Once your wort is aerated and your yeast is pitched at the desired temperature, the beer will be on its way!
Keep in mind, if you don’t leave enough headspace in your carboy for the krausen (the head of foam on the top of fermenting beer), you’ll wind up with something like this:
If you see this, the good news is that you have a very healthy fermentation! The bad news is you’ve got a gigantic mess to clean up. One way to avoid this is to add a blow off tube like so:
I usually wait until I see a large foam head forming on top, and switch over to this tube. During primary fermentation, there is very small risk of contamination, so don’t worry about taking the top off.
The fermentation will progress based some very important factors:
- Pitch rate (usually overpitch, add more than you think you’ll need!)
- Temperature (Probably the most critical condition for your beer)
- Yeast Strain (list of most commercially available strains)
- Your starting sugar content (OG) and the tolerance of your yeast (attenuation ability) to reach FG (final gravity). Calculate it here.