (in fact a little more) of alcohol and 1/3 (a little less) of water. don't use alcohol without this mix, because it's not so eficient. (my wife explained why, but I can't remember now, and as you can see, my english is poor).
The best way to block out light is to simply wrap the jug/carboy in a blanket or heavy bath towel. You may want to keep an eye out for blow off. That is where the krausen (foamy crap at the top) exceeds the availble head space of the container and will start to ooze out of your airlock. You can take a 3/8 ID hose and attach it to the tube in the center of your airlock and put it other end into a bowl of water. Make sure that the end of the hose is below the water line.
Blocking the light is a good idea, a towel is a good suggestion, or we use a somewhat thick black t-shirt, just put it on like the carboy is wearing it.
el kabong9 years ago
Since you are using an airlock, one way to tell if your fermentation is complete is by timing the bubbles in the airlock. When your fermentation is complete, you should be observing only one bubble every two to three minutes or so. If you're still getting bubbles every thirty seconds, your fermentation is not complete- if you bottle before fermentation is over, you're more likely to experience exploding beer bottles.