A Crash Course in Brewing
The science of fermentation is discussed in Chapter 8 - Fermentation. Chapter 9 - Fermenting Your First Batch, walks you through the application of that science, so that from 10 ft. away, you will be able to perspicaciously inform curious onlookers that the beer is in the Adaptive, Attenuative, or Conditioning phase of activity.
1. Pitch the yeast. Pour the rehydrated yeast solution into the fermentation bucket.
2. Add cooled wort. Pour the cooled wort into the fermentation bucket "aggressively," so that it splashes and churns in the bucket. This action adds the oxygen yeast need for growth. This is the only time during the brewing process that you want the beer to be aerated or exposed to oxygen. All other transfers should be done "quietly," with a sanitized siphon and very little disturbance in the flow and minimal contact with the air.If you had added hops during the boil, you can remove them during this step by pouring the wort into the fermentor through a strainer. It is not necessary to remove the hops, however.
|How to Siphon|
When racking or bottling, you cannot start a siphon by sucking on it or you will contaminate and sour the batch with bacteria from your mouth.
All parts of the siphon (racking cane, tubing, and cutoff valve or bottle filler) need to be sanitized, especially the inside. After sanitizing, leave the siphon full of sanitizer and carefully place the racking cane in your beer. Release the clamp/valve or your clean-and-sanitized thumb and allow the sanitizer to drain into a jar. Make sure the outlet is lower than the fermenter, or you will drain the sanitizer into your beer.
As the sanitizer drains, it will draw the beer into the siphon and you can stop and transfer the outlet to your bottling bucket or bottles. Thus, you can siphon without risk of contamination.
3. Store the fermentor. Put the lid tightly on the fermentor and carry it to a secure location where it will be undisturbed for two weeks. Choose a location that has a stable temperature of 65-70 °F (18-21 °C). A warmer temperature of 75 °F (24 °C) is okay, but above 80 °F (26 °C) the flavor of the beer will be affected. As soon as you have finished moving it, insert the airlock.
4. Leave it alone! After about 24 hours, the airlock will be bubbling steadily, the exciting evidence of fermentation. The fermentation will proceed like this for two to four days, depending on the conditions of your fermentation. The activity will decrease as most of the malt sugars are consumed by the yeast, though the yeast will continue to ferment the beer long after the bubbling diminishes. Leave the beer in the fermentor for a total of two weeks.
5. Clean Up. Now is the time to wash out your brewpot and other equipment. Only use mild unscented detergents, or the cleaners recommended in Chapter 2, and rinse well.