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Old 11-19-2012, 03:42 PM   #1
planetek7
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A frequent reader of HBT, I finally brewed on my own yesterday after over a year off and gathering necessary equipment and supplies. Bought a Belgian golden ale kit from NB to get back in the swing of things. Got a late start and ended up boiling into darkness with my headlamp on. The new Blichman burners worked extremely well. The false bottom 10 gallon cooler from Midwest worked flawlessly. Also, I purchased a Jay's false bottom for my boil kettle from NorCal which did a great job of leaving hardly any wort in the kettle. Using my well water, my counterflow chiller cooled the wort down to 74 degrees.
Surprisingly enough and according to my hydrometer, I hit the number so far at a post boil reading of 1.050. Added the White Labs yeast and noticed the krausen layer on top of wort is about two inches now but, with no bubbling out of airlock. I hope it works out as I was used to seeing CO2 bubbles form earlier during previous brewing times. I know, patience, as it could take 1-3 days for active fermentation. Seems to be ok in closet with temp tape around the 72 degree mark. Next for me is the White House honey ale. I thought that looked like an interesting recipe. Just thought I would share.

Eric

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Old 11-20-2012, 12:52 AM   #2
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Sweet setup! I bet you're glad to finally start brewing on your own after gathering equipment for a year? I'm going through a similar process now, balancing my homebrew budget between brewing and a kegerator build.

A couple comments/questions based on your post:
1. What are you fermenting in? If you're seeing a few inches of krausen, there should probably be CO2 activity. My guess is the CO2 is escaping from somewhere other than the airlock. This typically happens in bucket fermenters if the lid isn't completely sealed.
2. What yeast strain are you using? By temp tape, do you mean the fermometer on the fermenter? If you're refering to ambient temp, 72 could be a little on the warm side.

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:54 PM   #3
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Thanks. Yeah, just bought a small freezer to make a keezer so eventually I can have maybe two corny kegs on tap. Still need the temp controller. I used to keg but, thought I would bottle for awhile so that I can share and get feedback on the brews. I am fermenting in a 6.5 gal carboy and the krausen is about 4-5 inches now after two days. Still no bubbles out of airlock but, obviously there is fermentation. I used White Labs WL400 liquid yeast. Using that stick on temp strip on side of carboy. I'm hoping it will be ok.

I think I will do a secondary fermentation for clarity, then bottle.

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:23 PM   #4
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Hmm, with that much krausen there is certainly enough CO2 being produced to create activity in the airlock. There much be a small leak somewhere. Perhaps the bung is not in the carboy lid tight enough, or the airlock is not positioned in the bung properly? The CO2 is simply escaping from somewhere else other than the airlock. It's really not a big deal though, the CO2 will "blanket" the beer and should provide adequate protection. Make sure you let primary fermentation run its course before racking to secondary. Sounds like you're off to a great start, good luck.

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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WOW, I'm jealous of that set up man! Sounds like you had a really good brew day. I wouldnt worry too much about the Krausen dropping off that fast. You were fermenting at a pretty high temperature and a medium OG of 1.050, it's not going to take long when it's at 70 degrees. You'll definitely get some banana esters but that might not be a bad thing. I'd let it go the full three weeks before packaging though. Get another brew going on that awesome system!

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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Really appreciate the feedback. Thanks for the tips. That WH honey ale kit will be here today. Looking forward to finding recipes and tweaking or I should say experimenting with ingredients after I regain confidence in my brewing technics and processes.

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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Belgian fermentation pic. House temp kept at 68.

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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Looks pretty friggin sweet!

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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By the way, the carboy cap is probably why you're not seeing airlock activity. The airlocks work best with a carboy bung.

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