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Old 02-01-2013, 02:32 AM   #1
berger
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Default 1st.Brew here we go!

hey all,
Brewing a Williams extract German Ale. I would rather make a lager, but I don't have the fridge to lager yet (yey. The smack pack is ready(38 hours after smacking and it's swollen). I am doing a full boil( starting with 6 gals. in a 10 gal pot out side(edge of the garage, the weather will be 32 deg F. with 20 mph wind). I am planning on putting in 1/3 of the lme(all lme kit) at the start then the rest with 15 min left(wort chiller goes right after that) in the boil. Any precautions I need to take with brewing in the garage other than after the boil be vigilant of sanitation? Do I need to be concerned with the wind with temps in the 30's or is that just a problem with the warmer weather? I will make a big batch of star-san and have a spray bottle full of the star-san standing by. Do folks spray their hands often after the boil to keep bugs out. I will ferment in my basement(63deg). The kit says to ferment for 14 days. Any problem with leaving the brew in the fermenting bucket for 14-21 days(yeasty funk)? Any input would be great
cheers,
ed

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Old 02-01-2013, 02:46 AM   #2
atreid
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If you're brewing in the garage with propane, leave the door opened enough for good ventilation, beware of CO poisoning and maybe even get a CO detector... CO poisoning permanently affects your brain....

Be prudent about sanitation, but don't go insane. Anything preboil is unimportant (almost). Afterwards, be extra careful, cool as fast as you can, sanitize everything, pitch healthy yeast. In doubt about a bad move, don't panic... Yeasts are pretty resilient...

Oh and 14-21 days is actually the best range. A lower beer is ok at 14, stronger is better at 21. A lot of people take gravity readings often but usually after 3 weeks you take only one reading and if it's as low as you thought it would be, fermentation is over 99% of the time... Except maybe for 10+% beers... or weirdo yeast strains...

Have fun... ;-)

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Old 02-01-2013, 02:49 AM   #3
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Welcome to the hobby I have two under my belts both are kits the addiction is dangerous though,

Cheers

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:09 AM   #4
berger
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Thanks for the replies and I feel welcome to the forum. There is a wealth of info on this forum.

I think I will stay with the simple kits until I get my "sea legs" and then try new types/styles of brewing. There are some good folks on here. I know that if i am off track, somebody will offer advice/raise the bs flag and help me out(I have thick skin).

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:17 AM   #5
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Sounds like you got it down...RDWHAHB...and try to purge your memory of your fermenting concoction until it's ready.

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:18 AM   #6
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I wouldn't kill yourself trying to sanitize everything around your kettle while you're cooling your wort. If it's 32* it should cool down pretty quickly with an immersion chiller. I would highly recommend checking your gravity once a week and using that to determine when fermentation is done versus waiting 14-21 days. Some yeast strains, Wyeast American Ale II for example, work very fast. I've had some brews finish active fermentation in 4 days with that strain. Welcome to the club, it's an awesome hobby. You have any brewing software to help you out?

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
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Well the wort is in the fermentor . Things went ok, how I almost had a boil over with a 10 gal pot idk. The pot is wide but I digress. The OG was about 1.054 ish at 61 deg., so that was good. When I pitched the smack pack, I did not shake it up well enough. After I sealed the bucket, I looked at the smack pack(dirty in sink water) and there appeared to be quite a bit of yeast left on the bottom. I just hope enough yeast made it into the wort. The fementor is in a 62 degree basement so I will take a wait and see approach. Time will tell.
thanks for the advice
cheers,
ed

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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Time will tell. If the fermentor is properly sanitized, you should be fine. Remember, it might take a few days to see bubbles in the air-lock (or, you might not see any at all). If you did under-pitch, it might take them time to let the yeast colony populate to a proper level. Don't worry. Check the gravity next weekend and see how much it has dropped. If it is still around 1.054, consider re-pitching some yeast (maybe some dry yeast that will activate faster - might not be a "German ale" anymore, but should still yield a good beer).

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:56 PM   #9
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Thanks and I will heed your advice. No panicking on the crew. The smell from the boiling wort was great. I did taste the wort from the hydrometer reading . I could taste the hops for sure a tad bitter (which will mellow) and great smell.

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Old 02-04-2013, 12:22 AM   #10
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Update and advice help please. The fermenter is still at a steady 63 deg.. I have some airlock activity after about 40 hours after my rookie mistake of not shaking the smack pack, it was burping every 5-10 seconds. I will assume it is under pitched but what can I expect with the Ringwood 1187 yeast 1/4 to half pitched(guess) in an extract batch? Should I take a reading after 5 days or wait longer? Warm up it up a bit or let it ride? A rookie mind want to know.

Cheers,
Ed

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