Author Topic: Look what the stork droped off...  (Read 2511 times)

Offline FLbrewer

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Look what the stork droped off...
« on: April 22, 2013, 03:01:05 PM »
My precious "Brewery in a Box" came today from Northern, and to say I'm excited is an understatement! I have a couple other details I'm wrestling with while I wait for my kettle and burner.

1) I have 2 glass carboys so I can do secondary. Is this necessary for my first batch? I'd like to do only primary simply so I can get started with a second batch (using my other fermentor) quicker. From what I've read, the wheat beer I'm brewing (low ABV, not a clear beer) it isn't really a necessity.
2) Since I don't have an immersion cooler at this point (will be using a swamp cooler or deep sink) to cool the wort, can I get by with only boiling the 2.5 gallons (per the instructions) and topping off the other 3.5 with distilled or purified? I know a full boil is preferred, but considering I don't have the best method to chill wort yet, the less the better.
3) Finally, doesn't anyone just drink the yeast ring? Why all of the avoidance to this?

Thank you again to this awesome forum!!!

Offline gymrat

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 03:09:59 PM »
2.5 gallon boils was how I did all of my extract brews.
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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 03:11:53 PM »
Yeah, 2.5 gallon boil is fine. You can even use store bought ice to 'top off' although that is easier with a bucket then a carboy.

Secondary is not needed, not only because it's your first batch but because, with exception of a few specialized situations) it's just not needed. search around on here and you will see lot's of discussion on that topic.

+1 million on starting your second batch sooner rather than later. you will run out of your first batch faster than you can imagine.
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Offline goschman

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 03:16:49 PM »
1) I wouldn't worry about doing a secondary ever unless your are doing something which needs to age for a long time. A lot of people dry hop, add fruit, etc in the primary after fermentation is completed.

2) I used to do 3 gallon boils for extract. Your hop utilization will be affected by a partial boil. Make sure your recipe calculator accounts for this.

3) Are you referring to the settled yeast in the bottle? Definitely doesn't hurt to drink it (especially for an unfiltered wheat beer or something similar). My main reason for pouring in a glass is to leave as much of the yeast behind so that clarity and appearance are more appealing.

Offline euge

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 03:31:40 PM »
Two carboys means you can brew double! You'll be able to fill them with that fancy new kettle arriving any day now... ;)

A secondary "fermentation" is just that. Like adding fruit or more sugar- usually done in another vessel. An accepted brewing technique. Conversely, the practice demonstrated by older instructional books and recipes known as "secondary" has fallen out of favor and is no longer recommended by experienced brewers. Do a couple weeks in "primary" and then rack to bottles and condition for 2-4 weeks.

The implied purpose of this secondary vessel is to get the beer off the yeast; it will further clear by the suspended yeast dropping out and to finish fermentation by conditioning. Also, this would be an opportune time to dry-hop.
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Offline svejk

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 03:51:47 PM »
In addition to the responses so far, in your second question you ask about a concentrated boil and topping off with distilled or purified water.  Keep in mind that your brewing water should be sanitary, but not distilled. To keep things as simple as possible, you could buy 3 one gallon bottles of spring water at the grocery store and leave them unopened in the fridge until you have chilled the boiled wort to ~100F in an ice bath.  Combining that wort with the 3g of ~35F water from the fridge should get you to the point where you are ready to aerate the batch.

A couple other random thoughts:

- The 5 gallon carboy will be a little small as a primary for your second 5g batch.  You might want to consider using the bottling bucket for primary fermentation of your first batch because it makes aeration a lot easier and you won't need a blowoff tube.  You can also avoid racking altogether with it.  Then you can put your second batch in the 6g carboy.

- It looks like you've done a lot of reading and already know a fair amount about brewing, so on your first batch, do your best, keep good notes, and don't be afraid to just wing it.  You'll learn a whole lot on your first batch, so you can tweak your system as needed once you've gone through it.

Have fun, and good luck!

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 04:51:02 PM »
The only thing I would add to all the above good advice is this:  Please put your top off water in the carboy first, not boiling hot wort. If you chill first, then don't worry. But if you plan to chill in the carboy, pour your chilled top-off water in first.
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Offline euge

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 04:58:50 PM »
With straight extract distilled, purified or reverse-osmosis as a source for water is perfectly fine. When you start mashing grain or even steeping you want some minerals in the water.

Regardless, one should remove the chlorine from their water first.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline aschecte

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 06:14:03 PM »
My precious "Brewery in a Box" came today from Northern, and to say I'm excited is an understatement! I have a couple other details I'm wrestling with while I wait for my kettle and burner.

