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ummchase 01-12-2013 12:14 AM

Beginner brew questions
 
Have googled many of these but there is still a few I'm unsure of

1. Can I use a bottling bucket as a secondary? Do you still have to use the airlock on secondary?
2. Do you taste your brew when your done with fermentation to see if it's going to come out ok?
3. Are you suppose to aerate your worst before fermentation? If so can you do this just by pouring/stirring?
4. I just bottled my first brew and after a week I can see some sediment on the bottom. From searching online I have heard this is fine if not a good thing. Also that the cake on the bottom is actually good for you, just wondering if all this is true?
5. Since it is hard to measure the amount of sanitizer to put into a spray bottle can you just fill up a bottle with the sanitizer already mixed into your 5 gallon bucket?
6. I was going to try one of my beers every week after they been bottled to see a difference. Is one week enough or should I wait?

Sorry for all the questions but just trying to clear up everything I'm unsure of before I start my second batch! Thanks

duboman 01-12-2013 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ummchase
Have googled many of these but there is still a few I'm unsure of

1. Can I use a bottling bucket as a secondary? Do you still have to use the airlock on secondary?
2. Do you taste your brew when your done with fermentation to see if it's going to come out ok?
3. Are you suppose to aerate your worst before fermentation? If so can you do this just by pouring/stirring?
4. I just bottled my first brew and after a week I can see some sediment on the bottom. From searching online I have heard this is fine if not a good thing. Also that the cake on the bottom is actually good for you, just wondering if all this is true?
5. Since it is hard to measure the amount of sanitizer to put into a spray bottle can you just fill up a bottle with the sanitizer already mixed into your 5 gallon bucket?
6. I was going to try one of my beers every week after they been bottled to see a difference. Is one week enough or should I wait?

Sorry for all the questions but just trying to clear up everything I'm unsure of before I start my second batch! Thanks

1. No and yes,
2. Yes, you will take a gravity reading to verify its done and taste that sample, do not return it to the vessel
3.yes, pouring back and forth, stirring vigorously all to aerate well
4. Yes all bottle conditioned beer will have some sediment. Pour slowly and leave the little bit in the bottle or you might suffer dreaded yeast darts from consuming too much yeast!
5 measure out a known quantity of sanitizer and then fill your spray bottle from that. On brew day I like to have a 5 gallon bucket full so I can place various items in it that I need that day
6. 3 weeks at 70 is the recommended minimum of time for conditioning and carbonating. If you want to sample every week go ahead but that's one less good beer you'll have later;)

Cheers and happy brew day!

petey_c 01-12-2013 01:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ummchase (Post 4775918)
Have googled many of these but there is still a few I'm unsure of

1. Can I use a bottling bucket as a secondary? Do you still have to use the airlock on secondary?
2. Do you taste your brew when your done with fermentation to see if it's going to come out ok?
3. Are you suppose to aerate your worst before fermentation? If so can you do this just by pouring/stirring?
4. I just bottled my first brew and after a week I can see some sediment on the bottom. From searching online I have heard this is fine if not a good thing. Also that the cake on the bottom is actually good for you, just wondering if all this is true?
5. Since it is hard to measure the amount of sanitizer to put into a spray bottle can you just fill up a bottle with the sanitizer already mixed into your 5 gallon bucket?
6. I was going to try one of my beers every week after they been bottled to see a difference. Is one week enough or should I wait?

Sorry for all the questions but just trying to clear up everything I'm unsure of before I start my second batch! Thanks

1. Yes and yes. All my buckets have spigots. They are very versatile.
2. Yes. I keep a small cup on the floor (my bottling bucket sits on my dryer) to catch the errant drips from the bottling wand. Okay, I also put about four ounces of beer in the cup after the 12th bottle to sample.
3. I usually aerate my WORT before fermentation. More O2 = better beer. I pour my cooled wort into the fermenter from about 3' up. Then top it off with tap water from the same height.
4. Sediment isn't a bad thing. I've clarified my beer better, so I have less sediment (as WC Fields might say, leaving more room for beer...). I believe the yeast cake is similar to "marmite/vegimite". It may take your digestive system a little while to get used to the "critters" in yeast.
5. I use Starsan sanitizer and "guess-timate" how much to use. I use a sprayer to coat everything I use for brewing for a couple of minutes before I use it. A little too much isn't going to kill me. On bottling day I mix up about 1/2 gallon of sanitizer (half for the "vinator" and half to soak the bottle caps in). I use the remainder to fill up the spray bottle. I used to mix 5 gals of sanitizer at a time but it was a huge waste.
6. Yes this is a good way to ease your fears. Then after a few brews, you can stop doing it.

freisste 01-12-2013 01:43 AM

Where the previous posters disagree:

You CAN use a bucket with a spigot. Many people don't because it is one more thing that can go wrong. Also, I wouldn't use the spigot after any significant time with beer in it (it would be very hard to keep it clean while the beer is in there and impossible to re clean later). In a pinch I would use a bottling bucket, but again I wouldn't use the spigot.

