Okay, so I got a homebrew starter kit for xmas about 5 years ago. it contained 23 litres of prepared wort, a primary pail, a secondary glass carboy and nearly all the tools needed. I still had to get the cleaning stuff though.
Long story short, the kit sat in my parent's basement for the 5 years untouched. I was careful to put the airlock into the carboy to prevent dust from entering, as I wasn't sure when i would start.
I haven't ever done anything like this, although I've seen a couple people ferment and bottle, and I've read up quite a bit before i started. I took some notes here and I would like to get your input and advice. will this batch work out? I know it might not taste perfect.... Will there be any toxins I should be aware of?
So, I started with a "FestaBrew Blonde Lager" wort. it's 5 years old, but I got fresh yeast for it. I got a "Lallemand Windsor Yeast", British -Style Beer Yeast. (0.388oz, expiry 01/2015) I had asked the clerk at the brew shop what yeast I need for this lager work I had. He didn't seem responsive, and all I understood from him is that any yeast will work. With some research I understand now that any yeast SHOULD work.. but it's the yeast and temperature and time which define an ale or a lager. The yeast I got was an ale yeast, so I'm trying to follow ale methods.
Feb 22 @ 12am - Cleaned and sanitized the primary, and racking tube and my hydrometer and testing cylinder. Poured in the wort, making sure to create lots of turbulence. I then siphoned off a small sample to test later. I boiled some water, poured 100ml into a sanitized glass, and waited for it to cool down to the ideal temperature that the yeast packet called for. once at 35 Celsius, I added the yeast, and gave it a small stir to dissolve it. Then I added it to the wort already in the primary, and gave the whole thing a small stir to evenly distribute it. I then put the lid on and installed the airlock, with sanitizer in the airlock. One thing I did notice at this point is that the lid didn't have a gasket and so there wasn't an air-tight seal. I got a little concerned here. The sample a siphoned off, without the yeast added had a S.G. of 1.045
Feb 22 @ 12pm - No airlock activity, rather it appears to be "reversing", or vacuuming. I burped the pail/airlock to prevent sanitizer from being sucked in. - probably due to the lid not having a gasket. I could smell beer from the lid edges. I peeked through the bunghole and it appears to be active.
Feb 23 @ 12pm - No airlock activity, but still having the vacuum effect. Burped it again.
Feb 23 @ 10:30pm - Peek through bunghole, yeast is active. Burped the airlock.
Feb 24 @ 7pm - No airlock activity, no vacuum effect. No need to burp.
Feb 25 @ 9pm - No activity on airlock, racked into carboy. Small sample gave a S.G. of 1.013, which indicates that there was some kind of activity. The sample tastes like beer, and smells like beer. The beer appears quite cloudy which I'm not sure about, and there was sediment in the pail, which I know is normal. The airlock began to work immediately when i put it in.
Feb 26 @ 6am - Airlock working just fine, cloudyness starting to fall, as there is about 1" of clear beer at the top. No yeast foam observed. Installed stick on temp guage. It reads about 65F or lower. Ambient temp is 74F.
And here we are... I would appreciate any feed back you have, good or bad. I have a couple pictures of the cloudyness and the sludge. But I don't know how to insert them here.