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On last sunday I made an all-grain APA with an alternative equipment, trying to reduce space, so I used my fermentation bucket as a mash tun with a bazooka screen on the tap to filter the mash, but unfortunately after a few minutes before starting to get the mash out the tun the mash stopped to flow, then I tried everything to get the flow back but it didn't works. Then I get the mash out with a small pot and passing it through an stainless steel filter.

Result: I got a cloudy mash, but because I didn't want to desist of my beer I went to the next step and boiled the whole thing. After the whole process I finished with fermenting thing. I got 15 brix at refratometer after the boiling but I don't think it's true because of my "unfiltered" wort.

The first 2 days the fermentation gone vigorous and today it starts to slow down, so I get a sample to prove and feel what it tastes. Well, I feel a sweet aroma, something like grapes, so it's my question, is this type of aroma expected?

My APA recipe: 5kg of Pale Ale Malt (Belgium) 1kg of Viena Malt (Belgium) 30gr Cascade Hops at 60 min 20gr Fuggle Hops at 60 min 30gr Cascade Hops at 10 min 1pkg of Safale US-05 Yeast 24liters of boil

Sorry for my newbie question, I'm just trying to know what to expect in some situations. It's only my 4th beer.

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2 Answers 2

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What is the fermentation temperature? (Not the ambient temperature in the room, but the temp in your fermenter. Fermentation generates heat and can add up to 10 degrees to your brew as it actively ferments--forgive me if you knew this already, but I just wanted to be clear.)

If your fermentation temp is too high (above 70-74 degrees) you might be producing a lot of esters. In my experience it's more of a banana smell, but you could describe it as "sweet". If that's the case it's not a big problem unless your temperatures are astronomically high. The CO2 will scrub most of the sweet/fruity odor over the new few days.

It will probably taste fine if you do nothing, or you could move the fermenter to a slightly cooler location to mellow it out a little.

At any rate, it's hard to come to any conclusions based on aroma at only 3 days fermentation. Some yeasts will give off some funky aromas early on that go away over the course of a few days. I've had US-05 give off some pretty nasty smells on a number of occasions and the smell always went away with no residual funkiness in the final brews.

Also, if after 10-14 days it still smells too sweet to you, just dry hop the hell out of it!

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Well, I don't have an equipment to measure fermentation temperature, but the room temperature is around 22-24C (72-75F), I noticed that fermentation bucket isn't far from the room temperature. Another thing, the aroma I felt isn't banana aroma (I live in Brazil and I know well how is banana aroma, lol), it's more like grape. But it's ok, I'll follow your instructions and put to a secondary fermenter for more 10 days or more. Thanks for all the replies! –  loop0 Apr 1 '10 at 12:00
    
You're welcome! You should get a stick-on fermometer like this: northernbrewer.com/default/fermometer.html That one is in Fahrenheit but I'm sure you could find one in Celsius. They're really cheap and important to have to make sure your fermenation temps aren't too hot or cold. Cheers! –  markskar Apr 1 '10 at 14:19

The beer sounds still 'green' to me. The combo of cascade and only a few days into fermentation would most certainly still give you a sweet aroma. Without checking the gravity you don't know really where fermenation is at in its road to completion. But being only your 4th batch I'd sayits not done yet. Bubbling is never a good indicator of fermentation activity; whether its active or not.

I'd say let the thing ferment for another 10 days before you check it again. And when you do check it, use a hydrometer. Or be sure to get a clear sample for your refactometer by letting solids settle out first. Lastly, post ferment your refractometer won't work right and you'll have to perform a correction for the alcohol in the beer.

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