Author Topic: 1st batch today!  (Read 1204 times)

Offline uintafly

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1st batch today!
« on: August 22, 2010, 06:45:15 AM »
So I have been thinking about home brewing for about a year now, and yesterday I finally broke down and bought a basic brewkit. After spending about 4 hours yesterday watching the dvd and pamphlet included in the kit, as well as reading a good chunk of the book "How To Brew" I feel I have an understanding of the process in my mind. Today I will give it a try and see how it goes. I do have a question though, when do I want to transfer the wort from the primary fermenter into the secondary carboy? My primary is just a basic 6.5 gallon bucket and I have a glass carboy. I am assuming it is after about 72 hours when the head has settled, but haven't seen anything definitive on it. Any help on this and any tips on helping with a ood first batch would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris

Offline hokerer

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2010, 08:08:19 AM »
Depending upon the type of beer, you may not need to secondary at all.  Especially for your first batch, you can keep it simple and skip the secondary.  Whether you secondary or not, you want to make sure that fermentation is complete before moving the beer to the next step (secondary or bottling).  The best way to do this is to take gravity readings using your hydrometer - a couple days in a row with the same reading means it's done.  Time isn't really a reliable indicator and 72 hours is almost certainly not long enough.
Joe

Offline euge

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 09:47:54 AM »
Read the chapter on Fermentation. It's important to understand the 3 phases of the fermentation cycle.

Oh you are in for a treat!!! There are visual cues that can help guide you to when to bust out the hydrometer.

In your bucket, which is fine to use or even the carboy look for when the beer Kraeusen (foam) will appear. Attenuative phase usually begins within 24-36 hours. When the kraeusen drops the conditioning phase has probably begun and it's time to take a reading.

Popular convention is to let it sit for up a month. For regular strength beer I usually won't let it go past 10-14 days before it is racked into kegs (usually) or into bottles. The conditioning can then continue and the fermenter is available again.

How quickly you get it off the yeast is up to... you! A simple rule of thumb is the higher the gravity and the darker the beer the longer it needs to sit to finish fermenting and have all the flavors come together. Of course there are exceptions to this.

Have fun with the kit and don't stress about it. You'll be amazed at the beer your making.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline dean

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 01:46:00 PM »
I agree with the other posts... first time, don't secondary, just let it run its course.  RDWHAHB (microbrew or whatever you have handy).  Since its your first I'm guessing that its a liquid malt extract kit, it should turn out fine without too much intervention on your part.   ;)

Let us know how things go and how you like it.   Congrats on taking your first step toward a hobby having possibly infinite endings and possibly a similar amount of inebriated events.   :D

Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 02:40:05 PM »
Welcome to the Forum and obsession!

Get the next batch ready to go soon. You will be eager to taste your first batch way too soon, Distracting yourself with
another batch helps...


(edited for fat fingers, again.)
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline kiko

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 03:14:28 PM »
Started my 1st batch last Monday with a 5 gallon malt extract kit also. I had purchased a 5 gallon carboy since my kit came with 2 buckets. I racked to the carboy today. Everything I have read says the secondary helps clear the beer, and get off the sediments and Kruishen (spell?) so the beer will not develope off flavors. Hey - if you have the carboy use it. It is simple to rack to the carboy if you have the auto siphon. 

I will be starting another batch soon. Need to tighten up a few noob mistakes - mainly not airating/steering the pitched wort enough. Got flustered when the cheapo rubber grummet fell into the wort when i pushed in the airlock and had to retieve with my (sanitized) hand/arm. sure hope this does not contaminate my batch. Plus may 1st batch was a lager - oops.

Offline uintafly

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 04:15:28 PM »
Well got the first batch into the fermenter just about an hour ago. Everything seemed to go smoothly with just a few minor issues. The first being that my electric stove couldn't really get the wort to a full rolling boil. It was boiling above a simmer but probably not what I would call rolling. I took a temp. reading and it showed 200 degrees. I am assuming that is hot enough but don't know for sure. The second issue was that the ice bath was a bit of a pain and it may cause me to break down and buy a chiller. But overall I was happy with everything, now I just need to work on my patience.

