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Messages - alcaponejunior

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Second wind in the primary
« on: January 16, 2012, 05:33:13 PM »
oh yeah and of course I cleaned and re-sanitized the airlock after the overflow

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Second wind in the primary
« on: January 16, 2012, 04:51:59 PM »

Wine thief is just fine. turkey baster is cheaper is all. and not that much if you compare SS baster with three piece plastic wine thief. I pull the airlock out of my bucket and sample through that hole but I do not know if that would work for you.

Yeah I have a small grommeted airlock hole, so I would definitely need to make another hole (and a good plug) to make a sampling port.  I'm sure I can figure out  the necessary hardware to do this without much issue.  I would just re-sanitize the plug after sampling before putting it back in, of course.

The wine thief fits into a carboy just fine, of course.  My first batch was brewed away from where I live and had to be transported right after brewing (long story, read my blog if you want the whole story), which is why I am using the bucket on this batch.  Although I'm kind of up in the air as to whether it really matters if I use the carboy or bucket.  I think the carboy is only 5 gallons and the bucket is 6.5, and this batch of wort was 5.5 gallons, so there would be zero possibility of using the carboy here anyway.

Also, the high kreusen actually overflowed a little into the airlock of the bucket.  I don't have an overflow hose for the carboy (will probably get one soon though).  The interesting part will be bottling.  I may wind up getting either another bucket or another carboy soon (also, I can have secondary space or space to do two batches at a time if I get another container, lol, so expect that to happen).

My first batch is not going to be secondarily fermented (it's an all grain IPA). 

Anyway, I've successfully derailed this thread here, so enough about that!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Reputable kits online
« on: January 16, 2012, 04:05:15 PM »
I just ordered a kit from, the sweet stout.  I will report on how it comes out when I brew it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Using a hop bag.
« on: January 16, 2012, 02:56:16 PM »
I would think you'd use this sort of tea ball, the ones with the mesh, no?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Second wind in the primary
« on: January 16, 2012, 02:49:15 PM »
I got a wine thief for this purpose.  Is a turkey baster better? 

What about the idea of putting in an additional plug in the top of the bucket lid to facilitate sampling without taking off the entire lid? 

I'm pretty new at this, just brainstorming a little here. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: toasty flavor
« on: January 15, 2012, 10:01:32 PM »
I like pale chocolate a lot, it lends a distinct coffee flavor with other dark grains.  I've got some brown and coffee but I still prefer the pale chocolate out of all.  I don't drink near as much anymore and my water almost dictates dark beers without fussing with the minerals.  My nephew actually paid me a compliment... he said my beer was as good as SA's Cream Stout.  I have to admit though... I prefer Left Hand Brewing's Cream Stout... what a brew that one is!!!  I don't use lactose or haven't yet but I think I need to give it a try.

Do you have a recipe you're willing to share for your stout then?  I love left hand and SA cream stout and would love to make a clone or clone-ish beer of that style.  Extract or all-grain.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Using a hop bag.
« on: January 15, 2012, 09:49:26 PM »
Teaballs, eh?  I guess you learn something every day.  I shall keep my eyes peeled for some good teaballs!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Return of the kit
« on: January 15, 2012, 09:22:09 PM »
Oh man...

I have my first batch less than a week away from bottling, and my second and third batch (kits) ready to go.  It's VERY obsessionful... I've already spent about $270 in equipment and about $70 in ingredients.  (my first batch was all grain, but with help, see my al's celebration ale thread on this forum).

Otherwise I'm very much an amateur delving into kits and partial mash/extract for a while, till I have the space and time to do all grain.

My next two kits are a sweet/milk stout and an IPA.  I will be reporting on them when the time comes.  I might brew one of the kits next sunday (plan to bottle saturday).

Specific stuff I've got to help make things easier:

1. wine thief for checking SG readings prior to bottling

2. plastic cylinder for checking SG readings

3. 3/8" siphon

Everything else is pretty much a standard kit that we all probably have.

Notably, my first batch overflowed a little into the airlock and I had to take it out and clean it, replacing it with sanitized solution.  My volume was 5.5 gallons and was in a 6.5 gallon bucket.  Thus, if I had been in the 5 gallon carboy, I would have WAY overflowed. 

My first batch was an all grain sierra nevada celebration clone, with help from an experienced brewer.  I don't know if all-grain makes a higher high kreusen than extract, but I suspect that if I use the five gallon carboy, I need to make sure and leave some space at the top if I plan to use the standard airlock.  (I don't have the tubing-style overflow dealie that I've seen, thus, I need to account for high kreusen and make sure I don't have a nasty overflow).

I'm a mega-newbie too so please do elaborate in great detail as to your comments and/or experiences.

And OP: do tell how your beer comes out!  I will!

I would recommend starting the next batch sooner. It is amazing how fast good Homebrew goes.

LOL I'd love to but I need at least one more bucket or fermenter bottle, plus a couple more small pieces of glassware and equipment (recommended by Old Guy).  Mainly I need one more bucket.  Will be getting in the next week or so, btw.  I'm so hooked now!

Here is the recipe and story of brew day with Old Guy from the garage brewers.  I learned a lot!  I postponed my first batch of extract till this one is done fermenting and bottled. 

Al's Celebration Ale

Thanks for all the replies.  Fantastically, I've found an all-grain brewer who's experienced and is going to brew a batch with me this sunday.  I will learn a lot and also get to brew my first batch that day too (he's going to help me).  I will report and let everyone know how it went, and later, how the beer turned out!

Let me note that santitation is extremely important. Let me note that sanitation is extremely important and everything needs to be clean. The boil is sanitizing but anything you touch after that must be sanitized. 14 days is very general, sanitarily siphon some beer back to back days (maybe 12 and 13) and make sure there has been no change in gravity this insures fermentation is over- exploding bottles would be highly probable if it were not complete prior to bottling.

I'm going to practice siphoning before hand, to make sure I've got the technique down. 

And yes, sanitation will be my highest priority.  It seems it's about "72%" of brewing according to most sources, but 100% if you get it wrong  ;D

Thanks Repo, those are precisely the details I was lacking on to get it done today.  I will mark this thread and be brewing this coming saturday, will report back.  14 days fermentation time is perfect as weekend days are best for me to work with brewing.

Thanks Man!!

ETA: Jeffy, no I don't have a grain mill, lol.  Will be doing it the hard way on the first batch.  I think I understand how much they need to be broken up to work properly without being too crushed up.  I'm a long way from STL where I got the supplies and likely won't get back there for at least 4 weeks or more.  Will wing it on the grain crushing for the first batch.  Won't worry about sanitation before the boil but won't be a slob about it either!

I have a fan in the closet to keep the wort cooled.  I am thinking of experimenting with a fermenter full of water before next weekend's brew date to make sure the wort stays within the necessary temperature range.  I know the fermentation will give off a little heat and the fermenting wort might be a few degrees higher than ambient room temperature, but I should be able to keep it within the desired range.

Thanks for the advice.  I may be being a little picky but I'd rather be overly cautious than not enough on my first batch.  There's no real hurry to get it brewed and I want it to come out good!

Also, comments on how to crush the crystal malt would be helpful.  It says a rolling pin or heavy bottle, I presume on a cutting board?  Sanitization of the cutting board an issue? 

Another method I read about in one of my two books which said to crush up the malt in a plastic bag, then add to the mesh bag before steeping (recipe says 150F).

I have joy of homebrewing and how to brew as books, but they both seem to slightly contradict the recipe I have from the homebrew shop.

I won't be starting my first batch until I'm quite certain of all these things!  Thanks!!

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