Just got back from the weekend away – no explosions from the beer or the bottles! Hurrah! I had a quick taste of Beer two just to check that there are no odd odours and see how it is progressing, and was astounded – it already tastes like wheat beer (but a bit young and sweet). Good stuff.

My bucket doesn’t have an airlock – air escapes through the sides of the lid – so as it’s fermenting away, the lid bulges up like a dome. When I remember, I push down on the lid and help some of the air escape. Usually within 10 minutes or so the lid is bulging again.

With Beer one, the lid stopped bulging on day 7. That, along with the taste, was an indication that the beer was done – and the hydrometer reading confirmed it.

Today is day 4 of Beer two and after pushing down on the lid, it’s no longer bulging again. The kit says 4-7 days and the taste is good, so it’s quite possible the beer is ready to bottle (after the near blowout on day 1, it seems that the early stages of fermentation were particularly active). On the other hand, the temp was right down at 18 degrees when I returned home which is bottom of the 18-28 degrees ideal range, so things could just be a bit slow.

I’m not going to do a hydrometer reading just yet (I don’t want to bottle tonight anyway, so there’s no point). I’ve moved the beer back into the living room where it’s warmer and I’ll see whether life returns tomorrow. I’m in no hurry to bottle this – I want this to be a fantastic beer.

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