The reason I plan on using a secondary fermenter is that this is a kit for a pilsner and I want to do what I can to get the best beer clarity. I am a little worried that it is a pilsner instead of an ale but the guy at the HBS said that the kit took that into consideration and I should be fine. We will see in a few weeks I guess.



Offline tygo

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2010, 04:49:44 PM »
The reason I plan on using a secondary fermenter is that this is a kit for a pilsner and I want to do what I can to get the best beer clarity. I am a little worried that it is a pilsner instead of an ale but the guy at the HBS said that the kit took that into consideration and I should be fine. We will see in a few weeks I guess.

Lagers should be fermented around 50F.  Are you able to keep your fermentation temps down that low?  What yeast are you using?
Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline uintafly

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2010, 05:13:27 PM »
Quote
Lagers should be fermented around 50F.  Are you able to keep your fermentation temps down that low?  What yeast are you using?

No, and that is what has me a little nervous. However when the guy at the shop was selling me the equipment said that they changed a few things to make it work like an ale. The yeast in the kit was Wyeast 1007 German Ale. Do you think I will have issues? I bought it at a very well respected shop and the salesman seemed to know what he was talking about.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 05:27:17 PM by dbeechum »

Offline kiko

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2010, 06:31:57 PM »
Quote
Lagers should be fermented around 50F.  Are you able to keep your fermentation temps down that low?  What yeast are you using?

Unfortunately no directions in my lager kit for fermentation temps so my 1st fermantation was at 78-70f for 4 days before moving the bucket and than the secondary to a refridgerator. Is my batch ruined?  Yeast type used in kit was Saflager.

Offline tygo

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2010, 06:48:53 PM »
Quote
Lagers should be fermented around 50F.  Are you able to keep your fermentation temps down that low?  What yeast are you using?

No, and that is what has me a little nervous. However when the guy at the shop was selling me the equipment said that they changed a few things to make it work like an ale. The yeast in the kit was Wyeast 1007 German Ale. Do you think I will have issues? I bought it at a very well respected shop and the salesman seemed to know what he was talking about.

Yeah, you're brewing an ale.  I'm sure it will turn out fine it just may be a little different than what you may be expecting if you were shooting for a pilsner.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline kiko

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2010, 06:53:50 PM »
Well got the first batch into the fermenter just about an hour ago. Everything seemed to go smoothly with just a few minor issues. The first being that my electric stove couldn't really get the wort to a full rolling boil. It was boiling above a simmer but probably not what I would call rolling. I took a temp. reading and it showed 200 degrees. I am assuming that is hot enough but don't know for sure. The second issue was that the ice bath was a bit of a pain and it may cause me to break down and buy a chiller. But overall I was happy with everything, now I just need to work on my patience.

The reason I plan on using a secondary fermenter is that this is a kit for a pilsner and I want to do what I can to get the best beer clarity. I am a little worried that it is a pilsner instead of an ale but the guy at the HBS said that the kit took that into consideration and I should be fine. We will see in a few weeks I guess.

I have electric also and the 7.5 gallon pot the HBS sold me took forever to boil. Waste of money. I will use my 5 gallon pot next time. I will probably go for a immersion chiller also to save time.

My HBS gave no advice/direction on lager fermentation. I had to research ferm temps online

Offline uintafly

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2010, 07:25:08 PM »
 
Quote

Yeah, you're brewing an ale.  I'm sure it will turn out fine it just may be a little different than what you may be expecting if you were shooting for a pilsner.

Good to hear. The only reason I went for the pilsner style is for my friends who tailgate with me. I plan on using this first batch as a tailgate brew and a few of my friends aren't fans of ales.

Kiko, it sounds like we know about the same,(very little  ;D) you will have to keep me posted on how your batch turns out.

Oh yeah, one more things. GO UTES!!!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 07:43:05 PM by dbeechum »

Offline birdman200

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Re: 1st batch today!
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2010, 09:40:04 AM »
I was thinking about doing an oktoberfest as my 2nd batch ever, and thanks to my neighbor down the street (who is probably on this forum who is all all-grain brewer with a very elaborate brewing system), I am not going to do it.  This is because with simply equipment that we all started out on, it is too difficult to maintain cold temperatures that lagers require to ferment.  It is much easier to do ales, and there are a lot more varieties of ales to make.