Author Topic: First brew started good but now I am not so sure  (Read 652 times)

Offline n518lf

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First brew started good but now I am not so sure
« on: May 05, 2013, 06:11:25 PM »
Norther Brewers Chocolate Milk Stout Extract kit, OG 1051

Followed the instructions the entire way...

Steeped the specialty grains for about 20 minutes which resulted in a temp of just over 160 degrees. Removed grains and brought everything to a boil. Removed from heat and added the LME and Lactose (chocolate "milk" stout). Back to a boil and almost immediatly added the 60 minute hopps. 30 minutes later added the 30 minute hops.

With about 15 minutes left on the boil I realized I never experienced anything that looked like a hot break. Boil finished and the kettle went straight into an ice bath. Cooled the wort pretty quick. reydrated the dry yeast. Reflecting back, there was quite a bit of foam after bring the water to a boil after the speciality grains, but no "egg drop soup" and no other foam after the LME or hops was added.

Poured the wort into 2 gallons of water, then added a little more water to bring it up to 5 gallons. Mixed it and took a hydro reading which, after adjusting for the temp, read about 1055, maybe 1056. The issue here is I never say any sludge or anything when I mixed the wort. I poured slowly but never saw anything. I left a little in the bottom of the kettle but even when I rinse it out, it was all pretty clean. Yes, there were particals suspended in the wort but nothing that I could purposely leave behind.

I was going to rack to a secondary next weekend but maybe I should do it after a few days?

Not really sure what happened but I am just taking it as a learning experience... I took a couple of pics but not sure how to post them.

Offline quattlebaum

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Re: First brew started good but now I am not so sure
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 06:38:00 PM »
Hell my first batch i didnt even know what hot break was:)  I would leave it in primary for at least a week no matter what. I go 2 weeks with no problems. It will make sure that the yeast have time to clean everything up. Are you using anything like wharfloc? It will help to coagulate proteins prior to transferring to fermenter. It will not hurt the beer to leave it in primary for 2 to 3 weeks. I actually hardly ever use a secondary unless i am dry hopping. I leave it in primary for 2 to 3 weeks and crash it in a fridge or freezer to 38 degrees and keg it or bottle it. Anyway it will prob be the best beer you ever tasted:) Mainly because you made it:) 

Offline n518lf

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Re: First brew started good but now I am not so sure
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 06:47:44 PM »
wharfloc, not sure what that is but I will start researching it. This kit has some chocolate that gets added during the fermenation and I was going to transfer to a secondary before adding it. Otherwise I think I would leave it in the primary until it was ready to bottle.

Offline Jeff M

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Re: First brew started good but now I am not so sure
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 06:57:58 PM »
Relax and have a beer, your homebrew is fine.  dont bother with whirlfloc, its an added step you dont need to bother with on your first go.  leave it in the primary as directed.  just walk away bro.
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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: First brew started good but now I am not so sure
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 07:02:22 PM »
You really shouldn't worry as long as it was boiling. Extract is boiled during manufacturing so it probably won't have much break or trub.

Never transfer to secondary before fermentation is complete. You'll be removing the beer from the yeast before it is done and it's likely the remaining yeast won't be able to finish the job.

Really, for most beers secondary is a remnant of old homebrewing ideas. More homebrewers now skip it and bottle straight from primary.

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Offline n518lf

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Re: First brew started good but now I am not so sure
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 07:11:59 PM »
You really shouldn't worry as long as it was boiling. Extract is boiled during manufacturing so it probably won't have much break or trub.

Never transfer to secondary before fermentation is complete. You'll be removing the beer from the yeast before it is done and it's likely the remaining yeast won't be able to finish the job.

Really, for most beers secondary is a remnant of old homebrewing ideas. More homebrewers now skip it and bottle straight from primary.

- Sent by my R2 unit

As far as the secondary, I am hearing that so much I am starting to believe it ???

If I have 4 oz of cocao nibs that needs to be added two weeks before bottling, do you still suggest leaving everything in the primary and just add these nibs once I am a couple weeks away from bottling?

Offline Jeff M

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Re: First brew started good but now I am not so sure
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 08:43:39 PM »
I wouldnt, but im not against transfering my beers off the yeast cake/trub.
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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: First brew started good but now I am not so sure
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 05:24:25 AM »
If I have 4 oz of cocao nibs that needs to be added two weeks before bottling, do you still suggest leaving everything in the primary and just add these nibs once I am a couple weeks away from bottling?
That would be one of the times it's appropriate - to add fruit/spices or for extended aging. Though if you were ever in a bind (like all your fermenters were full) you could add the nibs to primary with no worries.
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