Basic Brewing #3 breaks down the four basic steps that are listed below for fermenting the beer.
1. Transferring the Wort
2. Adding Additional Water
3. Pitching the Yeast
4. Storing the Fermenter
Keep in mind that fermenting the beer will take about two weeks to complete. Once you have boiled and created the wort you will be ready for fermenting the beer.
Transferring the Wort (15 minutes)
Now that the wort has cooled to 80 degrees it is now ready to transfer from the pot to the fermenter (which should be clean and sanitized). Pour the wort into the fermenter using both the strainer and one of the hop bags. While pouring the wort you want the wort to splash inside the fermenter, this aerates it, which will help the yeast do their job easier later. Once all of the wort has been added to the fermenter you can move on the next step.
Adding Additional Water (1 minute)
Add additional water to the fermenter to bring the total up to 5 gallons. You should be adding about 1.5-2 gallons here to get the total in the fermenter to 5 gallons. The amount here will depend on how much you lost during your boil. I recommend using bottled water (use spring water, do not use distilled water) or at least carbon filtered water in case your city water is too hard or too soft.
Pitching the Yeast (1 minute)
Take the rehydrated yeast from earlier and swirl the bowl/cup to resuspend the yeast. Pour the yeast in a circular motion into the wort.
Storing the Fermenter (5 minutes)
Immediately after pitching the yeast cover the bucket with the lid or plug up the carboy and carry the fermenter to a cool dark location. Finally, put the airlock in place. This location is where the fermenter will sit for two weeks. Make sure the location has a stable temperature between 65-75 degrees; varying temps or extreme temps will cause off flavors in the beer or may even hinder the yeast from doing there job. I use a closet which has an average temperature of 70 degrees. Leave the fermenter alone, do not move it, shake it, or even play loud music. You will notice bubbles coming thorough the airlock about 12-24 hours after you pitched the yeast, they will continue for about 4-5 days. About 4-5 days after pitching the yeast the bubbles will slow down considerably. Check out Racking Beer to a Secondary Fermenter to learn more about clarity and aging the beer during the fermentaiton process.
Once you have waited two weeks the wort, now “young beer,” will be ready for bottling the beer, Basic Brewing #4 – Bottling the Beer.