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Old 08-27-2012, 12:32 AM   #1
thrlskr
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Default First Brew Day!

Today was my first brew day. Somethings went well, some not so well.

Dead Ringer IPA

I bought a 32 quart brew pot so I brewed a full 5 gallons instead of the 2.5 gallons that was suggested. Also, I didn't follow the directions for the extract because I read that it was better not to; I only boiled ~3lbs extract at 60min then the rest ~9lbs at 15min; however, I stuck to the hop schedule--hop utilization should better.

Though I used an immersion cooler to cool the wort, it took forever and I felt like I was wasting so much water (I'm from Nevada and remember a time when we could only shower on odd days because of the drought). About 20 min. into the chill I noticed a small leak in the hose fitting --even I after I checked for leaks the day before-- so unboiled garden hose water (yuck!) was in my wort at about 100 degrees.

I fixed the leak by adding another clamp, but I should have reboiled the wort --didn't think about it till later. Ugh. My tap water is ~80 degrees so I gave up the cooler at 84 degrees; poured into 6 gallon carboy, including half the hop sediment until I remember not to. Ended up with over 5 gallons in the carboy --it foamed over pretty good as I poured it in. And I still had to wait a bit for the wort too cool.

As I was waiting --wort still at 80-84 degrees-- I started to fear bacteria, from the hose water, infecting by wort without any yeast to fight them off. So... I pitched my yeast Safale 05--too hot I know-- and ran to the store to get a keg bucket and some ice to bring down the temps.

3.5 hours later with the wort @72 degrees I had Co2 bubbles coming out the tube. Fermentation had begun! I guess my yeast starter was ok even though I used the amount of powder suggested for 1L starter (half of a 2L) and the water for a 2L (1 packet of Safale 05). I stirred vigorously often and pitched after ~26 hours. If you've been paying attention you'll note that there is more than 5 gallons in my 6 gallon carboy, so there wasn't much head-space, hence the early CO2 bubbles --at least that's my guess.

Vigorous fermentation could end up messy.

Here's to drinking my first brew in about 6 weeks!

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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While I have made starters for small dry yeast packets.especially old ones,it isn't standard practice. They say no starters for dry yeast. I say it works since I've done it,but those were 7g packets from the other side of the world. Most of the time,especially with 11.5g packets like the US-05,all you need do is re-hydrate them for 20-30 minutes before pitching. Chill wort while it's working,add wort/top off to fermenter, Mix & aerate. Then lightly stir re-hydrated yeast cream & pitch.
84F is a little high,but not too high. Getting down to 68 or so would be a better temp for the average ale yeast. And let it settle out clear or slightly misty after FG is reached to allow it to clean up fermentation by-products you'll likely have gotten from the high initial temp.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:23 AM   #3
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Thank you for the thorough response. I'll follow your advice. I made a starter because I only recieved one of the two packets of yeast, so I was trying to compensate. I held fermentation at 68 today.

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Old 08-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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So you did make a blow of tube? That's a big beer for a first one, I'm a little jealous I didn't do a bigger one. With all that alc I wouldn't worry about infection.
The only bad problem now is waiting!

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:46 AM   #5
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Yeah, I've got a blow off tube going into a bucket of Starsan solution. It is a big beer, but I wanted to brew something I'd really enjoy drinking.

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Old 08-29-2012, 05:30 AM   #6
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I did my first beer brew on Saturday and I decided to go relatively big with a lager, specifically a doppelbock. I used an extract kit and purchased the Bavarian lager smack pack separately.

When I "smacked" the pack I was beyond excited...but a few hours l went back to check and there was nothing going on. I had planned on making a yeast starter so I used it anyway hoping for some viability. I did get another smack pack because I know a lager needs more yeast than most ale beers and the yeast can take quite awhile to start their work.

Brewing went smoothly for my first time...the wort came out well and was able to cool it down quite quickly. I pitched the starter I made from the one "bad" pack and the second one...hoped for the best!!!! By the next morning, krausen had filled the airlock and the yeast was beyond active...ended up using a blow off tube like you did as well...was surprised to say the least because I was getting mixed reviews on my yeast amounts. My beer has currently been resting at a chilly 50 degrees.

While an IPA and a lager are bigger beers than most start with, I say kudos to you!!! Wish your beer the best! Now to wait till February to taste mine

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Old 09-01-2012, 02:59 PM   #7
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Hi tipsy,

Thanks for the nice post. Good luck with your lager!

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Old 09-01-2012, 03:56 PM   #8
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Another issue is hop utilization. Both the full boil and the late extract addition contribute to a lower-than-design average boil gravity. Although the specific cause-and-effect theories have changed, I believe most still agree that lower boil gravity tracks with increased hop utilization. So your process should result in a more bitter beer than intended. These links give some explanation:
http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2011/02/10/beer-bitterness-and-ibus-with-glenn-tinseth-bshb-podcast-9/
http://hw.libsyn.com/p/3/0/4/30433c81ada8b244/bbr03-20-08ibu.mp3?sid=251d3a5868976ecd30ab5d0ad736fa52&l_s id=18257&l_eid=&l_mid=1511409&expiration=133183404 1&hwt=a1babd357d2d091bbf481fb8c715d1b4
http://beersmith.com/blog/2012/02/26/brewing-high-gravity-beers-with-john-palmer-beersmith-podcast-33/
http://s125483039.onlinehome.us/archive/bs_020711.mp3

You can the hop schedule to compensate.

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Old 09-02-2012, 03:02 PM   #9
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Yeah,late malt additions def make for better hop utilization,ime. But it'll depend on when the hops are added to the boil that'd give more bittering. Not to mentio how much. But it hasn't seemed to be too critical as long as you don't add crazy amounts of bittering hops,like 30 minutes+.
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