Many first batch questions

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I'm brewing my first batch of beer.
My batch seems like it only fermented for about 3 days. As I can no longer
see any activity in the vent trap.
I opened  up the pail to transfer this batch into a secondary fermentor and
did not see any foam as I had read about. Is this normal?

It didn't smell like beer I'm used to drinking and looked almost a little
slimy. Is this normal? Is it possible I contaminated the batch. How would I
know if I did?

Some experienced advice is appreciated.

Re: Many first batch questions
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I can't imagine not seeing any activity in primary fermenter after only
3-4 days.  What kind of brew is it?  I have only done ales so far
(actually only IPA) and the bubbler still bubbles well into day 5-6.

How long did you look at the bubbler (I am assuming you have a bubbler)?
Often... the bubble rise can be so slow that if you just look at it
shortly, it will appear motionless... but after ~1-2mins... you can see
it very slowly moving.

As far as the smell... in my opinion... after primary.. the smell is
not exactly "fragrant".  That's not necessarily a bad sign. My batches
have come out okay so far.

I doubt you contaminated just by opening.

I have heard that if you've contaminated the batch, "you will just know"
presumably from a very strong stench.


Re: Many first batch questions

The beer I'm making is an British ale from a kit. Liquid bitters, powdered
malts, pellet hops and dry yeast.
I did not look at the bubbler for a long time.
Also, I am using a three piece vent which may make it harder to see
Maybe it is active but I just haven't watched it long enough.
Ok, I will let this one go the distance and see what happened.
Thanks for the feedback,


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Re: Many first batch questions
John Doe wrote:
  > I can't imagine not seeing any activity in primary fermenter after only
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Most of my batches are done fermenting in about 2-3 days, once they
start.  They take about a 12-24 hours to start, depending on how
carefully I pitch.  Seems the F.G. is a better indicator if something
goes wrong.

That said, just because something stops bubbling doesn't mean its time
to transfer.  Especially as a new brewer who is probably not going for a
secondary ferment, letting that beer settle will both kill off some of
the "bad" flavors, but also reduce your sediment when going to a bottle.
  I actually would recommend using your bottling bucket as a secondary
fermenter for a week or so after the primary phase is complete.

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Hah!  I'm remembering an Oatmeal Stout batch I messed up the partial
mash for (I forgot to mill the choc malt!) and I was worried about the
same thing.  It smelled really off; not like beer at all.  I let it go
in the secondary for a while, and it came out fine (although a little
light for a stout)...  I think the yeast does more than ferment to
affect the flavor.  especially with a highly attenuating yeast, the
longer it matures, the better it tastes.


Re: Many first batch questions
Thanks for the feedback.
I'm glad to hear that this batch may be ok and everyone has their moments of
doubt with some batches.

None the less, I think I'll offer my wife the first beer.


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