Good Heavens...what Have I Done?!?

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I'm sorry to add another, "What should I do guys" e-mail...but I'm a bit worried about this last batch.

Coopers Canadian Blond Kit
.5kg LME
.5kg Dextrose

Safale s-04 yeast.

Dissolved fermentables into boiling water in a pot. Added kit. Mixed well. Poured all into (what I thought was) a thrice sanitized fermenter. Added cold tap water to 23L. Pitched dry yeast over top. Put in nice dark room, close door. Walk away.

24 hours later, and the yeast wasn't doing what it normally does. Read, while there was a very thin layer of bubbles on top, it wasn't the regular frothy foam I expected. Another 24 hours, and it's frothing a little bit more, but still only 1/4 as much as my last brew did w/ Safale. Now, 24 hours later, and there's no foam to be seen at all. The top surface of the brew looks like a glass of soda if you poured it in a glass w/ no's got some real fine bubbling action, but nothing else. (See pic 1) Brew_1.JPG I opened up the fermenter and stuck my head in to take a whiff, and almost got knocked on the floor w/ the alcohol smell. I won't go into the fact that the airlock wasn't bubbling, I know enough that my seal could've been leaking.

There is sediment on the bottom of the fermenter...

My initial reading on the hydrometer was 1048. After 4 days, I'm reading 1014. When I opened the tap & poured the brew in, the brew in my hydrometer tube had so much stuff floating in it, it looked like a snow globe. It's all settled to the bottom, so I'm hoping that was just some yeast. It's about 3/4 of an inch thick.
(See pic 2)Brew_2.JPG

Okay all you beer detectives...get out your crystal balls (haha) and tell me if you think I should tip this in the alley, or leave it a few more days....

Thanks for your help...
what temp did you ferment at? s-04 drops out of suspension with a thud. from your piccy there is a krausebn ring and so has been fermenting as further evidenced by the gravity reading.

i suggest you taste it. if OK, give the fermenter a gentle shake to rouse the yeast bake into suspension, then leave for a few more days and check gravity again. if at anticipated FG, and stable for a few days it is right to bottle/keg.

not a good idea to open the lid to take a whiff. if it wasnt infected b4, it might be now.

perhaps it fermented on the hot side and this might explain the alcohol smell you experienced, and rapid fermentation.

if OK after the 3 or 4 days with stable gravity - bottle it and drink it quick so any infection doesnt get a chance to take hold.
Hey Roach,

Thanks for the quick reply.

Temp at yeast pitch was 24C. Since then it's been pretty stable at 20 or 22. I agree, it's not the best idea to go sticking your head in your brew...but I was getting desperate!

I'll give it another few days and see what happens.

As for drinking it quick...I'll see what I can do. As fast as anyone can go through 20L of beer by themselves... :p
She should be fine, chances of infection from opening the lid are pretty slim - but best not to...
It's just brewed out quickly, that's all - your temp was a bit on the high side as the beer would have fermented at a few degrees above the ambient temp - but I'm guessing it'll be quite drinkable. Leave it alone for a few days & then look for a constant gravity over a further few - then proceed as normal...

cheers Ross...
Hey Ross,

Thanks. Okay, well, that confirms it. She'll get a few more days, and hydrometer readings, bottle as normal...

<Sharp salute>

Appreciate the input!
yep agreed that it fermented on the warm side. generally aim to keep at high teens if possible for ales. one of the last kit beers i did b4 switching to AG a few years ago was a Coopers Blonde. Quite an easy drinking beer IIRC that the masses find acceptable.

As Ross says you would be unlucky to get an infection, but I would drink it earlier rather than later. A good excuse anyway!!
You could also try racking to a secondary/CC Cube and leave it for 3-4 weeks in a fridge.
This will allow the yeast a chance to "Clean Up" the beer.
Could also Dry hop it.

But - if it is allready infected - then this will not help.
I'll add another bit while iam sitting here reading the forums over a couple or 20 ales. What proberly knocked you to the floor when you took a wiff could possibly be what will always happen when you stick your head in a fermentor, you suffocate yourself, ie take in a lung full of co2. I bet that beer is fine by the pic and gravity you posted.

with all beers you should leave them for a few more days, GMK said rack to another vessel but iam in the other camp were i'd addvise leaving it right were it is for a week at least. Iam in such a different camp that in another life GMK visited my camp during the first crusade and was shocked at the way we live. :unsure:
Iam sure he must be french! just stirring.
Happy brewing.

yesterdays don't matter because its gone.

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