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Old 01-19-2011, 09:11 PM   #1
cbsdaddy
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Default Begginer question

I just brewed my first batch last night and put it in the fermentor. Still waiting to see the bubbles come out but i am not worried that the yeast will begin to work. My question is that i have read several times that people recomend checking the gravity level during the fermentation process?? I thought you are not supposed to open the carboy becasue you do not want to add oxygen during this step?? So how do you check the SG without takiing the airlock off or opening the lid??

My batch is in a plastic 6.5 gallon so i cant see if the yeast is working. I will use my glass carboy next time.

Also, i boiled 2.5 gallons and added 2 gallons to the fermentor and tested. The SG was perfect so i left it at a little over 4.5 gallons. Is that OK?? Should i have gone up to 5 gallons anyways? I was at the very edge of OG so i didnt want to go under.

Thanks,

Newbie

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Old 01-19-2011, 09:14 PM   #2
joeunc
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don't worry about give it a while longer to "start". Make sure you are in the temp ranges for your yeast. Then in 3 weeks minimum check your gravity and it will probably be ready to go to your serving vessel of choice.

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Old 01-19-2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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Check your gravity after a week......don't open the lid every day (even though I know it's tough). Just fine topping off to only 4.5G if your target SG was right on. Guessing that you mixed the wort and water good and compensated for temperature?

On my first batch I was just shooting for it not tasting like sh!t......I'm sure you'll be fine.

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Old 01-19-2011, 09:16 PM   #4
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There is enough Co2 which is heavier than oxygen on top of your beer to keep the oxygen away. Once you close it, more Co2 is produced pushing any O2 that got in out. Nothing to worry about.

Beginers should learn the practice of taking readings to uderstand what is going on with their beer. After the slight fascination weens, it's fine to not take readings. Most don't bother.

Using the plastic bucket is best unless your carboy is 6 gallons or larger.

Yeah, you'll be fine with 4.5 gallons. Just a few bottles short in the end is all.

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Old 01-19-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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I had the same problem my first batch. I rocked the pail to bring the yeast back into suspension and 6 hrs later, I saw action in the airlock. I also took gravity readings, probably far too often, but it does help you understand the how's and why's our little friends are added to this sugary liquid.
It being your first batch, I wouldnt be too worried about gravities. As long as you were sanitary in your process, and your temp was somewhat controlled, you should come out with a drinkable beer.

My first batch was horrid to drink. Many astringent, cardboard flavours, soapy even. Had one bottle left 6 months later. Was one of the best IPA's I have had in a long time.
If you taste any off flavours, other than would be caused by contamination, lay the bottles back for a bit. No beer must be dumped upon first approval. Give it time my son! HAHA

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Old 01-20-2011, 12:12 AM   #6
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Remember that rocking a carboy/bucket is probably just knocking CO2 out of suspension. This is why airlock activity (after a certain point) isn't the best indication of fermentation.

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Old 01-20-2011, 12:32 AM   #7
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Your OG can be much much lower, like off by .02 or more if you don't mix the water and wort really well.

If you have a good kit, or some calcs (like beersmith) I think you're better off topping it til 5 and assuming the OG if you're not sure about your reading.

In this case you'll just a beer that's a bit stronger.

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Old 01-20-2011, 02:22 PM   #8
cbsdaddy
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Well the i did the fermentation dance when i got home. it started in about 12 hours so that seems pefect. I did mix the water and wort VERY well and slowly added top off water until it got to the perfect OG. That is why I did not add any more and stopped at 4.5 gallons. Everything is going as planned so far!! Thanks for all the advice. This site is awesome. I have not gotten crap done at work since i discovered this place!!!

I am really thinking about mixing another batch this weekend!! I am sure i will have a kegerator very soon!!

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