Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

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Duck1818
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Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by Duck1818 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:45 pm

Hey all,

I have been making the blonde Lager kits all summer and legging with no real issues. I put two on Tuesday and neither are causing the airlock to rise. It SMELLS like it should but this has me concerned that I am going to have two wasted kits. They are firmly sealed in primary so I am not sure what is going on. I always clean and rinse repeatedly so I don't think that is the problem. Any ideas?

Thanks,
D

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by TheGrainBarrel » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:38 pm

What temp are they sitting at? Do you check them daily for activity?

I have had one festa kit years ago that had a dead yeast packet but that is extremely rare...
Pop the lid off them and check for signs of fermentation... if the temp was high enough they could have fermented out already

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by Duck1818 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:18 pm

Was only running about 68-70 degrees in the garage so I wouldn't think so. Been making it in the same space all along, I was going for single stage so I hate to open them but I think I have no choice right now.

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by Duck1818 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:29 pm

Ok it does appear to be done fermentation so I should probably get it in a keg under pressure now even though it has only been 3 days more or less? Have not had this happen before so I am unsure what to do.

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by Lisa J » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:51 pm

Did you take a hydrometer reading to determine if fermentation is complete?
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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by Duck1818 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:55 pm

No I have never had to in the past so don’t even own one honestly. Might have to buy one now of course. I am fairly new to this so learning as I go. Hate to waste two batches. Maybe transfer to Cariboy and see what is going on?

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by TheGrainBarrel » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:34 pm

I would rack to carboys and leave for another week atleast if not two and then keg them.

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by Duck1818 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:36 pm

Ok, thanks everyone for your comments. Eventually I will figure this out.

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by McGruff » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:54 am

A hydrometer is a must in my opinion. Get a wine thief along with it.

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by RubberToe » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:07 am

Just leave it on the yeast for another week or two. No need to rack it, the yeast will need some time to clean up.
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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by oceanic_brew » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:04 pm

TheGrainBarrel wrote:I would rack to carboys and leave for another week atleast if not two and then keg them.
I'm really curious to why you think this is a good idea?

Racking and a new vessel only increases the risk of infection or maybe oxidation both of which are going to be very evident in this type of brew. Beyond that there really isn't any reason to rack off of the yeast cake this early in the game.

This person needs some advice so let's give some.

First of all buy a hydrometer and take gravity readings before you pitch your yeast. This can help you to use given attenuation levels on yeast suppliers websites to predict a final gravity of your brews. You'll find that different styles of beer require you to package at different times. You can use both of these numbers to plan a date to first take a gravity sample.

Secondly airlocks are a terrible way to see if something is fermenting. It's common for bucket lids to expel co2 through leaks at such a rate to never lift your airlock, although rare. I've never had it happen.

Third, there's no reason beyond satisfying your own impatience (not a quality of brewing) to open a fermenter to check for fermentation until you are ready to take gravity readings and test the beer to see if it is at an acceptable level of flavor.

Congratulations on your first few batches! There's a massive amount of knowledge on this forum and on places like homebrewtalk.com

Good luck!



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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by mddionne » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:41 pm

+1 on using a hydrometer. I have a few on hand, I usually drop a clean and sanitized hydrometer into my primary fermenter when I pitch my yeast. Even if I get a bit of krauzen build-up around the top (which would weigh it down a touch, resulting in a slightly lower gravity reading), it's still a pretty good indicator of how your fermentation is going. As long as you're using a translucent (or transparent) primary fermenter, you should be able to shine a light through it to figure out roughly where the hydrometer is sitting without opening it up.

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by TheGrainBarrel » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:17 am

oceanic_brew wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:04 pm
TheGrainBarrel wrote:I would rack to carboys and leave for another week atleast if not two and then keg them.
I'm really curious to why you think this is a good idea?

Racking and a new vessel only increases the risk of infection or maybe oxidation both of which are going to be very evident in this type of brew. Beyond that there really isn't any reason to rack off of the yeast cake this early in the game.

This person needs some advice so let's give some.

