Author Topic: First attempt.....  (Read 4012 times)

Offline smthgfshy

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2011, 02:25:51 AM »
Ok, so I brewed it tonight. 

Started a yeast starter yesterday by boiling 2/3 cups LME with 1 quart water for 10 min and 1 hop pellet, added yeast packet and let sit for 28 hours in a brown growler.

I think everything went OK, up till the end.....nothing major, but I pitched my yeast before taking my OG reading.  I took it anyways.....1.080.

I did have a hard time keeping my steeping temp. constant. I brought my 6 quarts to 1600 and dropped in my 3 grain bags.  the temp dropped to 157.....uh......yeah....  so I cooled it down and was able to hold it between 148 and 154 for 30 min.  I then sparged with 6 quarts of water that was somewhere between 160-170.  I was unsure whether to squeeze the bags to extract every last bit of wort (I told her that was unnecessary).  I added a little water to bring my total volume to 3 gal, brought to a boil and added my extract and hops.  hops were added at the indicated intervals and I was able to cool the wort relatively quickly to 120 in the 4 ft snow bank and 15 degree temps outside.  I added 2 gallons of cold water to my fermenter and poured in the wort.  I then grabbed my yeast starter and dumped that in.....only to realize I forgot to check my OG and temp.  Based on my previous batch, adding 3 gal of 120 degree wort to 2 gal of cold water got the wort down to 70.  I didn't double check this this time......hmmmm.  I vigorously swirled the wort to aerate and poured a little off into the gravity flask only to discover the temp was at 78 degrees!!!!  I let it get to 60 and took the OG reading.  Now the wort is sitting in a cool dark place in my tiny cabin in AK.  It'll sit for at least 10 days before I start to take FG? readings.  I hope all goes well!!

Thank you all so much for your input.....I think out of the 500+ views of this post I read all your comments 500 different times.  I'll let you know how it progresses and be sure to ask more q's if something doesn't appear right.

Online euge

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2011, 02:37:30 AM »
Why the hop pellet in the starter?

It'll be OK.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline Mark G

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2011, 08:43:52 AM »
Sounds like it went pretty well. Keep us up to date on the progress. You'll probably start seeing signs of active fermentation this afternoon sometime.
Mark Gres

Offline smthgfshy

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2011, 02:06:20 PM »
euge~

i heard that adding a tiny amount of hops will help to inhibit bacteria growth in the starter.  I had no idea how much to add, so 1 pellet seemed a good starting point!!

Offline smthgfshy

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2011, 05:45:10 PM »
ok, here's an update....

beer has been fermenting for last 2.5 days.  the krausen started forming within 12 hours and at 36 hours was at it's peak.  since then, it's been dropping a bit, but there is still 2 inches of head on top.  the air temp surrounding my fermenter has been 50 degrees or so.  I just moved it today to an area that I think is about 60 degrees.  the airlock is still bubbling away at about 1 bubble per 8 seconds or so.  the wort is very cloudy and murky. 

Should I be concerned with the original low fermentation temp?  What effect will this have on the end result?  Should I keep it at 50 or 60 degrees while it's in the primary?  I'm still not sure how to know my FG.  I know that you are not supposed to muck about in your wort too much or disturb it while in the carboys, but I have to pour a little out to take readings to know when it stabilizes...right?  Am I missing something here.  I plan to let it sit in the primary for another couple days before racking to the secondary and throwing in some hops. 

comments, suggestions, concerns...???  In the mean time...I won't worry about it!!

D-

Offline denny

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2011, 06:12:05 PM »
Keep it in the low to mid 60s (or as close as you can get) and forget about it for 2 weeks.  Then check the gravity.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline denny

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2011, 06:13:12 PM »
euge~

i heard that adding a tiny amount of hops will help to inhibit bacteria growth in the starter.  I had no idea how much to add, so 1 pellet seemed a good starting point!!

It doesn't hurt, but it really doesn't help, either, as far as I've been able to tell.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Online euge

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2011, 06:59:38 PM »
Keep it in the low to mid 60s (or as close as you can get) and forget about it for 2 weeks.  Then check the gravity.

Good solid advice.

An autosiphon will help you get the beer out more easily than a regular siphon. You can check the gravity then.

Or-

I've heard of people using a sanitized turkey baster to collect beer samples for gravity checks.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tygo

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2011, 07:11:56 PM »
I've heard of people using a sanitized turkey baster to collect beer samples for gravity checks.

The turkey baster is one of my favorite beer tools.
Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline smthgfshy

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2011, 10:17:01 PM »
Another question..... :o

What concerns (and actions) should I have (take) if the primary ferm. temp. dropped to below normal fermentation temps?? 

Here's the dealo.......we just got out of a cold snap here in AK.  Temps surrounding my fermenter went from about 60-65 to 35 degrees ( :o)after the power went.  After power came back on, the temp has slowly risen to 60-65.  There is also a HUGE temp gradient top to bottom in my place (the floor is about 40, head level is about 70).  I've got the fermenter in the most consistent place in the cabin. 

