LME kits questions

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Alain24601, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. Alain24601

    Alain24601 New Member

    Jun 17, 2020
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    Hey guys,
    New to the hobby, took a year to educate and equipped myself.
    I did everything backwards, I started doing all grains, I wanted to learn the process and understanding each step. Made some mistakes along the way but the worst so far is a bitter that turned flat but still tasty.
    I now have 9 batches under my belt.

    since winter is here, brewing all grains outside can be a pain so I decided to try those cans of LME and bought 2 kits.
    My first one was a light lager. I couldn’t believe how easy it was, boil a gallon of water, dumped 2.2 pounds of sugar add water to desired 5 gallons pitch yeast ferment and bottle. Easy right?
    In my kit, it said after pitching the yeast, ferment with a hard bung or full cover NO airlock for 5 days then rack into secondary with an airlock for 15 days. Fermentation ends when no bubbles or same reading over 2-3 days. Simple.
    However, when I racked into secondary and applied the airlock there was NO movement whatsoever in the airlock. I must say my lid looked like it was about to explode In those 5 days with a full lid but it held on to my amazement, I was even considering burping it!
    I’m bottling this batch next week, I’m really curious how it turns out.
    Is it normal to have no activities in the airlock? Should I be worried?

    My 2nd kit is a Muntons Connoisseur Wheat Beer and I am baffled by the instructions.
    Same kind of process, really easy. This kit says
    Fermentation with airlock (ok that’s normal) and fermentation will be done in 4-6 days.
    Then you rack into bottling bucket with sugar to bottle the batch. Then let bottle condition 14 days and enjoy.

    I’ve always used 3-4 weeks as rule of thumb for carbonating ales.
    So in all grains I would ferment for a month then bottle and condition for a month (3-4 weeks) and enjoy it.
    I’ve always had good success and never had too much carbonation. My pattern is easy, 2 months from grains to drinking.
    With this kit I’m looking at 20 days for the entire process which seems extremely short.
    I’m afraid to have under carbonation, should I be worried?
    In my all grains, should I take it off the fermentor faster than a month?

    compared to the lager kit, it was 5 days in primary, 10-15 days in secondary and 3 weeks to carb. For a total of a month and a half...roughly
    This kits is 4-6 days for fermentation and 14 days to carb for a total of 20 days?!?

    thanks for the comments!
    Craigerrr likes this.
  2. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2020
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    Welcome. No, that's not at all backwards. All-grain is the most flexible method and, once mastered, makes the rest seem too easy.

    Light lager: Fermenting under pressure vastly speeds up the fermentation process; a typical lager might be a week or two of active fermentation, and t weeks of conditioning, followed by a month of lagering (which is a mechanical settling process to clear up the beer). Fermenting under pressure as you did (sounds very scary, I'd not have the nerve to try it like that) means almost all the CO2-producing stuff happened in 2 or 3 days, and so not seeing airlock activity is no cause for alarm. The yeasties are basically done with alcohol and are now eating Diacetyl and stuff. 2 weeks before bottling is reasonable here.

    Wheat beer: Yup, that easy. Most bubbling for 3 days, let it rest for another 3 (or longer if you like) and bottle it.

    Carbonation should be nearly complete in 14 days, but longer can be better and is not harmful.

    Fermentation speed also depends on temperature, so really cold can seem like no activity at all.

    Some data points for you:
    I brewed an all-grain hefeweitzen last Wednesday. Most of the bubbles stopped Saturday. I plan to package it tomorrow. (I use kegs exclusively; carbonation takes under 24 hours and can be precisely controlled)

    I brewed a lager Octoberfest last September, underpitched the yeast (not on purpose) and it took 12 days for the bubbling to slow down. I let it condition for 2 weeks, kegged it to lager and after a month (Novemberfest) it was pretty good, albeit with one minor off-flavor I still have not identified. But over 2 months to drink a beer was far too long.

    A friend brewed an IPA Monday evening, pitched it with Kveik yeast, and at 90 F fermentation was done in under 24 hours (1.060 to 1.010). He will let it condition 2 days and be drinking it Friday.
    Alain24601 likes this.
  3. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2018
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    Couple comments for you here.

    Secondary, in 99% of brewing is not necessary, and only serves to add an opportunity for infection.
    I have personally never transferred to a secondary vessel in 51 brews.

    It baffles me that they would recommend sealing the fermenter completely for 5 days.
    I would recommend fixing an air lock from the beginning, or a blow off tube if you don't have much headspace in your fermenter.

    The fact that your bucket lid was bulging tells me that you had active fermentation. Bubbles are not necessarily an indicator as your bucket lid may leak (which yours clearly did not, or at least not to a point).

    Welcome to Brewers Friend!
  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2017
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    Yeah don't seal a fermenter with active fermentation or you just created a beer bomb.
    SabreSteve likes this.

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