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Old 03-04-2007, 02:20 PM   #11
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Well, the beer is in the fermentor and I'll be checking on it later today to see if there is any bubblin' going on. I won't be surprised if there isn't, I really managed to mess a lot of things up. It was pointless to even have instructions there, because I didn't follow them. You know, they say it's okay if you LEARN from your mistakes though - I did a whole bunch of learning yesterday.

So, I did all the sanitizing, added the two gallons to my stock pot and put the grain in my cheese cloth and threw it in at 12:40. Unfortunetly I did not have a floating thermometer (already my first mistake) so I didn't know if it was between 160 - 170F. It wasn't boiling and it was really hot, so I'm hoping it was somewhere close. I let it steep for a little longer than twenty minutes (which the directions called for) just in case it was a little cooler than that. I took out the grain at 1:05. At 1:10 I added the malt extract, but before it was a rapid boil.. it was just barely boiling (I think I've should've waited until it was really boiling.... already my second mistake). It didn't started boiling until 1:33, at which time I added the hops... we then had a VERY VERY slight boil over (my third mistake). Luckily only a slight amount went over the top - I felt like an idiot... at this point everything I'm doing is wrong. Also, during the whole boiling process we should've stirred more, because as you will see in some pictues I'll post it looks like some of the malt extract got crispy on the bottom of the pot.

At 2:28 we added the finishing hops and boiled another five minutes. After that we transferred it into the fermenter and added the additional three gallons of water. We put the lid on and set it outside in the snow to cool down.

By 4:30 it was done cooling (73F), so we brought it inside and waited a little longer. We took the OG and of course it wasn't what the starting gravity on the recipe calls for. However, I think our reading was pretty poor and we weren't very accurate.... so my fifth mistake was our OG read apprx. 1.045, the recipe calls for 1.050 - 1.055.

We put the airlock in and hid it in a dark place.

So, I only royally screwed this up. I don't know if it'll be any good... but I feel pretty confident in my sanitizing, so I'm hoping atleast it's fine in that regard.

I sure will be much better prepared for my second batch though. I feel way more confident that I'll do atleast 65% of it right.






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Old 03-04-2007, 06:10 PM   #12
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im doing my first brew this way soon so ill try to learn from your mistakes!

hope it all goes well, cheers

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Old 03-04-2007, 06:41 PM   #13
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It's been almost 25 hours and there are no bubbles yet. However, the temperature it should be stored at is 68-72 degrees and when we first checked it a couple hours ago it was 61. It's at my brothers house so he is putting it in a different location closer to a heating vent. We have it in the pail and we have a black trash bag draped over it to aid in keeping the sunlight out.

Any suggestions if it doesn't begin bubbling soon?

Should I take the lid off and stir it up good (with a sanitized spoon of course)? Other than the intial stirring when I added the yeast, is there anything else I can do to aerate it? Or how much can I aerate it?

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Old 03-04-2007, 08:09 PM   #14
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I wouldn't worry too much about the lag time you're having. A few weeks ago I made a batch and it was at 62 degrees so it took about 56 hours to start really bubbling. higher temps will reduce your lag time, but your beer will be just fine. Congratulations on your first brew!

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Old 03-05-2007, 03:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purebloom
Well, the beer is in the fermenter ...
That sounds about like my first go. Few weeks later I had 5 gallons of great tasting beer.

Congrats.
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:34 PM   #16
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My wort was not fermenting at 25 hours, because it is at my brother's I have not checked it since then. Tonight, when I check it it will be around 60 hours. If nothing is occuring at that time, what can I do with the batch? Pitch more yeast? Shake it?

I'm hoping that it has been bubbling, but I haven't had an opportunity to check and he forgot to check for me.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

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Old 03-05-2007, 08:18 PM   #17
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First of all, it doesn't sound to me like you screwed anything up "royaly" as you put it, pretty minor stuff all around (I screwed up way more than that on my first go and still had great beer).

Secondly, as far as lag time goes, if it's still not bubbling the first thing I would do is open up the bucket and see if there are any signs of fermentation (ie. krausen). Opening the bucket won't hurt anything as long as you are careful and sometimes the lids on the plastic buckets don't seal tightly so you don't get any bubbles.

If there are no signs of fermentation give the bucket a little swirl (with the lid back on) to try and rouse the yeast. Give it another 24 hours and see what happens.

If there is still nothing, get another packet of yeast, re-hydrate (I recommend this even though it is not necessary, it will tell you if the yeast is good or not), and repitch.

All in all it sounds like you've probably made a pretty good brew; keep us posted.

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Old 03-06-2007, 03:25 AM   #18
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I freaked out as I read that you dumped that hot wort into the fermenter, then I realized you had a plastic bucket... tip, dont try that with a glass carboy

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Old 03-06-2007, 07:11 PM   #19
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My brother "sort of" checked for me last night, but I have a feeling he just glanced. He said the airlock was not bubbling at all.... who knows how long he looked and how well he inspected... that was all he said.

Next batch I'll be doing it at my place so I have a bit more control over "tending" to it. Tonight when I check it will be apprx 76 hours since it has been in the fermenter. I cannot relax and not worry and have a homebrew, because I have no homebrewed beer... this is my first batch! Oy!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'll hopefully have some more info and pictures for this evening.

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Old 03-06-2007, 07:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purebloom
My brother "sort of" checked for me last night, but I have a feeling he just glanced. He said the airlock was not bubbling at all.... who knows how long he looked and how well he inspected... that was all he said.
At what point (temperature) did you pitch the yeast?
How did you aerate the wort and when?
Are you certain that the seal around the bucket is airtight and locked down?
Give us a list of your ingredients (lbs of DME, etc...)
Have you taken a sample and OF reading? (72 hours is more that enough time to have fermentation. My English Ale extract with dry yeast finished fermenting at around 72 hours.)

If your wort has a brownish sludgy film on top, you're fine. The lack of bubbling in the airlock may be due to a loose lid.


I say the gravity reading tright now is the key to determining if fermentation is taking place (or maybe even nearing completion)..

By the way, you made the average # of mistakes that I still make with AG brews.
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