Another dumb newbie query...

swrightswright Member Posts: 3
Hi guys, another newbie here so please be gentle.
I've started off with a Woodfordes Wherry (standard), had it in the FV for 2 weeks (everything I've read that should happen did) and transferred to a pressure barrel on Friday afternoon (3 days ago). I made-up a priming solution of 100g sugar and poured that in before the brew. My concern is that I cannot see any head/foam forming inside the PB. The barrel is quite difficult to see through (especially as I'm expecting the foam to be white, and the barrel is white). Is it too early for the foam to have formed? I've stored the PB in my garage at the moment, a bit cooler than my dining room where I had the FV for 2 weeks. Any comments or recommendations would be appreciated.


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited May 2017
    Welcome, and feel free to ask any questions you need to! As you say with the barrels can be hard to see what is happening in there as they are not usually very transparent, as long as you have primed it with sugar though (and the 100 grams you used is fine) then it will then start to secondary ferment and carbonate. The time it takes to pressurise and clear can really vary, it can help to try to keep the brew warm (around 20 degrees C or so) for the first week, this helps the priming sugar to dissolve and secondary ferment, if it is cooler it will just take longer. As long as the lid is sealed fully down and has made an airtight seal it will then begin to pressurise the barrel.

    After a couple of weeks you can then try to draw a little beer from the tap, it should begin to develop some pressure so pour Ok and start to clear. If it is still cloudy then leave it longer, and also the longer you then leave to the better it will taste - they are often OK after a few weeks but if left to condition longer will much improve. It can also help to store away from UV light or cover the barrel to keep light out.

    Let us know how you get on....
  • swrightswright Member Posts: 3
    That's great, thanks for the advice. I had the FV inside a sleeping bag in my dining room during primary and now in the garage in the PB so the brew has been away from UV light constantly. I think I'll bring it back indoors to keep it a bit warmer for another week to help the sugar dissolve (as per your suggestion) and then back into the garage to 'cool off' for as long as I can resist. I will report my results.

    Thanks again, much appreciated.
  • BUDFORCEBUDFORCE Member Posts: 275
    I'm not sure once the brew is pressurised in secondary fermentation you will get a froth or foam at the top anyway, I've certainly never seen that happen myself.

    Froth or foam is gas that is being released from the top of the liquid, but as the beer should be pressurised, it cannot escape and therefore stays inside the liquid. This is why your beer gets fizzy (carbonates) in fact if you do see foam in secondary fermentation it could indicate you get an air leek.
    Beer League: 1. Young's - American Pale Ale 2. Bulldog Brews - Imperial Red Bad Cat 3. Young's - IPA 4. Young's - American Amber Ale 5. Bulldog Brews - Evil Dog Double IPA
  • swrightswright Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for that BUDFORCE.
    There is no foam at all in the barrel and I understand your reasoning, seems perfectly plausible to me. I tried a sneaky 'first pull' last night and there was certainly enough pressure behind it so I'm happy that there is no air leak. Still a bit cloudy (as to be expected at this stage) but the few sips I had were very encouraging. Learning all the time, cheers.
  • BUDFORCEBUDFORCE Member Posts: 275

    If you can wait 3 weeks should be pretty good, if you can leave longer better, but I understand your keen.

    3 weeks in experience is a good minimum, if you can possibly wait that long it'll nearly be as good as it will be in 6 months.
    Beer League: 1. Young's - American Pale Ale 2. Bulldog Brews - Imperial Red Bad Cat 3. Young's - IPA 4. Young's - American Amber Ale 5. Bulldog Brews - Evil Dog Double IPA
  • BUDFORCEBUDFORCE Member Posts: 275
    It also depends on which kits you use, I've never actually done any of the woodfordes kits as they sell it on tap at my village hall, plus I prefer the bolder American style ones, so I am only guess at the above 3 weeks but seems to be the average in my experience, some take longer, Bulldog Brews kits for example are fantastic, but do take a while to clear, really need a good 6 weeks minimum, whilst most of the Cooper's kits are about as good as they will ever be after about 3 weeks.

    Montons kits also take ages, at least the ones I've tried but I don't recommend the muntons ones anyway.

    Obviously temperature and a whole load of other factors effect everything so there is no exact science to it.
    Beer League: 1. Young's - American Pale Ale 2. Bulldog Brews - Imperial Red Bad Cat 3. Young's - IPA 4. Young's - American Amber Ale 5. Bulldog Brews - Evil Dog Double IPA
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