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Old 02-26-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default First Solo Brew w/ New Equip

So, last night I did my first batch with my own equip - and my first batch brewing by myself...

First off, the good:

-- I was impressed with the quality of the stuff I got from MoreBeer, that kettle is niiice!
-- All my connections proved to be tight.. the wort chiller and the ball valve on the kettle were invaluable

Now, the bad:

-- Why did I pick the heaviest kit that I had purchased (Grateful Dead Guy from NB) to do on my own? Stirring in that last 5 or 6.5 lbs of extract with one hand while stirring with the other was pretty much a bitch.
-- I seriously need to leave the kettle alone. The stove was definitely capable of bringing my 6-ish gallons of water to a nice rolling boil, but I was constantly paranoid about not having enough headspace and boil overs and a bunch of other stuff that didn't happen.

So yeah, I'm tired as hell this morning... and worried like I have a newborn at home that I should be watching.

The instructions and stuff said that this particular beer ferments best at 60-70 F. It had been less than 8 hours in primary & this morning I didn't see any foam or activity, but it's probably barely 60 downstairs.

I moved it up to the kitchen this morning, where it's closer to 65-70 throughout the day. Think I'll see some activity when I get home? Oh, my yeast was the Wyeast Pacman and I had activated it yesterday morning and let the package swell all day - they seemed viable and good.

Thanks in advance for any comments, suggestions, well-wishing!

* edit: it's fine... *



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Old 02-26-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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What are you fermenting in? Buckets are hard to seal perfectly so if there is no bubbling it may just be the lid isn't on tight. Look in and see if you can see any foam buildup.

To seal the bucket I've found backing the lid completely off the threads and then re-tighten usually works so you can start seeing bubbling in the airlock.



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Old 02-26-2010, 03:35 PM   #3
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It's a 6.5 gal glass carboy... rubber stopper, 3-piece type airlock. I'm sure when I check it this evening there will be some activity...

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:38 PM   #4
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What temperature did you pitch the yeast at? Did you aerate well?

Hopefully someone else can chime in because in all my batches fermentation took off quick so I don't have much troubleshooting experience.

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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I had it down to about 70 when I pitched the yeast, because I figured that's where it was going to ferment at, it might have been a few degrees cooler.

Moving it to the basement probably dropped it further, as it's 58-60 down there.

I aerated as well as i could via shaking the fermenter, as I don't have an aeration stone or anything like that...

When you say "took off quick" - you're talking a few hours and you had activity?

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:54 PM   #6
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I may go check on it on my lunch break too... say a little prayer

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Old 02-26-2010, 04:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
I may go check on it on my lunch break too... say a little prayer
I think I'm going to look into opening a primary daycare where concerned brewers can drop their buckets/carboys off for the day to make sure the airlocks get the attention they need. Airlocks are very sensitive and if you're away at work all day and can't see the great bubbles it's producing then they can get very discouraged. We don't know the long term effects that working families have on early carboy development, but why take the chance?
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:12 PM   #8
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By took off quick I saw the airlock bubbling within 4 hours. I was using dry yeast that I rehydrated. It was a 1.070 OG brew too.

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Old 02-26-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalAngler View Post
I think I'm going to look into opening a primary daycare where concerned brewers can drop their buckets/carboys off for the day to make sure the airlocks get the attention they need. Airlocks are very sensitive and if you're away at work all day and can't see the great bubbles it's producing then they can get very discouraged. We don't know the long term effects that working families have on early carboy development, but why take the chance?
LOL, that's funny.

Well, it's still sluggish... any suggestions? Or just wait it out.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:30 PM   #10
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LOL, that's funny.

Well, it's still sluggish... any suggestions? Or just wait it out.
You're going to be fine. The yeast was viable given the fact the activator pack swelled. I have read liquid yeast takes a little time to get going, especially if you don't make a starter. I have only used dry yeast up to this point and my current batch took a little over 24 hours before I saw any activity.


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