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Old 09-19-2006, 12:57 AM   #11
nywanna
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Thanks everyone for the welcome - this is a great community! I really appreciate the advice on using the second carboy - I will probably go ahead and do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
Unless, on the other hand, you're just trying to clear it out for the next batch, which is fine. However, you said you have 2 carboys, so, why not do this: rack to secondary once primary fermentation is done, then use the first carboy for your next batch. By the time it's ready for secondary, your first batch can be bottled.
When I went to the LHBS I bought a basic starter kit with plastic buckets - I didn't want to spring for the glass if I ended up hating it. I really just want to get familiar with the process and see if this is something I really enjoy. So in theory I could actually start another brew almost immediately, although I like the suggestion to wait until my primary is done and just rotate through that way.

Quote:
Lastly, you said "many of the people who were helping me". Just how many people had their fingers, figuratively, in your beer? I find that any more than two people is a waste, and just provides more possibilities for accidents and sanitation issues. I brew most of my batches by myself or with a friend. That's all you need.
It was just two people, but when it came time to prepare the fermenter I had one extra person help fill the carboy with the necessary water. I noticed more than once his fingers getting into the water.

All the feedback on the sanitation issue is good to hear - hopefully things do turn out well - I'd really like to enjoy the 50 or so bottles I get from this.

@vcr5150 & runhard - yes, the Internet is probably the way to go, but I make my living off the Internet, so any opportunity I get to be away from a computer is a welcome opportunity.

Thanks again for the warm welcome - I look forward to learning from everyone!
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Blender
What happened with the grains? Maybe run your process by the board here and we can give you some guidance. You don't want to boil grain.
I was using Victory Malt and Briess Caramel grains. They were not boiled, but they were steeped in the boiler pot while it heated up for about 15 minutes or so. I am not sure if they burned, but they were resting at the bottom of the boiler pot during the entire process. I wouldn't be too concerned except for the fact that this was an aluminum pot. It just feels like the grains were probably sitting directly on the burner.

We'll see though, I inspected the grains and they didn't appear to be burnt. I'll know when I take that first drink - right?
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:07 AM   #13
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Sounds like you're off to a great start, despite the LHBS snobbery. Sometimes I wish the old guy at my LHBS was a little LESS friendly. During my first visit I thought he was going to sit me on the floor, give me a boxed apple juice with a bendy straw, and start reading verses from Papazian's book!

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Old 09-19-2006, 03:25 AM   #14
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Sounds like your beer might be quite OK. You will know when you transfer it to a secondary. Make sure to taste it along the way because you can tell alot about how it will end up. My local shop was sort of push offish the first time I was in there but it is much better now so maybe they were having a bad day. Anyway I would try them again as it may improve. Its nice to have a local source.

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Old 09-19-2006, 04:05 AM   #15
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That sucks about the owners of your homebrew shop treating you that way. I was lucky to start off at a store that was extremely helpful right from the start. A place called RJ Spagnols here in BC, they've definately got my repeat business because of that.

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Old 09-19-2006, 04:29 AM   #16
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Taste it, eh? I'll have to do that tomorrow - I didn't want to taste it the first day because of the smell.

I've heard of RJ Spagnols...

As an interesting point, the person who lent me the glass carboy's suggested using vodka in the airlock rather than water to help prevent bugs. I thought it was a good tip!

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Old 09-19-2006, 06:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nywanna
Taste it, eh? I'll have to do that tomorrow - I didn't want to taste it the first day because of the smell.
Wait until the fermentation is stopped after a week or so.
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:53 AM   #18
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I would definitely wait until I was moving the beer to the secondary before I got to tasting...grab a swig or two into a glass as you're siphoning, as it'll decrease your odds of infecting it.

I'm also a newb, and sanitation is my biggest worry. I've bottled after 2 weeks in primary and gotten good, drinkable (albiet not very clear) beer. It might not taste like the recipe suggested it would, but it should taste like beer. Let it run it's course and see what happens. Worst case, it'll be good for marinating and pre-boiling Brats!

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Old 09-19-2006, 12:35 PM   #19
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The secondary is not a big thing for beginners. More experienced homebrewers like to do it though. The chances are your LHBS are more concerned with trying to sell stuff and could care less about the customer aftercare.

Rememer that whatever comes into contact with the boiled wort will be sterilised because of the heat, provided that the surfaces appear relatively clean to the naked eye. However after the wort has cooled it becomes vulnerable.

So the one part of the process where you definately need bleach/disinfectant is in the bottling/kegging stage. Other brewing containers can just be sanitised with ordinary household detergent and a scrubbing brush.

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Old 09-19-2006, 12:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
So in theory I could actually start another brew almost immediately,
I fell prey to that theory and learned a lesson. If both buckets are full then how are you going to bottle the beer? You will need one bucket empty to mix your priming sugar in and bottle from.
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