Author Topic: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit  (Read 13534 times)

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2012, 05:13:58 PM »
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!

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2012, 05:45:00 PM »
Welcome to the hobby obsession...  This forum is a great place to learn. I've picked up a lot of great info here!
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Offline madscientist

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2012, 06:28:50 AM »
Welcome to the hobby obsession...  This forum is a great place to learn. I've picked up a lot of great info here!

+1

It goes beyond hobby.  My wife really supports it, but sometimes I get the "are you looking at beer forums again?!" comment. 
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2012, 06:49:42 AM »
An update on this one.  Checked the SG and it's at 1.022.  We are targeting about 1.017 or 1.018 as the final gravity, so it needs to sit a little longer. 

The beer itself was quite cloudy still, kind of a tan color, and smelled and tasted quite good.  I think this batch is on course to come out really good.  I would like to see it clear up a bit, but we'll see what happens when the FG is reached.  I think I will check the SG again in about two or three days. 


Offline duboman

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2012, 08:13:51 AM »
An update on this one.  Checked the SG and it's at 1.022.  We are targeting about 1.017 or 1.018 as the final gravity, so it needs to sit a little longer. 

The beer itself was quite cloudy still, kind of a tan color, and smelled and tasted quite good.  I think this batch is on course to come out really good.  I would like to see it clear up a bit, but we'll see what happens when the FG is reached.  I think I will check the SG again in about two or three days. 



Great to hear that all is going great with your new hobby/obsession. It sounds as though you are going into your beer quite often and that is definitely NOT a good thing while it's fermenting as each time you open it up you run the risk of inviting infection. I hope you are using a thief to check your FG and not putting the hydrometer right in the bucket, obviously a sanitized thief. A general rule of thumb is 2 weeks  for fermentation to complete.

As for cloudy, that's normal. When you siphon to bottle things will clear a bit as everything will settle out. In addition, in the future you may want to add a tsp of irish moss at the last 10 minutes of your boil to help clarify the wort, for me it works pretty well and does nothing to flavor at all.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2012, 11:36:55 AM »
Actually that was the first time I got into the beer since it was made.  I was going to wait a few more days before taking another reading. 

And yes, I used a sanitized wine thief to obtain the sample. 

I think I'll pick up some Irish moss next time I'm at the homebrew store.  My next two batches will be extract/partial mash batches, is the moss needed in those? 

Tomorrow will be two weeks since it was brewed.  I'm anxious to bottle but afraid of making bottle bombs if the yeasties aren't done yet.  The final gravity was supposed to be 1.017-1.018.  I'm waiting to hear back from my friend who helped me on this batch to see what he thinks too.  If he says bottle, I'll just go for it tomorrow.  If he says wait, I'll wait.  I'm not sure about target FG verses actual FG here, especially since our OG was a bit higher than expected.

On the other hand, if I took another reading tomorrow and it remained the same, I would think that would be a sign that it was finished fermenting and ready for bottling. 

Thoughts on my ramblings here?  I've been reading lots of "first time" threads and we all seem to ramble a little with worries, concerns, questions etc  ;D

Offline denny

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2012, 12:42:01 PM »
I use Irish moss (or whirfloc) in every batch.  It doesn't make a world of difference, but it doesn't hurt.

I know it's hard on your first few batches, but I can practically guarantee you better results if you're patient.  Give your beer another week or 2 and I think you'll be rewarded with a better beer.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2012, 02:51:16 PM »
Actually, given tomorrow has two big football games on TV (and I have other things to do), I can easily wait till next weekend to bottle.  The beer is sitting at about 68 degrees or so, covered in a towel against the wall in a dark closet.  The temperature is pretty steady in there, so I suspect it will be just fine if I wait till next saturday to bottle.

At the moment, that's sounding like the best plan.

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2012, 09:27:04 PM »
Bottling day today.  Getting the hang of this bottling thing with a friend and a couple of brewskies.  

FG = 1.020

I think I did good for the most part.  If anything, the addition of the boiled corn sugar was my iffy-est step.  I think I over-boiled the sugar longer than I wanted to (my buddy came over right at the critical moment, and I was distracted).  Slight color tinge when it was done.  But there was a slight residue on the pot I used and it tasted purely sweet and not burnt or caramelized, so hopefully it's good.  I guess it wouldn't be my first batch unless I sketched and worried about it.  Only time will tell at this point.

tomorrow I'm planning on brewing my first solo batch, the extract IPA I originally had planned before I met Old Guy.  There are some specialty grains but for the most part it looks pretty cut and dry.  I'm going for it one way or another, so wish me luck.

Offline euge

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2012, 01:12:10 AM »
Go for it! Woohoo!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2012, 03:30:08 PM »
OK.  Batch two, English IPA, completed.  Full procedure, with notes, here.

The only major concern was the temp on the mash got up to about 164 for a few minutes, probably 2-3.  I quickly removed it from the heat and hopefully it never reached 168.  Can't guarantee anything as the thermometer isn't calibrated (D'oh!  Hindsight 20/20 error).  

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2012, 03:32:10 PM »
OK.  Batch two, English IPA, completed.  Full procedure, with notes, here.

The only major concern was the temp on the mash got up to about 164 for a few minutes, probably 2-3.  I quickly removed it from the heat and hopefully it never reached 168.  Can't guarantee anything as the thermometer isn't calibrated (D'oh!  Hindsight 20/20 error).  

no worries it takes time at 168 to denature all the enzymes and there are plenty
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2012, 04:01:03 PM »
OK.  Batch two, English IPA, completed.  Full procedure, with notes, here.

The only major concern was the temp on the mash got up to about 164 for a few minutes, probably 2-3.  I quickly removed it from the heat and hopefully it never reached 168.  Can't guarantee anything as the thermometer isn't calibrated (D'oh!  Hindsight 20/20 error). 

no worries it takes time at 168 to denature all the enzymes and there are plenty

That's good to hear, as (of course) I'm finding a bzillion things to worry about, even though I think I really should be fine.  But I'm a semi-perfectionist (meaning I like my results to be perfect without having to use perfect technique, LOL). 

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2012, 06:22:49 PM »
you also only (according to your recipe) steeped crystal malt, which doesn't actually need mashing, as the enzymes are already denatured as a part of the kilning process. You are fine as long as you don't bring that thing really high. Its recommended that you keep it under 170, but I have heard of people getting it a bit higher and not tasting any astringency. RDWHAHB.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Questions on my first batch, 5 gallon kit
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2012, 07:16:26 PM »
Unless my thermometer is WAY off (doubtful) there's no way it reached 170.

I tasted the SG sample* after I read the OG and it tasted fine, quite bitter from the hops, but then it's an IPA so that's probably expected.  It smelled wonderful brewing so I'm not going to spend two weeks worrying when I've already gotten two positive replies and I've had about five beers since I finished brewing it! 

Thanks everybody who's participated in this thread, btw.  This forum is a really great place to learn about brewing, I'm already spending too much time here!!  It's distracting me big time from my other useless internet pursuits!!! LOL

I already can't wait to brew my sweet stout that's up next!

I have decided that bottling with the carboy went just fine, and I'm keeping the plastic bucket as the primary fermenter.  If I decide on secondaries for whatever reason in the future, I'll get another glass carboy, but for now I'm happy with this arrangement.  There's going to be slight losses from transferring, so I'll start with 5.5 gallon batches and bottle from the carboy from here out, at least until something better presents itself. 

Although bottling is a pain in the butt so I might just invest in a keg or two in the somewhat near future anyway lol.

*not that my pallet is advanced enough to glean any useful info from that, but hey, you can't put the sample back in the bucket, so might as well, right?