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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Another "I just brewed my first beer" thread.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:19 PM   #1
MN_Jay
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Default Another "I just brewed my first beer" thread.

Yep, another newbie here, 3 days into my first batch. I brewed on friday night - I decided something really simple for my first one - coopers draught. Everything went good except I accidently broke my hydrometer on my basement floor so I didn't get an OG. Live and learn I guess.

I was also paranoid about the water at my house (I live in the country and have a well) so I bought some generic bottled water at $1 a gallon and used that. Everything I read seems to say to ignore the instructions on the kit so I did. I boiled 3 gallons and used 2 gallons of cold. I even made a chiller using some instructions I found online and I had the thing cooled to 75 degrees in about 6 minutes (well water can be very cold).

I had it pitched and put in my basement by 11 pm, the next morning at 7 am it was already started bubbling throught the airlock - good sign I guess. My basement is around 65 degrees constant temperature and even though the coopers instructions says that it should be fermenting at temps over 70 - I chose to take the advice here and go lower (plus it keeps the wife happier when it's in the basement). Fermentation has been steadily chugging along - showing signs of slowing now as there is a bubble about the size of the tip of my pinky finger every 3 or 4 seconds (as opposed to the quarter size bubble every second or two yesterday).

One thing is that I can't leave the damn thing alone - I'm constantly looking at it, smelling the airlock, putting my hand on the side of the bucket for any noticable temp changes. My wife says she swears that I'm taking care of a baby down there because of all the time I go and check on it.... I've surprised myself with my restraint to pull the lid off the bucket and take a look at it. The urge is there but so far I haven't done it. I fear I may have a weak moment soon though. I should go and buy another hydrometer and then at least I'll have an excuse to remove the lid...

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Old 05-05-2008, 08:22 PM   #2
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Well done and welcome to the obsession. Better get another batch going soon to ease the pain of waiting.

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Old 05-05-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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Congrats! I second the recommendation to get another batch going asap. The first one disappears way too quickly.

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Old 05-05-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
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My first brew was a Coopers too and just like you, I ignored the directions that came with it (well, not completely) and I used a lot of the advise I read here. It's been about 5 months since my first brew and I'm now on my seventh. Welcome to the addiction.

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Old 05-05-2008, 10:29 PM   #5
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get a carboy or better bottle then you can WATCH fermentation happening instead of trying to feel it happen.

it's an awesome experience - double so when it's blowing off due to ultra violent ferment!!!

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Old 05-05-2008, 10:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by A4J View Post
My first brew was a Coopers too and just like you, I ignored the directions that came with it (well, not completely) and I used a lot of the advise I read here. It's been about 5 months since my first brew and I'm now on my seventh. Welcome to the addiction.
One concern I have about using the beginners extract is that it's going to taste bad because of the simplicity of the brewing process. I don't want to get my hopes too high but on the other hand, I don't want to pour my first one down the drain because it tastes like wet socks. Hopefully this doesn't happen.

Jezter6 - I actually do have a carboy but I was planning on racking my beer into that as a secondary. In retrospect I should have skipped this for the first one so could have used the carboy as the primary. Maybe I'll do this for the next one.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:01 PM   #7
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By the time I took hourly samples the first 36 hours on my first batch...I was lucky to have any beer left.

Welcome to the club.

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Old 05-05-2008, 11:23 PM   #8
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Your wife will be soooo glad you started brewing, especialy when you name a beer after her !!

*Julia's Summer Wheat*

Of course, I named the first one after my dog !!

Welcome

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Old 05-06-2008, 12:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Jay View Post
One concern I have about using the beginners extract is that it's going to taste bad because of the simplicity of the brewing process. I don't want to get my hopes too high but on the other hand, I don't want to pour my first one down the drain because it tastes like wet socks. Hopefully this doesn't happen.
It actually turned out much better than I expected after it had aged for about a month. I was impatient and started drinking within 1 week after bottling. It was drinkable and I was quite proud of myself, but after a month's time, it was so much better. So there, that's my advice. Don't drink it too soon.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:37 PM   #10
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The pre-hopped extract kits (like Coopers) aren't bad at all. IMO like Mr Beer they are good first step towards true extract or full grain brewing. Normally I do not like lagers all that much but my Coopers Lager (came with the kit) turned out quite nice. I'd listen to AJ4 about taking advice from these forums as opposed to followings Coopers instructions. Those Aussie fermenting temps are just wacky plus the fermenting and conditioning times are a bit on the low side for most people's tastes.

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