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Old 12-30-2011, 02:41 PM   #1
CoolshipMike
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Default 3 Beginner Questions - First Brew Experience

Saison high krausen too quickly?
So I'm (probably a bit over my head here) attempting my first home brew, a saison ingredient kit from LHBS. I'm starting out with an 8 gallon kettle that has a built in spigot, thermometer and false bottom. The instructions were to boil 2 gallons and then add 3.5 gallons cold water to cool the wort in the primary fermenter.

At this point I realized that I need to fill my kettle to 4 gallons to submerge the thermometer sensor. I used the remaining 1 gallon later to cool the boil to 150^F as required by the recipe to steep the spices. I used a wort chiller in the brew kettle to bring the wort down to 70^F before draining to the primary fermenter and pitching liquid yeast. The liquid yeast was supposed to warm up for 3-6 hours but I only gave it about 2 hours. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly.

Room temperature has been constant at 68^F. After about 12 hours I saw it bubbling pretty good. At the 20 hour mark it was going crazy. Now 36 hours in it doesn't seem to be bubbling at all. Is this normal?

Wort chiller first use
I rinsed and sanitized it with LD Carson Easy Clean (from brewing equipment kit). On the wort chiller instructions it says in BOLD that "It's very important to thoroughly clean before first use with a cleaner suitable for removing oil such as TSP." It looked pretty clean and I don't remember it being oily but I didn't look too hard at it. Am I risking off flavors or even getting sick here?

Hop pellets in primary fermenter
The recipe called for 3 muslin bags throughout the boil to add ingredients. It wasn't really clear which ingredients went in the bags and which didn't. I used them only for the spices. The hop pellets "dissolved" right into the boil. I thought I might have to strain them out but after chilling the wort I was able to siphon most of the wort off the hops. Was I supposed to transfer the hops on the bottom to the primary?
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:48 PM   #2
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hops are fine to dump in the primary, they'll fall out under the yeast cake.

fast ferments happen if you give the yeast the environment. it's not surprising that it could be slowing down after 36 hours. i've had krausen up and down and FG reached in 2-3 days with some beers. the only real way to know if your particular ferment went as planned is to take hydrometer readings, 2 over 3 days, if you're close to your target FG, and that reading is stable over the 3 days, then it's 'normal'

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Old 12-30-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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You don't need to sanitize the chiller. Just add it to the boil for a few minutes before you turn off the gas. I would boil it up on it's own first to see if there was any residue left from the oils and cleaning agent.

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Old 12-30-2011, 03:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolshipMike View Post
Saison high krausen too quickly?
So I'm (probably a bit over my head here) attempting my first home brew, a saison ingredient kit from LHBS. I'm starting out with an 8 gallon kettle that has a built in spigot, thermometer and false bottom. The instructions were to boil 2 gallons and then add 3.5 gallons cold water to cool the wort in the primary fermenter.

At this point I realized that I need to fill my kettle to 4 gallons to submerge the thermometer sensor. I used the remaining 1 gallon later to cool the boil to 150^F as required by the recipe to steep the spices. I used a wort chiller in the brew kettle to bring the wort down to 70^F before draining to the primary fermenter and pitching liquid yeast. The liquid yeast was supposed to warm up for 3-6 hours but I only gave it about 2 hours. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly.

Room temperature has been constant at 68^F. After about 12 hours I saw it bubbling pretty good. At the 20 hour mark it was going crazy. Now 36 hours in it doesn't seem to be bubbling at all. Is this normal?
Sounds very normal. But let it go for a few more days (4 weeks typically) even if FG is what is expected. Typically yeast spends about 12 hours getting ready to go, 24 hours really going and several weeks finishing. Again, this is typical, and things like OG, temps etc all go in to changing what is typical.

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Wort chiller first use
I rinsed and sanitized it with LD Carson Easy Clean (from brewing equipment kit). On the instructions it says in BOLD that "It's very important to thoroughly clean before first use with a cleaner suitable for removing oil such as TSP." It looked pretty clean and I don't remember it being oily but I didn't look too hard at it. Am I risking off flavors or even getting sick here?
That all depends on the Oil used in the making of the chiller. TSP is really good for getting up oil, but so then is dawn dishwashing soap. I'd not worry about it myself, or maybe I would. What did it feel like when you were done?
Did you wash it before hand?

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Hop pellets in primary fermenter
The recipe called for 3 muslin bags throughout the boil to add ingredients. It wasn't really clear which ingredients went in the bags and which didn't. I used them only for the spices. The hop pellets "dissolved" right into the boil. I thought I might have to strain them out but after chilling the wort I was able to siphon most of the wort off the hops. Was I supposed to transfer the hops on the bottom to the primary?
Ideally you don't put the hops or to much of the break material from the boil into the primary. The main way with small things like hops or spice is to put them in muslin socks. This isn't always done, and syphoning like you did was probably sufficent.

Any extra solids will generally settle out over the next few weeks, and even if you get some in the glass, it most will affect look, not flavor.

So the syphon was fine, but hop socks might make it easier.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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Before using the wort chiller for the first time I used LD Carlson Easy Clean which is described as a no-rinse oxygen based compound. Even so I gave it a rinse anyways. Not like really scrubbing it or anything. I don't remember it feeling oily though.

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Old 12-30-2011, 06:18 PM   #6
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What yeast are you using? A ton of saison's flavor comes from a saison yeast, which typically prefer to be fermented HOT HOT HOT, we're talking above 75F. What were the kit's instructions?

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