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Old 05-01-2010, 02:18 AM   #1
mattymel
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Default 1st batch blues...

so my first batch of IPA went PRETTY okay...besides starting it off by dropping my iphone into a bucket of sanitizer...yep

-making the wort...went well.
no boil over. noticeable hotbreak etc...60 minutes 2oz. Magnum, 30 min 1 oz Amarillo, 15 min 1 oz Amarillo, 5 min 1/2oz Cascade. easy...

-here is when i start to worry a bit. so i am coming up on when i have a guitar student coming over for a lesson (i know, bad timing scheduling anything around brewing a 1st batch). so i have my wort chilling in a ice bath in the sink and am aerating it thoroughly. then i remember i need to add water to the wort. so i start boiling some distilled water i bought at the store (i know...overly cautious, in fact dumb). the wort gets down to about 75 degrees, but my student shows up early! so i am chilling down the distilled water but my student it staring at me like, WTF. so i get the water down to about 80 degrees and add it to the wort. then i pitch it. stick the rubber stopper on top a little too hard, in it goes...
did i fail to mention i put the wort in a glass carboy? yeah...i am primary fermenting in a glass carboy that has a rubber stopper floating around in it somewhere. i know...

-left it overnight with some sanitized tin foil over the top. kraeusen went nuts that night. went and got a new stopper, cleaned it, sanitized, got the airlock on top of my new shiny stopper...gurgling nicely ever since (started it Monday the 26th).

-now i have also been told that i am short of the 5 gallons. it looks like about 4 right now. so i need to add water. my question is when is the best time to add it?

-i have acquired a new glass carboy to use (correctly now) as a secondary fermenter. i was thinking of dry hopping another 1.5 oz of Cascade after the bubbling has stopped. should i add the water now to the primary fermenter, or wait until i put it in the 2nd to dry hop for another week or two?

please be kind. i can tell i am a lifer already...any suggestions/hazing would be greatly appreciated?

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Old 05-01-2010, 02:25 AM   #2
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The rubber stopper wont be a big deal. You can fish it out later.

Don't worry about adding extra water. Once fermenation has started, just leave it be and have a stronger beer instead.

There isn't a right and wrong way to use a glass carboy. I use them as primary vessels (6G and 6.5G for 5.5G batches) and smaller ones for secondary vessels.

Enjoy your beer!

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Old 05-01-2010, 02:36 AM   #3
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Congrats on the first. I'd say your mishaps are pretty minor for a first brew, so no worries. Chances are everything will turn out perfectly fine. I make bigger errors almost every brew and I've been doing it for nearly a year now and my beer still usually turns out good

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Old 05-01-2010, 02:48 AM   #4
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the main thing i am worried about is cleaning out the carboy. i can see thats not going to be very fun.

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Old 05-01-2010, 02:52 AM   #5
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I lost my fist bung too!!!! on my secondary, but learned a lesson to not push that hard on the airlock. I just said @*$k it, still will be beer when its done.

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Old 05-01-2010, 02:59 AM   #6
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Dude you dropped your iPhone into a bucket of sanitizer? Ouch. If you hadn't done that, maybe you'd have known the guitar student was going to be early...

Ya, no need to boil distilled water... it's, um, distilled... and actually the spring/regular bottled water is probably better for most types of beer because it'll have some of the minerals that yeast like. And you don't need to boil that either.

You said you aerated the wort while it's cooling... just be careful don't aerate wort until it's close or at fermentation temp. Hot side aeration isn't good for taste sake - you're in this for the long-haul sounds like, so check it out...

The stopper in the carboy - after you've racked or bottled, you can tip the carboy upside down so the stopper's at the neck, stick a coat hanger with a bend or two into the carboy (just go past the stopper, you don't actually have to "hook" it), and pull the wire out. It should glob onto the stopper as you're pulling, and the stopper will get squeezed between the wire and the glass and it will roll it out of there as you pull the wire. It took way longer to write that than for you to get the stopper out. Pretty cool really.

I would refrain from adding water, unless you really think the beer will be too strong and take too long to age/mellow out. If you do decide to add water so you're closer to what the recipe intended, make sure you boil the heck out of it to get rid of oxygen. Then rack from the primary into it, or vise versa.... don't pour it in so it introduces a lot of bubbles. You don't want to oxydize your beer after fermentation has started.

Cheers on your first brew!

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Old 05-01-2010, 03:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattymel View Post
the main thing i am worried about is cleaning out the carboy. i can see thats not going to be very fun.
Couldn't be easier. The only secret is not to wait! As soon as you're done bottling and the carboy is empty just be sure to fill it with water and Oxi Clean and let it soak. By the next day (or let it sit until whenever you find time) you should be able to literally just rinse it out and it will be sparkling like new. The worst thing you can do is let it sit out for a day or longer and let all the stuff on the inside get hard and crusty. Even then a good Oxi soak will take care of it, but you do have a bit more time/work on your hands if you wait.
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:12 AM   #8
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im thinking from the looks of my profile pic, that its REALLY concentrated. it was a 5 gallon recipe, looks more like 4. i think i should try and add water. i also want to dry hop it. should i boil the water/cool it down to 70 degrees, then rack in the wort, then add the Cascade? would it be better to wait until the wort is done bubbling or should i do this now?

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Old 05-01-2010, 03:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattymel View Post
im thinking from the looks of my profile pic, that its REALLY concentrated. it was a 5 gallon recipe, looks more like 4. i think i should try and add water. i also want to dry hop it. should i boil the water/cool it down to 70 degrees, then rack in the wort, then add the Cascade? would it be better to wait until the wort is done bubbling or should i do this now?
I don't know. Never added water after fermentation started. But I don't see why it would hurt to go ahead and do it now if you're going to. I wouldn't add the dry hops now though, you should let it ferment out completely plus more time before dry hopping. That way you can leave it to dry hop for say 5 days, then bottle. You don't want to leave the beer dry-hopping for too long.
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:48 AM   #10
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This isn't the worst first batch I've heard. I think the worst thing you did was drop your iphone. The guys telling you about hot side aeration and oxygenated water additions are right. Oxygen is the biggest thing you are trying to avoid at this point. I agree with just leaving the batch at 4gal. I think the worst thing that could happen is that you end up with an IIPA instead of an IPA. The key is just not to panic. It really is harder than you would think to completely ruin your beer.

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