So, back to my original Q....what concerns should I have?  Should I just leave it alone for another week before starting to check for a consistent FG? 

The beer is not clearing at all and is still bubbling at at about 2/3x per min at it's 65F temp. There is still a little krausen on top, but it's mostly gone, and what's there looks nasty as hell. 

Offline tubercle

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2011, 10:22:10 PM »
Another question..... :o

What concerns (and actions) should I have (take) if the primary ferm. temp. dropped to below normal fermentation temps?? 

Here's the dealo.......we just got out of a cold snap here in AK.  Temps surrounding my fermenter went from about 60-65 to 35 degrees ( :o)after the power went.  After power came back on, the temp has slowly risen to 60-65.  There is also a HUGE temp gradient top to bottom in my place (the floor is about 40, head level is about 70).  I've got the fermenter in the most consistent place in the cabin. 

So, back to my original Q....what concerns should I have?  Should I just leave it alone for another week before starting to check for a consistent FG? 

The beer is not clearing at all and is still bubbling at at about 2/3x per min at it's 65F temp.  There is still a little krausen on top, but it's mostly gone, and what's there looks nasty as hell. 

You're fine. The concern would be if the temp went up. They just went to sleep and rested for a little while.

 BTW, get a fan to stir that air around.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline smthgfshy

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2011, 12:52:12 AM »
" BTW, get a fan to stir that air around."

No need, my cabin is drafty enough as is!!!

Ok, I won't worry about it......just not sure if I should give it a swirl to wake 'em up!!

Offline smthgfshy

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2011, 01:51:07 PM »
Update:  for all those who care...... ;)

After reading more and more I realized that I probably should have filtered my wort while transfering to the primary and thoughts of off-flavors started percolating through my thoughts.....so I transferred to my secondary and added 2oz of cascade for some dry hopping.  I took a gravity reading and it read 1.028.  I was hoping for it to be a little lower to increase the alcohol level... ;D...maybe it will drop a little more in the secondary??  I plan to let it sit for another 2 weeks before bottling.  The temp is back up to about 65.  I did taste my sample and it tasted a lot like a Lagunitus lucky 13.  Granted my taste buds are about as refined as a sledge hammer in a china shop.  It did exhibit a good balance of bitterness and sweet maltiness.  I am hoping that the dry hop will add a moderate amount of hop nose. 

If anyone swings by TKA in March or April hit me up and you can tell me what you think of this crazy concoction I call Big Red Ryding Hood. 

Thanks again for all the advise!! 

btw...next on tap...belgian IPA.

go packers!!!!

Offline hokerer

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2011, 03:22:30 PM »
After reading more and more I realized that I probably should have filtered my wort while transfering to the primary and thoughts of off-flavors started percolating through my thoughts.....so I transferred to my secondary and added 2oz of cascade for some dry hopping. 

Really no need to filter going into the primary.  Some do, some don't and it doesn't seem to make a huge difference.  You certainly didn't need to worry so much about off flavors.

I took a gravity reading and it read 1.028.  I was hoping for it to be a little lower to increase the alcohol level... ;D...maybe it will drop a little more in the secondary?? 

Unfortunately, racking it to secondary probably wasn't a good idea.  1.028 sounds pretty high which means that fermentation is probably not completely finished.  The best way to have it complete would have been to leave it on the yeast so they could continue to do their job.  When you rack to secondary, you're greatly reducing the amount of yeast that's there.  Secondary is not meant as a place for gravity to drop any further.

That said, not much you can do to change things now so don't worry too much about it.  You made beer.  Just chalk it up as a learning experience for next time.
Joe

Offline tubercle

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Re: First attempt.....
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2011, 03:25:22 PM »
Update:  for all those who care...... ;)

After reading more and more I realized that I probably should have filtered my wort while transfering to the primary and thoughts of off-flavors started percolating through my thoughts.....so I transferred to my secondary and added 2oz of cascade for some dry hopping.  I took a gravity reading and it read 1.028.  I was hoping for it to be a little lower to increase the alcohol level... ;D...maybe it will drop a little more in the secondary??  I plan to let it sit for another 2 weeks before bottling.  The temp is back up to about 65.  I did taste my sample and it tasted a lot like a Lagunitus lucky 13.  Granted my taste buds are about as refined as a sledge hammer in a china shop.  It did exhibit a good balance of bitterness and sweet maltiness.  I am hoping that the dry hop will add a moderate amount of hop nose. 

If anyone swings by TKA in March or April hit me up and you can tell me what you think of this crazy concoction I call Big Red Ryding Hood. 

Thanks again for all the advise!! 

btw...next on tap...belgian IPA.

go packers!!!!

 
First rule of brewing when you start worrying about such things:

 Sit down, close you eyes, deep breaths, take another swig....
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee