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Messages - chadjjones89

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Kegging and Bottling / Bottle not carbonating
« on: June 08, 2013, 02:19:48 PM »
I bottled my first ever homebrew last Sunday (6/2/13) and checked carbonation levels today. After ~6 days at temperatures remaining around 72F there is only the smallest hiss when a bottle is opened, and no discernible carbonation in the mouth.

In the interest of full disclosure- I made the dummy mistake of getting too much trub in suspension when I added my priming sugar and I had to let it settle out for almost a full day- I think the yeast might have jumped the gun on me and used too much of the available sugar to get a good carb in the bottle.

How long should I wait before I check the carbonation again? If it is still pretty severely lacking, what would be the best way to get carbonation?

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« on: June 05, 2013, 08:37:39 PM »
Bummer. Maybe chunks of whole apple in a secondary fermentation?

Along those same lines, I'm getting a couple of 6 gallon carboys shipped in the next few days. Are those suitable for secondary fermentation when adding stuff like that? I ask because I'm going to be brewing a pumpkin ale next, and I'm trying to figure out a way to really bolster that pumpkin flavor. I've seen a lot of people talk about adding canned pumpkin, which I will do, but they also mention that it adds only a slight flavor. I'm wanting to make mine taste basically like a pumpkin pie in beer form, so you can see the desire for that really rich flavor.

Any suggestion on how to make that happen with the pumpkin ale, or any other beer like that? For reference, this is the kit I will be using- http://www.midwestsupplies.com/pumpkin-ale.html. I opted for the Premium Dry Yeast; whether or not that will make any discernible difference, I have't a clue.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Update on my first ever homebrew!
« on: June 05, 2013, 08:26:47 PM »
It was an all extract brew from Midwest Supplies. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab an OG reading as I was a bit scatterbrained during the brewing process. I opted for an extended stay in primary fermentation in lieu of a secondary fermentation.

What else can I provide to make feedback easier? Being my first time brewing I'm still very ignorant in the processes of brewing (learning, I promise!) and what I should be including in my posts. Everything you wonder ladies and gents can tell me is very helpful.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Update on my first ever homebrew!
« on: June 05, 2013, 07:13:23 PM »
So I tried my hand at brewing back in May. I brewed on May 8 (an Irish Red from Midwest), and didn't have time to bottle until June 2. My FG was 1.010, adjusted. Hygrometer gave an ABV of approximately 5.2%. Kit was supposed to finish around 4.2%- is that a result of the prolonged fermentation?

Checked the bottles tonight and they all seem to have cleared and have approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch of sediment at the bottom. I'm guessing those are my lovely little yeasts and some remaining grain/hop particles. Room where conditioning has been taking place has probably been 70-75F for the duration. How long should I allow for conditioning prior to checking carbonation?

As an aside- I'm thinking about trying my hand at an apple beer sometime soon. I saw that many kits will include an "apple flavoring", but I think I could probably get a decent flavor by using the Simply Apple brand of juice. Any thoughts on that tactic?

5
I have no idea what the next brew will be. Unfortunately, I am in rather cramped living quarters so I don't have good storage space for more than a couple cases at a time- as a result, I haven't given it much thought. Maybe a hefeweisen? Summers tend to get quite hot here, so I want something that will be a good counter to that heat. Possibly an IPA?

6
Gentlemen, you never fail to deliver- thank you for the input!

So I'm gonna go on and get this out of the way since I learn best when other people know that I acted like a dummy. When I was getting everything into the fermentation vessel, I made the ridiculously rookie mistake of not getting an OG reading. I know- "Stupid amateur". As far as I can tell, all that is really going to impact is me knowing what my beer finishes out at on ABV. I was just so excited!

About the brewing process- I kept a close eye on everything the whole time the wort was boiling and I never even came close to a boilover- in fact, there was rarely ever more than a half inch of foam during the entire boil. Did I get a hot break? How to Brew indicated that just before the hot break there would probably be a large volume of foam and that a boilover could be possible. I don't guess it's a super big deal, but I was just curious.

