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I finally am making use of a kit my friend sent me. I just brewed Muntons Gold IPA and it's been fermenting about 3 days now. The bubbling seemed to start within 24 hours or so. It was frisky at first, now seems to have slowed, but not stopped.

They have an alternate recipe that calls for an additional 1kg of malt for a higher ABV. The instructions don't say anything about the 7-8 day fermentation taking any longer with an extra kg of malt. I suppose I'm an eager beaver, but just curious what I should expect on fermentation time?

I also have extra hops I got from the homebrew shop and was instructed to add them after about 3 days. Is this sound advise? I love a strong hop flavour and aroma, is it necessary to dry hop in the fermenter and the bottle?

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First things first, stop checking on the beer. Leave it be for the next 10-14 days. Resist all urges to check on it or mess with it. The bubbling will probably stop in the next day or so and this is perfectly fine. After this 10-14 day period, get the fermentor as cold as you possible can for a few day. If you can't do this, don't worry to much. This step helps drop the yeast out before you add the hops, because the yeast in suspension can "block" some of the flavor from the dry hops from coming through in the final beer.

After this time, you can add your dry hops. Put them all in the fermentor, don't put any in the bottles, and leave them in for a few days (between 3-7). After you've dry hopped for this period, get the fermentor as cold as you can again to drop out any particles floating around for a few days, then bottle the beer. Avoid getting yeast sludge or hop particles into the bottling bucket.

Regarding the extra malt, anytime you add fermentables to a batch, then you do increase the fermentation time slightly, and, more importantly, you increase the amount of time the beer needs to "rest" or "condition" before it's good. So for 1KG extra malt, you might see bubbles for 1 extra day, but that beer would need an extra week in the primary and maybe an extra week or two in the bottle before its best. The higher the ABV of a beer, the longer it takes to "smooth out" and hit its peak.

At the risk of over-generalizing, you should pretty much "never" do anything to a beer that's been fermenting for just 3 days. I would never touch a beer before the 7 day mark, and even then, that would be just to check the gravity to see how it's doing. Nothing you do to the beer at the 3 day mark will help the yeast, it will only hurt them. Old homebrewing advice to rack the beer after a couple days is outdated and sometimes harmful to the beer.

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Thanks Graham for the advise. Not what I wanted to hear, but probably what I needed to hear :-) Since it's a DIY cooler I rely on ice. I head out of town for a week on the 10th. I may be able to ask my wife to change out the ice, but she's out long enough I think the temp would be too tough to keep consistant. I would prefer to bottle by the 10th if I can. With the time frame you laid out, I think I could make the low-end of your windows. How would you advise I proceed? –  ntmw Oct 22 '12 at 14:58
    
Well its the 22nd today, you could dry hop on the 1st or 2nd, then bottle on 7th or 8th. The ice is much less crucial after another day or so, but ask your wife to put some ice in maybe once a day just to keep it less than 70F. –  Graham Oct 22 '12 at 15:09
    
Excellent. That should work just fine, thank you. I'm still pretty pumped for my first brew, thanks for helping me with the brakes (as I thought I could be drinking my first brew before my trip on the 10th!). –  ntmw Oct 22 '12 at 15:13
    
Yep we pretty much all want to rush that 1st batch. Trust me, it will be worth the wait. –  Graham Oct 22 '12 at 18:06

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