Author Topic: New to brewing  (Read 2463 times)

Offline rdbobonis

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
New to brewing
« on: November 06, 2012, 03:24:29 PM »
Hello all!!  I just started brewing this week and am hoping to be doing it properly.  I got a kit as a present from some friends and just brewed my first batch of American Amber Ale.  I'm using a beginner's kit from "Brewer's Best" and their recipie kit/ingredients etc.  I finished everything and put it in the fermenting bucket Sunday night.  By Monday morning it was bubbling a little.  Now today no bubbles at all.  I have been searching about this and mostly found that 1. it's not a big deal if not bubbling, 2. I should get a measurement with the hydrometer(which I'm not sure about) will opening the bucket to measure do any damage to the "beer" that is in the bucket?  The recipie states to let it sit for 4-6 days....is this the right amount of time? 

I know being new I'll have a lot more questions.  Thank you all in advance!

 ;)

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 03:28:17 PM »
what is the temperature where you are fermenting? 

what was the temperature of the wort when you pitched your yeast?

if it was warm (>72df) your beer may be mostly done fermenting by now.

hydrometer reading is going to be your best indication.

welcome to the board and the obsession hobby
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline anje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 232
  • Lafayette, IN
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 03:35:28 PM »
Probably not a big deal -- the buckets don't always seal up well enough that the CO2 being produced has to go out the airlock.

What temperature do you have the fermenter at? If you've got a thermometer strip attached to the side of the bucket, it'd be great to know what temperature that reads, too.

I'd wait more that 4-6 days, typically, before bottling the beer, though if fermentation is actually done (this is where the hydrometer comes in), it might be enough. My still-limited personal experience is that you'll get better ale if you just leave the beer in the primary fermenter for a couple weeks, maybe a month, then bottle it.

Oh, and for those hydrometer readings: get a wine thief or a turkey baster and a clear test cylinder that'll fit your hydrometer. Sanitize all those, transfer some of your beer in the cylinder, then put the hydrometer in that. It's easier to take your reading, and I think you'll risk contaminating your beer less than simply sticking the hydrometer (and your hand) into the fermenter directly. Don't pour the sample back in afterward. Taste it instead.   ;D
<-- microbiologist brewster n00b.

Hops and toothpaste don't mix.

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7247
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 03:37:07 PM »
Yup. Counting bubbles is an extremely poor way to gauge your fermentation- especially from a bucket. Lift the lid and see what is happening. Report back.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline rdbobonis

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 03:46:47 PM »
The temp is approx 74*...the temp on the bucket (I do have a strip thermometer on it) is around the same more along the 73* mark.  I'm hoping that is good   ???  THe temp when I put it in the bucket was around high 70's then I added water as per the directions/recipie, mixed then added the yeast as per directions. 

Offline rdbobonis

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 03:54:15 PM »
Ok, so I opened the bucket and it looks like it is still fermenting...there are bubbles being formed inside the brew still slow though...about the 6 days...should it be more of do I just check at day 5 and see what the hydrometer says??

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1672
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 04:09:33 PM »
let it go for a few days check hydrometer and then check again a few days later and compare.  also on the bucket though it is hard to see yeast forming on the bottom, you may be able to see crusting forming along the surface line at the bucket edge.  won't tell you that things are finished but will tell you that they occurred.
Don AHA member

Offline rdbobonis

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 04:25:08 PM »
Sounds good and yes there is stuff on the edge!!

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7247
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 05:07:16 PM »
After two days it should look like this or it might not have reached that point yet.


Or if it has finished attenuating and the krausen has fallen back in it should look like this:


I brewed this particular beer and pitched the yeast 10/26/12 late in the evening. I checked it on 11/2/12- last friday and the krausen had already dropped. Muntons' yeast is a beast! The US-05 pitched in the other bucket at the same time still has krausen though I'm sure it is done already.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline rdbobonis

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 06:09:18 PM »
it kind of looks like the second one there.... :-\

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7247
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 06:22:05 PM »
So now you get to let it sit until next Tuesday. It isn't done 100% yet- the yeast are cleaning up after themselves and the beer is starting to condition. Is it drinkable now? Yes. But trust us we know what we are talking about. The beer needs to "mature" for a few days and it will be substantially better if you wait another week.

Then you can bottle. It will be in the bottle at least another week (two is better) before you should consider chilling and starting consumption.

So generally it'll take about 3 weeks from pitching the yeast into the wort before you should start drinking it.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline rdbobonis

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 06:25:36 PM »
ok, cool.  For a second there I was concerned...the derections stated 6 days so i was not sure how accurate that would actually be...Thanks for the help!! 

I'm probably answering my own question here but It is better to get ingredients locally thatn from kits as I had for this one right? 

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7247
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 06:31:32 PM »
ok, cool.  For a second there I was concerned...the derections stated 6 days so i was not sure how accurate that would actually be...Thanks for the help!! 

I'm probably answering my own question here but It is better to get ingredients locally thatn from kits as I had for this one right?

Simply a matter of opinion and quality. Some kits can be years old and suck or still make great beer. As your skills and knowledge grows you will settle on what works for you. Fresher is better in most cases- especially with yeast and liquid malt extract.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online garc_mall

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 795
  • [1892.9, 294.9deg] AR Lynnwood, WA
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 06:41:18 PM »
Unless you can get ingredients truly local, meaning the ingredients are actually produced locally, not just purchased locally, I don't think it matters too much. Fresh is good as euge said, especially for liquid malt extract. If you get liquid yeast shipped, make sure they can keep it cold (some places ship with ice packs for refrigeration), and try to get hops that are vacuum packed. I live in WA, so I can get all local ingredients (Hops, Malt, Yeast) and have in the past, its nice to have very fresh ingredients.

IMO, the best reason to buy from your LHBS is to support local businesses. I also like that I can make up a beer while I am in the store, and sometimes run it by another homebrewer for their taste imagination to "take a sip" of it.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline rdbobonis

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: New to brewing
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 09:13:31 AM »
So I did a Hydro reading and got 1.014 at 70*f....so pretty much around 1.016....this is good?  Recipie states 1.012-1.015 for the FG.