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Old 02-08-2010, 01:05 AM   #1
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Default Festa Brew Kit - First Time Questions.

Hi Everyone,

First timer here. I have been reading the forum over the last month or 2 trying to get a feel for everything. I finally bought everything I think I'll need and wanted to dig in.

I wanted to take baby steps and start with an extract kit. So I went to my local brew shop. They are more of a brew on site place but sell some kits that you just take home as well. So I picked up a Festa Brew Bock kit.

I guess I wasn't as prepared as I thought. I normally research the hell out of things before I start but I made a spur of the moment decision which is completely out of character for me. I got the kit home expecting a big bag of sugar and some yeast. What I got was a BIG bag of brown liquid and a package of yeast.

Apparently this is a premade wort no boiling necessary. Just pour it in your primary fermenter pitch the yeast and wait. It seems pretty straight forward and even easier than I had expected. It came with a sheet of instructions but from what I read on here normally it's not a good idea to follow kit instructions.

The instructions are generic for every single kit this company sells. Ale and Lager. And from what I understand they require very different conditions. I didn't realize that a Bock was a lager until I saw that the yeast was included was Fermentis Saflager S-23. The instructions seem to be based on making Ale. It basically says to ferment for 3-5 days at room temperature(17-25C). Then transfer to secondary and store for 7-10 days at room temperature again. Then bottle and store for 2 weeks

Everything I've read about lager including the directions on the yeast state that it needs to be fermented at much cooler temperatures like 9-15C. And I think the 3-5 and 7-10 day time frames seem a little quick.

Should I follow the directions that came with it and leave it at room temp? The temp seems to sit around 20C where I have it sitting now. Or should I follow the proper instructions and temp guidelines for lager and try to find a cooler place?

Any input appreciated, I don't want to waste this.

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Old 02-08-2010, 01:08 AM   #2
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Those FestaBrew kits are fantastic, even with the dry yeast (but try a quality liquid lager yeast on the next batch to make something even more outstanding).

The first piece of advice with those FestaBrew kits is to toss the instructions. Follow the yeast manufacturer's directions instead. I don't know why they put ale instructions and lager yeast in a lager kit.

Temperature control is very important, but if you can't get it as cool as the yeast manufacturer recommends, then just try to get close. It should work out fine. Best of luck!

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Old 02-08-2010, 01:14 AM   #3
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thanks for the quick reply,
Yeah it seemed really odd that there were only one set of instructions. I even checked their website just to make sure I just didn't get the wrong instructions by accident. I'm kind of the exact opposite of most guys. I follow instructions to the letter and it's always the first thing I read when I get anything new. But after reading stuff on here I knew to take caution. I think I have a place where I can get it around 15c. We'll see how it goes.

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:50 PM   #4
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I'm pretty excited. It's been 7 days. I took a sample to get a gravity reading just to see where things were. Right now it looks like 1.028-1.030. It's hard to read the hydrometer. I spun it, flicked it, bobbed it, tapped it, and spun again. There was a little ring of foam right around the hydrometer. Either way it's not done yet. I'll check it again in a week and see where I'm at. Then I'll be moving it to a secondary glass carboy. I need to make room for my next batch I've been able to keep that temps around 17C. Unfortunately to get lower I'm going to have to invest in a fridge or a freezer. So I think I"m going to stick to ales from now on at least for a little while.

On a side note, the sample smelled like beer. And it tasted a lot more like beer than I thought it would at this stage. It was still quite sweet but if the flavour now is any indication of what it will be when it's done I think I'm in for quite a treat.

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Old 02-14-2010, 07:12 PM   #5
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If your new at this, I would stick with the ales. You may also want to try The Brew House kits. They are 15 ltrs instead of 23. A bit easier to lug around and you add 8 ltrs of water.
This where the fun and learning begins (it was with me). You can steep grains and hops to "hack" the recipe.
Either way, welcome to the great hobby of homebrewing, and it sounds like your first batch is going well.

Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 02-20-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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So I just took another sample to check the gravity. It looks liek it's at 1.019. Its just under the 20 mark but not quite to the 18 mark. According to the notes on the website it's FG should be 1.0188 – 1.0196. So by the looks of it I'm pretty much there. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks in the fermenter at 17C. I'm looking for feedback for the next steps. I can leave it in the primary or rack to secondary. I can bottle. What do you think?

I tasted the sample and it's not as sweet as last week and the alcohol smell/flavour is more prominent. Which, based on the description on the website, is pretty dead on.

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Old 02-21-2010, 06:33 PM   #7
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It sounds like you are done. Remember that your hydrometer is likely only accurate to within a couple of gravity points, so the precision you are looking for is probably irrelevant.

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Old 02-21-2010, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drumma View Post
So I just took another sample to check the gravity. It looks liek it's at 1.019. Its just under the 20 mark but not quite to the 18 mark. According to the notes on the website it's FG should be 1.0188 – 1.0196. So by the looks of it I'm pretty much there. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks in the fermenter at 17C. I'm looking for feedback for the next steps. I can leave it in the primary or rack to secondary. I can bottle. What do you think?

I tasted the sample and it's not as sweet as last week and the alcohol smell/flavour is more prominent. Which, based on the description on the website, is pretty dead on.
I would leave it alone one more week and then bottle it. After 2 weeks in the bottle, take one and put it in the fridge overnight. Next day see how it is. Carbonated enough? Taste fresh? If not, let another week go by.
Eventually, you'll be hoppally hooked in the hobby and you'll start seeing your bank account drop ;-)
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Memorex88 View Post
Eventually, you'll be hoppally hooked in the hobby and you'll start seeing your bank account drop ;-)
Haha. I've already got a wish list that's getting pretty expensive
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:22 PM   #10
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LOL another one hooked.

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