I BELIEVE you can drink the sediment with no real health effects. However, it is likely that your body isn't used to that sort of thing. If you are anything like me, after two bottles you will feel a gurgle in your stomach. At that time you are going to want to start running toward the bathroom.

Other than these two clarifications, I agree with the previous posters.

nab911 01-12-2013 03:39 AM

Sounds like the yeast being "Good for you" is a bit of a Joke :). I would not recommend drinking it.

ummchase 01-12-2013 04:09 AM

Thanks for all the responses, I really appreciate it! Happy home brewing 😃

PJoyce85 01-12-2013 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nab911
Sounds like the yeast being "Good for you" is a bit of a Joke :). I would not recommend drinking it.

Nothing wrong with drinking the yeast. There are a lot of brews out here where I live that are labeled "Naturtrub" (non-filtered before bottling). Like when you are drinking a Hefeweizen, you leave about and inch of beer in the bottle, swirl it and pour all if that goodness into the glass.

+1 just for saying beer darts :-)

zeg 01-12-2013 05:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ummchase (Post 4775918)
2. Do you taste your brew when your done with fermentation to see if it's going to come out ok?

Yes, I do. It's not necessary, but as was said above, you need to (or really, really should) take an FG reading, and that leaves you with a few ounces of beer that you need to dispose of somehow.

Note that in most cases, your sample at this point either tells you your beer is good or that your beer is not good yet. Unless it's really awful, odds are good it's going to get better after a few weeks aging and conditioning in bottles/keg.


Quote:

Originally Posted by ummchase (Post 4775918)
4. I just bottled my first brew and after a week I can see some sediment on the bottom. From searching online I have heard this is fine if not a good thing. Also that the cake on the bottom is actually good for you, just wondering if all this is true?

Whether sediment is a good thing is a personal preference. There will be some sediment in any bottle-conditioned beer, but I prefer to keep this to an absolute minimum. I've managed to have a few with no detectable sediment with nothing more than some Irish Moss in the kettle, cold crashing, and careful racking.

The sediment, at least the yeast component of it, is good for you in principle. In most cases, I suspect it's a pretty minimal benefit. More often, I find that the taste is not desirable, and I hate cloudy beer...


Quote:

Originally Posted by ummchase (Post 4775918)
5. Since it is hard to measure the amount of sanitizer to put into a spray bottle can you just fill up a bottle with the sanitizer already mixed into your 5 gallon bucket?

I would recommend mixing a properly measured quantity. Mixing a larger batch and filling from there is one option. Another is to measure by weight, which you could do right into the spray bottle if you have an accurate scale. It's a lot easier (and more accurate) to measure a few mL than a quarter teaspoon.

It's not essential to measure exactly, but most sanitizers are ineffective if you use too low a concentration and can be irritating if too high. It's good practice to measure everything carefully, even if not absolutely necessary.


Quote:

Originally Posted by ummchase (Post 4775918)
6. I was going to try one of my beers every week after they been bottled to see a difference. Is one week enough or should I wait?

You can, and it's fun, but it does reduce the number that you'll really enjoy (once you get past the thrill). I'd wait at least 2-3 weeks. Let them sit in the fridge for 2-3 days before opening for best results.


Quote:

Originally Posted by nab911 (Post 4776467)
Sounds like the yeast being "Good for you" is a bit of a Joke :). I would not recommend drinking it.

There's no harm in drinking it, unless you have specific unpleasant responses. I don't usually drink it because I don't like the flavor, but it's most likely somewhere between good for you and harmless, healthwise.

lebucheron 01-12-2013 05:19 AM

I would recommend not using a secondary, especially as a new brewer. Just leave that beer in the primary for as long as you'd leave it on primary + secondary. Less chance of oxidation, less hassle.

jethro55 01-12-2013 11:45 AM

3. Are you suppose to aerate your wort before fermentation? If so can you do this just by pouring/stirring?

If using dry yeast, aerating the wort is of no benefit. See http://www.danstaryeast.com/frequently-asked-questions

Look over the rehydration notes for dry yeast as well. It is easy to damage it when rehydrating....details of temperature and time are important. It works fine to sprinkle it on top.


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