Author Topic: A few newbie questions  (Read 5043 times)

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2012, 05:06:25 PM »
Oh one thing I learned the hard way, don't let that lcd thermometer sit submerged. It will stop working. go all crazy and read every temperature at the same time.

Offline anje

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2012, 06:25:47 PM »
Rats.  Should have mounted it horizontally instead of vertically.  Wonder if I can pry it off?
EDIT: Nope, can't do that!  Guess I'm going to have to visit a pet shop tomorrow if I want to monitor brewing temp....

I'm paranoid that it's cooling and sucking water in through my 3-piece airlock.  Should I be?  Along the same lines, how do I open the contraption without the same thing happening?  
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 06:28:29 PM by anje »
<-- microbiologist brewster n00b.

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Offline kgs

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2012, 06:49:51 PM »
Rats.  Should have mounted it horizontally instead of vertically.  Wonder if I can pry it off?
EDIT: Nope, can't do that!  Guess I'm going to have to visit a pet shop tomorrow if I want to monitor brewing temp....

I'm paranoid that it's cooling and sucking water in through my 3-piece airlock.  Should I be?  Along the same lines, how do I open the contraption without the same thing happening?  

I remember my first brew. Honestly, I sometimes think childbirth is easier.

If the water level is that high, yes, you need to bail some out. You want the water level to be about even with the level of wort in your fermenter. That said, if you have the temp at 63 you're doing plenty well. Even if the thermometer is busted, if the fermenter is sitting in cool water, it's probably enough (this time of year).

Note: as a bread-baker, I initially proofed dry brewing yeast (heated and cooled water, etc.). I am now a sprinkler--one less vector for contamination. But both methods work.

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Offline anje

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2012, 07:10:34 PM »
No, the water level is a bit below the level of the wort (so thermometer #2, courtesy of Petsmart and only able to go down to 64F) can be un-submerged.  I'm just worried about the airlock running backward if my swamp cooler methods cool the wort too much past the temp it was when I sealed everything up.
<-- microbiologist brewster n00b.

Hops and toothpaste don't mix.

Offline hokerer

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2012, 07:28:26 PM »
I'm just worried about the airlock running backward if my swamp cooler methods cool the wort too much past the temp it was when I sealed everything up.

Which kind of airlock?  The "S Type" pretty much won't suck fluid backwards (just air).  The "Three Piece" might.  In any case, a good idea is to, instead of plain water, fill the airlock with something that won't hurt if a bit gets sucked back in (ie. StarSan solution, Vodka, etc.).
Joe

Offline anje

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2012, 07:36:57 PM »
It's a 3-piece. I've since refilled it with vodka, but since the yeast probably isn't really going yet, I'm a bit concerned about having insufficient microbial competition. If it were later in the brewing process, I wouldn't be so concerned, but I dislike the idea of introducing *anything* when the ecological niches are still unoccupied.  (Yeah, you're dealing with a microbiologist here who's too used to needing total sterility to relax...)
<-- microbiologist brewster n00b.

Hops and toothpaste don't mix.

Offline denny

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2012, 07:39:17 PM »
Remember that in homebrewing we sanitize, not sterilize.  I understand and sympathize with your paranoia, but it'll be fine.  Keep in mind that malted barley WANTS to become beer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline euge

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2012, 11:05:11 PM »
IMO airlocks aren't needed for primary fermentation. Maybe for secondary but I haven't used one in years.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline Mark G

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2012, 06:06:04 AM »
It sounds like you're paying plenty of attention to details, so I'm sure your sanitation is nothing to worry about. A little water sucked in through the airlock isn't going to ruin your beer. Plenty of homebrewers top off extract batches with tap water and have no problems. You'll most likely start seeing that airlock move by the end of the day today and then you can relax a bit. Now get that second batch started. The first one will be gone too soon.
Mark Gres

Offline anje

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2012, 09:12:03 AM »
Still haven't seen the airlock move, though it hasn't been 24 hours yet.  It's sitting in a Rubbermaid of water up to about the 3 gallon mark, no ice added, and I'd say the temp is about 62F.  (Fishtank thermometer only goes down to 64.)  I pitched the yeast (Muntons Gold dry yeast, one packet) at about 69F, so I know they're not scalded.

Should I take some water out of the Rubbermaid bin so the temperature can come up closer to the ~67F room temp, or just not worry about it and accept that everything will happen a little slower due to lower temperatures?
<-- microbiologist brewster n00b.

Hops and toothpaste don't mix.

Offline tygo

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2012, 09:22:10 AM »
Just relax and give it some time.
Clint
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Offline euge

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2012, 10:52:01 AM »
Did you rehydrate or sprinkle?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline malzig

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2012, 11:17:18 AM »
Note: as a bread-baker, I initially proofed dry brewing yeast (heated and cooled water, etc.). I am now a sprinkler--one less vector for contamination.
But both methods work.
Did you rehydrate or sprinkle?
Good question.  The one problem with sprinkling is that you can lose as much as half the yeast viability you would have if you rehydrated.

One of the big advantages of dry yeast is that you have twice as much yeast as a fresh vial of liquid yeast, so you can pitch into a moderate gravity beer without making a starter.  That's great for beginners, especially, but not rehydrating removes that advantage and can slow your start.

Offline anje

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2012, 02:39:31 PM »
I pitched the yeast dry. 

It's bubbling now, so I'm happy.  Now for the extended impatient period....
<-- microbiologist brewster n00b.

Hops and toothpaste don't mix.

Offline hokerer

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Re: A few newbie questions
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2012, 04:37:31 PM »
I pitched the yeast dry. 

It's bubbling now, so I'm happy.  Now for the extended impatient period....

Best thing to do about that impatience is to start thinking about and working on your next batch
Joe