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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: plowhorse33 on February 26, 2014, 02:31:54 PM

Title: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: plowhorse33 on February 26, 2014, 02:31:54 PM
First off, I usually am a very meticulous person when it comes to directions. That being said, I was following a the instructions for my first brew, an Irish Red Ale that is an extract kit with specialty grains. Now, I couldn't recall if I had put in 2 gallons of water versus 2.5 for my initial boil. I am curious, will that will affect the outcome in any way? Still in primary fermenter and things seem to be going along as they should, but just curious what will/may happen to brew/taste.
Thanks, from a first timer, and hopefully long timer
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: morticaixavier on February 26, 2014, 03:46:05 PM
welcome to the hobby!

If I read your question correctly you are worried that you only used 2 gallons for the boil rather than 2.5?

It's not a big deal. the bitterness from the hops might be slightly less because there was more sugar in the boiling wort and the bittering compounds (alpha/beta acids, resins) do not dissolve as well in higher sugar content wort.

as long as you topped up in the fermenter to the correct post boil volume you will be fine.

even then it's not the end of the world, it's just beer.

let's here some details! what kind of beer did you choose to brew as your first?
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: euge on February 26, 2014, 04:02:33 PM
Irish Red ale.

Welcome to the obsession.
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: morticaixavier on February 26, 2014, 04:13:16 PM
Irish Red ale.

Welcome to the obsession.

and the award for poor reading comprehension today goes to.....

me
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: plowhorse33 on February 26, 2014, 04:40:40 PM
Thanks for the feedback!

As u guys said...red ale
Fingers crossed on first brew
May try a wheat next
I wanted something that had a secondary fermentation  first
Had to get all my new toys in play right away!

Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: morticaixavier on February 26, 2014, 04:49:39 PM
Just a hint, you can skip the secondary. leave it in primary till done and use that secondary as a second fermenter to get the next batch going right away!.
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: euge on February 26, 2014, 05:00:09 PM
Yup. Secondary is not needed for most beers. I don't worry about the contamination-transfer issue- the practice is mainly redundant.
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: plowhorse33 on February 26, 2014, 05:32:10 PM
Thanks again!
I will keep that in mind
I prob will just secondary it for a little while, maybe a week
Kinda want the practice in transferring
That way if something fouls up, I can write it off as a first timer mistake!
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: klickitat jim on February 26, 2014, 05:43:47 PM
Everyone has to try it once. Its pretty much accepted practice anymore that a secondary is for secondary fermentation. Meaning fermenting the beer out on yeast in primary then transferring to secondary for fruit. Some folks use secondary for dry hops but it's debated a lot. You won't destroy anything, just be sanitary and don't splash.
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: Slowbrew on February 26, 2014, 09:48:46 PM
Welcome to the obsession!

The only flavor impact using 2 gal over 2.5 gal might be hop utilization but even that would be minimal.  As you said higher gravity wort causes lower hop utilization but I can't say that a 1/2gal has ever made a difference in my experience.

I think my first beer was an Irish Red also.  It was almost 17 years ago so I don't clearly remember.  8^(  As I recall, it turned out fantastic, by my standards at the time.  I'm sure yours will be totally awesome too.  8^)

Paul
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 26, 2014, 09:56:27 PM
Also, a little loss in utilization in a beer like an Irish Red won't matter much anyway. Not much hop presence there to begin with.
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: plowhorse33 on February 27, 2014, 01:19:24 AM
ok...let me go back and see if I have it straight here
there are a few of you that say that the secondary ferm. isn't necessary
so after the initial fermentation period, 2 weeks or so, you would bottle it right away?
or would u let it sit for longer in the primary
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: Stevie on February 27, 2014, 01:24:09 AM
Yep, secondary is not needed for most beers. I only use a secondary for additions like fruit, oak, dry hops. Let it ride two weeks, check the gravity to be sure it is done, and package.

Have fun!
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 27, 2014, 01:54:34 AM
Yep, secondary is not needed for most beers. I only use a secondary for additions like fruit, oak, dry hops. Let it ride two weeks, check the gravity to be sure it is done, and package.

Have fun!

+1. 3 identical hydrometer readings a day or two apart between each  =  go ahead and bottle.
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: klickitat jim on February 27, 2014, 02:15:31 AM
Only thing to add is tasting the sample. Your conversion of sugar to alcohol can be done, but the yeast may still be working on other things. So final gravity plus no acetaldehyde or diacetyl etc.
Title: Re: First timer to this wonderful world of homebrewing...
Post by: euge on February 27, 2014, 04:55:48 AM
A good rule of thumb is to wait a couple weeks after visible signs of fermentation begins. You'll see it working and then subside as the foam and yeast fall back into the beer. This can be as quick as a day on up to weeks. But in normal strength beers the attenuative phase of the fermentation only takes about three days. However, instead of transferring to secondary one can just leave the beer in primary a little longer to allow the yeast to drop. Plus, the beer conditions in that time period more effectively than if it were off the yeast. Best not to leave the beer on the yeast too long though. It's a live product.

Not a hard and fast rule or anything. :D Play with it a little... If you plan to be making much beer this fermentation thing is a key factor.