Author Topic: First go round  (Read 1137 times)

Offline jjpiv33

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First go round
« on: October 12, 2014, 01:36:25 PM »
John from charlotte NC, brewed a couple of gifted Mr. Beer kits years ago and then stopped. (Results weren't too bad). Recently a neighbor gave me a bunch of equipment he no longer uses, 2- 6 gallon carboys, 5 gallon carboy and other odds and ends. So I went to the only brew store I know, ALTERNATIVE BEVERAGE. And spoke to the guy there, got me set up with a dunkel lager extract and partial grain kit and some missing items and away I went.
So last week I started, cleaned and sanitized everything, my fermenter was active all week, yesterday I put it in the secondary (when I opened the primary, I noticed little to no foam, and the sides were not dirty as high up as I thought it would be) again cleaned and sanitized everything....except for the dry hop bag. That gonna come back to haunt me? Also the bag and hops pretty much come all the way to the bottom of the airlock bung, should I do something about this?
I've been reading as much as I could... Already see things I think I did wrong during the cook I'll change on the next. Any tips anyone wants to throw my way.... I'll take. Thanks all! 


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Offline dls5492

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Re: First go round
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2014, 01:53:48 PM »
Can you tell us what yeast strain you used and what temperature you fermented at? Most lagers ferment best between 48 degrees - 55 degrees and take about a month to ferment.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: First go round
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2014, 02:05:25 PM »
Are you sure you brewed a lager? You don't typically dry-hop a dunkel.

How long did you primary before you transferred to secondary? You should be certain that fermentation has finished completely (gravity readings are the same on 2-3 consecutive days - no other method is reliable for determining that) before you rack to secondary or package your beer. If you take your beer off the yeast prematurely you run the risk of a stalled fermentation. You also risk leaving unwanted fermentation byproducts in the beer by taking it off the yeast before the yeast can clean it up.

Many homebrewers have stopped using a secondary for the majority of our beers. Some still use one for dry hopping, but others just add them directly to the primary fermenter at the tail end of fermentation.
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Offline jjpiv33

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First go round
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2014, 02:57:58 PM »
dls5492 I used safale us-05, I don't have a way to keep temp that low right now, so he said this would work, still fairly warm in my garage....stayed around 70ish.

erockph was an ale yeast... See above. The dry hopping I just wanted to try, see how it turned out, again this was my first time and it was an option on the instructions given in my kit. I took a gravity reading on my cook day but that was it. Why stop using secondary?whats the benefit?

Thanks


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Offline erockrph

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Re: First go round
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2014, 03:15:09 PM »
dls5492 I used safale us-05, I don't have a way to keep temp that low right now, so he said this would work, still fairly warm in my garage....stayed around 70ish.

erockph was an ale yeast... See above. The dry hopping I just wanted to try, see how it turned out, again this was my first time and it was an option on the instructions given in my kit. I took a gravity reading on my cook day but that was it. Why stop using secondary?whats the benefit?
Do you have a basement or someplace else that stays cooler than that? For most ales you're much better off if you can keep your ambient temps in the low 60's. 70's won't necessarily be bad, but cooler will be a noticeable improvement.

You really want to minimize oxygen exposure in your finished beer. Every time you transfer your beer you will pick up some oxygen, and increase your risk for oxidation. It's not a guarantee, but there's no real need for a secondary, so why risk it?
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First go round
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2014, 07:05:39 PM »
Be careful with glass carboys. They can break and hurt a guy pretty bad.

Look at secondary fermenters as something you need when doing a secondary fermentation. Such as when primary fermenting till its done then racking over to a secondary fermentation on fruit. Its also done when a brewer is making a sour beer and using a secondary bug for a long time. The main reason to do it is to get the base beer off of the original yeast because its going to be several months before packaging. Brewers dont want all that yeast dying and coughing up bad stuff. But normally a yeast cake in primary is fine for 6 or 8 weeks, maybe more, before doing any noticeable damage. I routinely leave my beer on the yeast a full month with no problems. Actually, its probably better than racking too soon. The yeast need some time to clean up after themselves once they've made the alcohol. You can also dry hop in the primary, I do. Just put tge hops in for the last week before you bottle.

Offline jjpiv33

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Re: First go round
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2014, 11:53:02 PM »
Thanks for all the info, no I do not have a basement... Not really something you see often in the south. I had asked in the beginning of this post about the liquid being real close to the bottom of the airlock bung... Well I have beer in the airlock now.... How do I fix this? Pour some out and clean sanitize the bung?


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First go round
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 12:42:54 AM »
Pull it and cover with a chunk of foil while you are cleaning the airlock. Next time use a blowoff tube for the first few days.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First go round
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2014, 02:33:15 PM »
you should try to leave 25%-30% o the volume of the fermenter empty if you can. I like 7 gallon buckets for 5 gallon batches but I still get blow off on occasion.
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Offline brew inspector

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Re: First go round
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 09:55:08 PM »
Hey.  I'm in Charlotte too. I usually go to the alternative beverage in Monroe.  Less warehouse like and great service. 

Anyway many try to sink the hop bag ( that you should have sanitized) using some sort of weights like marbles.

The kits sold at AB are generally very good and you should be pleased with the results. They all use 05 or 04 ale yeast.

 The first improvement should be temperature control. A swamp cooler or some other passive cooling method is inexpensive and will make the most noticeable improvement.

As far as what you saw of the krausen stain after a week  that is normal. I only secondary when I need to free up the fermenter for the next batch but want/need to hold the beer a little longer before kegging or bottling.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 09:57:44 PM by brew inspector »

Offline jjpiv33

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Re: First go round
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2014, 01:20:12 AM »
Thanks so much for all the info guys. Brew inspector.... I'll have to check that other location out. You'll have to throw me some tips now and then.
Again thanks all...


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