7
I am basing this solely on airlock activity. I'm very hesitant to open it lest I should taint it with some environmental contaminant. I haven't popped the top on the fermentation vessel, so I can't speak to whether or not the krausen has fallen. I probably shouldn't be so skittish about opening the vessel, but I really don't want to screw up my very first attempt at home-brewing. The seal appears to be good, but it probably isn't perfect as I noticed a small amount of leakage around the rim. Not more than a tablespoon or so, but enough to let me know the seal isn't completely airtight.

Piggybacking off of this, I plan to skip secondary fermentation, and instead opt for a longer primary. The guy at the brewing supply store tends to think I can get away with that as (according to him) secondary is really mostly about allowing things to settle out in the beer for better clarity when bottling. Is it okay to skip secondary since I won't be making any further additions to my beer?

8
Hello, ladies and gents- long time no see! It's been a couple months since I was last on, and you provided some really great advice then, and I'm hoping you can do so again this go around.

I brewed my first ever batch of beer Wednesday afternoon, and after a slow start (thermal shock, maybe?) I had some really great bubbling going on all day yesterday. This morning, nothing. I checked "How to Brew" and thought it might be a bit of a low temp (~67F) but that was good. Temperature in the room where I'm fermenting never peaked above 74F and was never consistently above 69F. I know that sometimes a warmer fermenting environment can lead to shortened fermentation times, but one day of active fermentation just seems too short.

So here are the questions:

1) Is it possible that my fermentation was just very rapid, and if it is possible, is it probable?

2) If the above scenario does not seem to be the case, what suggestions do you have for determining the problem?

TL;DR- Beer seems to be through primary in ~2 days. Is this normal? If so, why? If not, how do we correct it?

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First time Homebrewer
« on: March 23, 2013, 06:29:53 PM »
Okay guys, next question- preferred sanitizing agent? I've been thumbing through "How to Brew" and I think I have a good handle on the different methods and the various cleansers, but what is your personal favorite? Have you ever had one impart an off flavor to your beer, and if so, do you know why (something you did, or something that is characteristic of the cleaner)?

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First time Homebrewer
« on: March 16, 2013, 06:49:23 AM »
Okay, guys- another question. I don't have a wort chiller, and I don't currently have the resources to make my own (I feel like I could just as easily make one as buy one), so I'm trying to find a temporary solution to that. Would it be okay to drop the temp of my wort by adding ice, or do I really need to get a wort chiller first?

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First time Homebrewer
« on: March 15, 2013, 07:48:40 PM »
Thanks, guys! Still waiting on my brew kettle, unfortunately, but as soon as it comes in, the brewing starts. For an Irish Red, how long should I be shooting for in primary fermentation?

Also, I'm having trouble regulating the temperature in the room where I'll be fermenting- I can get it to 70, but I can't get it much lower. I'll be doing the fermentation in a spare bathroom (not trying to have any excessive messes should something go wrong), so would it be okay to keep a few inches of slightly chilled water in the tub to help regulate? I know that's a rather odd solution, but that's the best I've come up with.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First time Homebrewer
« on: March 13, 2013, 09:11:44 AM »
This is all really great stuff, thank you so much! I'm picking up The Complete Joy of Homebrewing (3rd ed.) as well as The Homebrewer's Companion.


I've also started a blog to help me keep track of my experiences so I when I inevitably have some mistakes, I'll bring the issues here.

Again, thank you so much for being so helpful and friendly, it's good to know I've got a group of people to lean on for advice while I'm getting started with all this.

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General Homebrew Discussion / First time Homebrewer
« on: March 12, 2013, 07:34:57 PM »
Good evening, ladies and gents,

My name is Chad, and I'm going to attempt my first brew in the next couple of weeks. I've gotten the Beginner's Brewing Kit from Midwest Supplies and will be brewing the Irish Red Ale recipe. I am reading Homebrewing for Dummies (a brewer at Abita recommended it to me a few weeks ago when I visited the brewery) and a friend is bringing me How to Brew by John J. Palmer so I can brush up on the basics before I begin.

I know I'm going to have some snags along the way, but i want to cut down on those as much as possible so I can have a good product my first try. Are there any problems I should beware of or any hints you may have for a newbie? Anything at all would be super helpful.

Thanks!

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