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Old 12-30-2012, 07:43 AM   #1
HungerJack
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Default New to brewing!

So, a work associate sort of got me interested into the whole homebrew thing. I decided that I would start my endeavors by learning up on some brewing and begin as an all grain brewer. I've read a few books before I've started, and have some grasp of what I'm doing (kind of).

With that said, I've done 3 brews so far (including an IPA in my primary). The first was the Jamil's Evil Twin clone beer. Turned out ok, not as hop accenuated as I had hoped, and a bit under-carbonated, but super tasty.

Took an overzealous leap into already forumlating my own recipes for the next two, the second beer was supposed to be an Oatmeal Robust Porter but ended up getting an infection from me falling asleep while the beer was chilling outside (at least I think that's why it got sour).

Third brew. What I call "Frostbite IPA" (I have to use my immersion wort chiller outside and it was snowing). Now, about the beer.
Grain Bill
10 lbs. Pale 2-row
1.5 lbs. Munich malt
1 lb. Crystal 20
White Labs California Ale yeast (made a 1.15 liter starter)
2 ounes of centennial and 3 ounces of cascade used during the boil. Mostly late hop additions.
So, I aerated pitched yeast and all, fermentation started pretty quickly. The first 24 hours it was going nuts and chugging away. Started to die down a bit towards the later half of day 2. After about 55 hours of fermentaion there was no more bubbling. I'm worried that this may be tooo soon for a primary fermentation. Should I be worried????

In addition, OG was 1.064. Fermenting in my closet with an ambient temp of 63 degrees. Seeing that it's so soon into the primary I'm timid to open the fermenting bucket to take a gravity reading.

Also, I would like to brew on New Years day, probably a Robust Porter of Imperial IPA. Could I rack my current beer into secondary, and pitch the new wort on top of the yeast cake from my IPA????

Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

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Old 12-30-2012, 08:15 AM   #2
1Mainebrew
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Originally Posted by HungerJack View Post
So, a work associate sort of got me interested into the whole homebrew thing. I decided that I would start my endeavors by learning up on some brewing and begin as an all grain brewer. I've read a few books before I've started, and have some grasp of what I'm doing (kind of).

With that said, I've done 3 brews so far (including an IPA in my primary). The first was the Jamil's Evil Twin clone beer. Turned out ok, not as hop accenuated as I had hoped, and a bit under-carbonated, but super tasty.

Took an overzealous leap into already forumlating my own recipes for the next two, the second beer was supposed to be an Oatmeal Robust Porter but ended up getting an infection from me falling asleep while the beer was chilling outside (at least I think that's why it got sour).

Third brew. What I call "Frostbite IPA" (I have to use my immersion wort chiller outside and it was snowing). Now, about the beer.
Grain Bill
10 lbs. Pale 2-row
1.5 lbs. Munich malt
1 lb. Crystal 20
White Labs California Ale yeast (made a 1.15 liter starter)
2 ounes of centennial and 3 ounces of cascade used during the boil. Mostly late hop additions.
So, I aerated pitched yeast and all, fermentation started pretty quickly. The first 24 hours it was going nuts and chugging away. Started to die down a bit towards the later half of day 2. After about 55 hours of fermentaion there was no more bubbling. I'm worried that this may be tooo soon for a primary fermentation. Should I be worried????

In addition, OG was 1.064. Fermenting in my closet with an ambient temp of 63 degrees. Seeing that it's so soon into the primary I'm timid to open the fermenting bucket to take a gravity reading.

Also, I would like to brew on New Years day, probably a Robust Porter of Imperial IPA. Could I rack my current beer into secondary, and pitch the new wort on top of the yeast cake from my IPA????

Any help is GREATLY appreciated.
So, first of all, welcome to the forum.

Secondly, we really need a little information about your mash before we can tell you too much, but I think its safe to tell you the following:

1) Bubbles in the airlock are not an idicator that your beer is/is not fermenting. You will only know whats happening based on your SG, so trust your hydrometer.
2) If its only been in primary for less than 3 days, LEAVE IT ALONE. It will be delicious and you will have something to be happy with.... if you have the patience to let it ride for a little while. Generally speaking, its a good idea to just leave it alone for 2-3 weeks, check a gravity and then package. Some will tell you a month minimum, some will tell you the 1,2,3 method is great. I'm more in the middle with that one. Provided that you have done everything to keep your yeast happy, pitched strong, aerated/oxygenated sufficiently, and fermented in the proper temps you should have no problems with having a beer ready after 2 weeks time in primary. If any of those key steps is even the least bit iffy, I'd say let it go the extra time as time really does have the ability to heal (almost) all wounds in the brewing world. Leading to...
3) Its probably not going to be ready to transfer or package and dump another batch on the cake on 1.1.13. So what I would do is brew and put that into your other FV that you were going to use for secondary.
4) Keep it up! Way to have some confidence to go AG right from the beginning!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:21 AM   #3
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Should I be worried????
No, The yeast have had millions of years to learn how to do their job. Just stand back and let them.

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Seeing that it's so soon into the primary I'm timid to open the fermenting bucket to take a gravity reading.
Good. There isn't any reason to open the fementer yet. The yeast have just gone into the second phase of the ferment and need to be left alone. Don't open the fermenter for another 2 weeks because this phase is slow and shows no outward signs of anything happening. For sure you don't want to rack to secondary until the ferment has stopped. Doing so can lead you to a stuck ferment. Your best bet is to buy a couple more fermenters. They aren't real expensive and will last a long time. That will give you the freedom to make beer when you want and get a pipeline started.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:31 AM   #4
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@ 1MaineBrew, thank you, and it's not so much confidence to go all grain first, but the fact that I bought a Mr. Beer kit and thought, "There's no way beer making is this simple." So I never used the kit (but used the plastic bottles it came with for bottling my first batch). And I took it more as a challenge to learn as much as I can.

@ RM-MN, I have another fermenter, but I was hoping I would be able to rack a bit early, and save an extra 7-8 bucks on yeast for my next batch. I guess it probably is best to just let this batch ride in primary, and get another vile of yeast for a new brew.

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Old 12-30-2012, 12:02 PM   #5
libeerty
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I, too, hate buying new yeast when I have the same type sitting under beer. You could always brew something that doesn't use the yeast you have in primary.. That way you have two cakes of two different types of yeast for future batches.. And can save some money in the future.

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Old 12-30-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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What temperature do you ferment at? I had the EXACT same problem with a batch ultra-fermenting (it actually hit its intended FG within about four days). Two things I learned.

1. The ambient temperature of the bottle is probably 5-10 degrees colder than the temperature of the fermenting wort - especially if it's really active.

2. There's no harm in just letting the beer sit, even if primary fermentation is done. Other than perhaps a slight fusel alcohol taste from the high fermentation temp, you're improving your beer by waiting, not hurting it.

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