1) I have 2 glass carboys so I can do secondary. Is this necessary for my first batch? I'd like to do only primary simply so I can get started with a second batch (using my other fermentor) quicker. From what I've read, the wheat beer I'm brewing (low ABV, not a clear beer) it isn't really a necessity.
2) Since I don't have an immersion cooler at this point (will be using a swamp cooler or deep sink) to cool the wort, can I get by with only boiling the 2.5 gallons (per the instructions) and topping off the other 3.5 with distilled or purified? I know a full boil is preferred, but considering I don't have the best method to chill wort yet, the less the better.
3) Finally, doesn't anyone just drink the yeast ring? Why all of the avoidance to this?

Thank you again to this awesome forum!!!

to answer your question in the order asked ;

1- Most of us I think it would be safe to say unless we are dry hopping or adding fruit or it's a barleywine or lambic that needs a long age period secondary is not really a concern. I personally hardly ever use a secondary except for my previously mentioned beers. there is actually a benefit of leaving the beer for longer times on the yeast cake as it gives the yeasties a bit more time to clean up after themselves. The benefit though to a secondary though is you will possibly end up with a clearer final product as well as reducing the so called fabled autolysis of the yeast.

2- sure you can do a 2.5 gallon boil and then top off with filtered or boiled and cooled water I would not use distilled water though as the mineral content in spring water is beneficial to the flavor and the yeast health. Just a FYI don't ever use reverse osmosis water though as it can kill the yeast as the osmotic pressure of RO water is higher than the cell wall of the yeast.

3- Drink the yeast if you like but just a warning you may get a tummy ache as well as a case of the mega farts.

Happy brewing and I hope this was some what of a help !!!! welcome to the addiction.
don't worry I'll drink it !!

Offline aschecte

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 06:19:24 PM »
The only thing I would add to all the above good advice is this:  Please put your top off water in the carboy first, not boiling hot wort. If you chill first, then don't worry. But if you plan to chill in the carboy, pour your chilled top-off water in first.

+1000000 to this I learned this the hard way when I first started brewing.... it's no fun cleaning the wort off the floor and picking the exploded YES exploded glass out of every corner of the kitchen. Not to mention the loss of all your hard work.
don't worry I'll drink it !!

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 05:34:21 AM »
Speed cooling by giving the wort a gentle stir every few minutes. This will keep temperature gradients from forming against the kettle walls and really speed the process. You can also put your top off water in the fridge to get it as cold as possible. Cool the concentrated wort in an ice bath, then add cold top off water.

Don't listen to instructions that say "Pitch at 75F" Getting it down to 65F will give you cleaner tasting beer.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 06:24:09 AM »
In addition to the responses so far, in your second question you ask about a concentrated boil and topping off with distilled or purified water.  Keep in mind that your brewing water should be sanitary, but not distilled. To keep things as simple as possible, you could buy 3 one gallon bottles of spring water at the grocery store and leave them unopened in the fridge until you have chilled the boiled wort to ~100F in an ice bath.  Combining that wort with the 3g of ~35F water from the fridge should get you to the point where you are ready to aerate the batch.

Nothing wrong with using distilled water for extract brews.  The extract has all the salts of the original wort, and they generally use a modestly hard water in their process.
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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2013, 08:09:40 AM »
[...]2- sure you can do a 2.5 gallon boil and then top off with filtered or boiled and cooled water I would not use distilled water though as the mineral content in spring water is beneficial to the flavor and the yeast health. Just a FYI don't ever use reverse osmosis water though as it can kill the yeast as the osmotic pressure of RO water is higher than the cell wall of the yeast.

[...]

Are you sure about this? RO water is simply water that has been purified by being forced through a semi permeable barrier. Distilled water has less minerals than RO as it was evaporated and recondensed.

Regardless in an extract batch all those minerals are already in the extract and there is no need for more.
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Offline svejk

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Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2013, 08:23:40 AM »
...all those minerals are already in the extract and there is no need for more.

This is a really good point that I hadn't considered before.  I think for most beginners purposes it won't be the deciding factor whether the beer is great or not, but it would make for an interesting side-by-side experiment - two identical extract batches, one with distilled water and the other with spring or filtered tap water.  I would think if a light style of beer were chosen, then the differences could be perceptible.

Offline Mark G

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Re: Re: Look what the stork droped off...
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2013, 08:24:58 AM »
[...]2- sure you can do a 2.5 gallon boil and then top off with filtered or boiled and cooled water I would not use distilled water though as the mineral content in spring water is beneficial to the flavor and the yeast health. Just a FYI don't ever use reverse osmosis water though as it can kill the yeast as the osmotic pressure of RO water is higher than the cell wall of the yeast.

[...]

Are you sure about this? RO water is simply water that has been purified by being forced through a semi permeable barrier. Distilled water has less minerals than RO as it was evaporated and recondensed.
You're not supposed to use RO/distilled water for dry yeast rehydration. I think that's what he was referring to.

As far as wort production from extract, I would recommend RO/distilled since the extract was already made with plenty of minerals in the water.
Mark Gres