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Old 04-03-2011, 10:14 PM   #1
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Default First brew fermentation question

Hey guys just brewed my first batch yesterday.
It is an extract brew full boil, consisting of 6.6 lbs Briess Sparkling Amber LME.
1 packet dry Danstar Windsor yeast.
Cascade hop additions of:
1 oz - 60min
1/2 oz 10 min
1/2 oz 1 min

I did a test boil in my 8 gallon kettle and figured my boil-off rate but I didn't account for the volume of adding the extract. Needless to say I made a mess. I also added each of my hop additions quickly rather than slowly and a lot of it boiled over.

Anyway, to the point. I used an immersion chiller to cool. I whirlpooled, and drained to my fermenter through santized cheesecloth which worked great btw. I aerated with an aquarium pump, filter, and diffusion stone for 25 minutes. I rehydrated and pitched my yeast at approximately 75 degrees.

Vigorous fermentation began about 7 hours later. My room temp is steady at 64 degrees with fermentor temp at 72-73.

My question is should I add some water to the tub I have my fermentor in to bring my temp down a few degrees as I am worried about off-flavors?

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Old 04-03-2011, 10:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jumbo_tron View Post
Hey guys just brewed my first batch yesterday.
It is an extract brew full boil, consisting of 6.6 lbs Briess Sparkling Amber LME.
1 packet dry Danstar Windsor yeast.
Cascade hop additions of:
1 oz - 60min
1/2 oz 10 min
1/2 oz 1 min

I did a test boil in my 8 gallon kettle and figured my boil-off rate but I didn't account for the volume of adding the extract. Needless to say I made a mess. I also added each of my hop additions quickly rather than slowly and a lot of it boiled over.

Anyway, to the point. I used an immersion chiller to cool. I whirlpooled, and drained to my fermenter through santized cheesecloth which worked great btw. I aerated with an aquarium pump, filter, and diffusion stone for 25 minutes. I rehydrated and pitched my yeast at approximately 75 degrees.

Vigorous fermentation began about 7 hours later. My room temp is steady at 64 degrees with fermentor temp at 72-73.

My question is should I add some water to the tub I have my fermentor in to bring my temp down a few degrees as I am worried about off-flavors?
You always want to consider your yeast strain when talking about temperatures. The best place to get good information on yeast strains is the manufacturer's website. Here's the scoop on Windsor:
http://www.danstaryeast.com/products/windsor-ale-yeast

In short, fermenting above 70 degrees isn't recommended and it's a "fruity" English yeast so you may have some banana/bubblegum fruity flavors. Ideally youd be in the 65 degree area. If it was me, I'd probably add a little water bath to bring it to the optimum range.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, I will add some water. Water temp here is 44 so I'll add a gallon every so often. Just wondering if cooling it too fast or anything can possibly put a halt to my fermentation or should I not worry too much. My krauzen has risen and fallen almost completely in the 24 hours since I pitched and my blowoff is still expelling co2 now. I will be taking a hydro reading in a week or so.

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Old 04-03-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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your not adding water to the beer right? dont do that. but putting your fermenter in water is a good idea. if you cool it too quickley your yeast can go dormant or die. so be carefull. i would get all the watter to about 5 degrees below what u want your fermenter to be then put your fermenter in it. and add cool watter as it gets warmer. another solution is to soak a towel, wrap it around your fermenter and point a fan at the towel. it will cool your fermenter down. or just turn the heater down...

as for your boiling situation, start off with 5 1/2 gallons for a full 5 gallon boil and make sure you have plenty of room at the top to prevent boil overs. a 34 qt stock pot works great. also a lid will help alot too. brew like normal, and when you get to the boil, put the lid on till it just starts to boil, then when it gets going, slide the lid off to the side just a little bit so you leave about a 1 - 1 1/2 inch gap to let steam out. if it still gets to where its going to boil over, tun the heat down a little bit till it settles down. leave it there, make sure it still has a good boil going for the duration. you wont have any more boil overs anymore tho. if your still short on volume, just add water to the boiling wort till your where u need to be.

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Old 04-03-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
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Oh the joys of a good hot break!! I always try to keep a spray bottle around to b/c that will stop a boilover in its tracks

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Old 04-03-2011, 11:27 PM   #6
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y.

also a lid will help alot too. brew like normal, and when you get to the boil, put the lid on till it just starts to boil, then when it gets going, slide the lid off to the side just a little bit so you leave about a 1 - 1 1/2 inch gap to let steam out.
Boiling with LID ON is not a Good idea it will give you off flavors. DMS is driven off during the boil, so you need to keep lid off during the full boil.
you can use a lid to help heat loss bringing up to the boil, but be carefull as it gets close to the boil to stop boil over.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:37 PM   #7
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Boiling with LID ON is not a Good idea it will give you off flavors. DMS is drive off during the boil, so you need to keep lid off during the full boil.
you can use a lid to help heat loss bringing up to the boil, but be carefull as it gets close to the boil to stop boil over.
really? thats intresting. what is DMS? im still learning too
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:48 PM   #8
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No, I am not adding water to the fermenter, I have it in a rubbermaid container which I am adding water to.

I left the kettle covered until boil and then left it off the entire time. My test boil showed a loss of 1.75 gallons over 60 mins in a 19" wide kettle so I added that to 5 gallons when I brewed and when I added my LME it put my volume a little high, I probably should have went with 1.25 gallons extra.

I just checked and my fermentor temp is now down to 68 so I think I made a mistake and cooled it too fast. I hope my yeast are ok. I pulled some of the water back out and will try to bring it to equilibrium. I hope the damage isn't already done. I'm stressing a little bit about this but it's my first time so I should just try and relax and learn from it I guess.

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:13 AM   #9
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really? thats intresting. what is DMS? im still learning too
DMS is an off-flavor. Here's what "How To Brew" says about it: Dimethyl Sulfides (DMS)/ Cooked Vegetable Flavors
Like diacetyl in ales, DMS is common in many light lagers and is considered to be part of the character. DMS is produced in the wort during the boil by the reduction of another compound, S-methyl-methionine (SMM), which is itself produced during malting. When a malt is roasted or toasted, the SMM is reduced beforehand and does not manifest as DMS in the wort, which explains why it is more prevalent in pale lagers. In other styles, DMS is a common off-flavor, and can be caused by poor brewing practices or bacterial infections.

DMS is continuously produced in the wort while it is hot and is usually removed by vaporization during the boil. If the wort is cooled slowly these compounds will not be removed from the wort and will dissolve back in. Thus it is important to not completely cover the brewpot during the boil or allow condensate to drip back into the pot from the lid. The wort should also be cooled quickly after the boil, either by immersing in an ice bath or using a wort chiller.

When caused by bacterial infection, DMS has a more rancid character, more liked cooked cabbage than corn. It is usually the result of poor sanitation. Repitching the yeast from an infected batch of beer will perpetuate the problem.




The short answer is to not cover your brew pot during boiling (it's ok to do it to bring it up to a boil) or during chilling.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:04 AM   #10
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well thats intresting, i havent noticed any cooked vegitable flavors yet, so maybe im just lucky. or arrogant in beer tasting. thanks for catching that tho, i feel bad for giving missleading advice.

jombo> your probably good. keep it there. relax n have a home brew...as they say... it will be alright. when your beer is done, you will love it. im suprised how much you already know for brewing your first batch tho, your alot better off thain most begginners.

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