First of all buy a hydrometer and take gravity readings before you pitch your yeast. This can help you to use given attenuation levels on yeast suppliers websites to predict a final gravity of your brews. You'll find that different styles of beer require you to package at different times. You can use both of these numbers to plan a date to first take a gravity sample.

Secondly airlocks are a terrible way to see if something is fermenting. It's common for bucket lids to expel co2 through leaks at such a rate to never lift your airlock, although rare. I've never had it happen.

Third, there's no reason beyond satisfying your own impatience (not a quality of brewing) to open a fermenter to check for fermentation until you are ready to take gravity readings and test the beer to see if it is at an acceptable level of flavor.

Congratulations on your first few batches! There's a massive amount of knowledge on this forum and on places like homebrewtalk.com

Good luck!



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You are correct in saying there is no need to rack to a vessel at this point and obviously taking hydrometer readings will tell you how your fermentation is going but there is also no risk with racking to a secondary fermenter at this time if you are following proper sanitation procedures. After taking the lids off and finding obvious signs of fermentation and the krausen has dropped then there is no reason why you cannot rack to secondary. :chug:

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by Duck1818 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:58 pm

Ok thank you for the advice. Maybe a couple more likely novice questions if you don’t mind?

I use the typical bucket primary and really would like to go to one stage given where my setup is. I was thinking of using the plastic caraboy instead to do this. I am an engineer and don’t see the real difference if I cover them but at this stage may be missing some of the underlying reasons not to. Can I do this?

Would also love if anyone has a link or reference to primary temps at least for the basic festabrew kits out there so I can dial that in better. I have temp control where I have my setup.

Thanks again,

Don

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by mthibodeau » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:33 pm

Duck1818 wrote:Ok thank you for the advice. Maybe a couple more likely novice questions if you don’t mind?

I use the typical bucket primary and really would like to go to one stage given where my setup is. I was thinking of using the plastic caraboy instead to do this. I am an engineer and don’t see the real difference if I cover them but at this stage may be missing some of the underlying reasons not to. Can I do this?

Would also love if anyone has a link or reference to primary temps at least for the basic festabrew kits out there so I can dial that in better. I have temp control where I have my setup.

Thanks again,

Don
No difference, bucket or carboy are fine. If you start aging your beer longer before bottling then you would want to go to secondary, and probably glass, to stop oxygen getting through the plastic. Not really an issue of its only in there a month or two.

As to festa brew temp, probably 18-22c just a guess but most ale yeast is in that range

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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by LeafMan66_67 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:39 pm

Bucket or carboy is fine. I use these buckets with no airlock and haven't noticed a difference from when I switched from glass. I'm usually two to three weeks in the bucket before racking to kegs.

As for the temperature ranges for FestaBrews, you should go by both the beer style and yeast provided with the kit. For most of the ales, I'm guessing somewhere between 18 and 21C would be appropriate, but don't quote me on that.



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Re: Question on Festabrew Kit - Possible Problem

Post by elreplica » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:57 pm

Duck1818 wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:45 pm
Hey all,

I have been making the blonde Lager kits all summer and legging with no real issues. I put two on Tuesday and neither are causing the airlock to rise. It SMELLS like it should but this has me concerned that I am going to have two wasted kits. They are firmly sealed in primary so I am not sure what is going on. I always clean and rinse repeatedly so I don't think that is the problem. Any ideas?

Thanks,
D
Yeah, a little late to the party but Festa Blonde comes with S23 Lager yeast and ideal fermentation should be kept between 9-15C...this yeast will produce off flavours, eg - green apple, cidery...it will ferment fine if lagered as I've made many Festas both ales and lagers...racking to a carboy helps if you're going to truly Lager the beer, use findings to cold crash it...Noble Grape will provide their own instructions on a blue sheet suggesting to rack to a carboy and yes, you need to own a hydrometer...airlocks don't tell the story and many primary fermenter vessels don't even use them as the vigourous, (loose lid covered)fermentation during the primary phase will blow out any oxidation and nasties.
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