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Old 09-08-2009, 02:54 AM   #1
larrysbooze
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Default Confusion with my homebrew

I am trying my first homebrew, and I am a little confused. I made the Wort and put it in the clean water, have it in a carboy with an airlock to keep it closed. I tried to sanitize everything well, but i just used dish soap (dawn i believe) and it has been bubbling for the last 2 days (which means it should be good right?

It just stopped bubbling today. It has an odd smell when i open the airlock, kind of sour or something then smells like alcohol. Just wondering if this should be okay. I took the airlock off once or twice to clean it out because it was getting nasty looking.

Also, I am completely confused as to when I am supposed to put it into bottles. Everything I read (Papazian's book, my homebrew kit book, and online) all say different time schedules. Should i begin putting this beer in bottles now (after 3 days or so) or in a week?

Sorry I'm new to this and have no one to ask the simple little questions to. I'd appreciate any help on this!

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Old 09-08-2009, 02:57 AM   #2
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Dish Soap is probably not the best way to sanitize, but I wouldn't toss it yet. Beer gives off weird smells and what smells sour might be fine.

Bubbling airlocks are good.

I would wait at least one week to bottle. Do you have a hydrometer to check gravity? Even so, wait a week.

Hope this helps.

Also check out the stickies at the top of the beginning brewing forum for more information.

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Old 09-08-2009, 03:02 AM   #3
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No hydrometer yet, it is my next purchase. Thanks for the help, I am so clueless about this stuff, every source seems to say something different.

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Old 09-08-2009, 03:03 AM   #4
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Was that smell sour...or was it kinda like a just extinguished match...all sulfuric?

Bottling can't be timed. I can brew the same recipe multiple times, and never bottle it at the same time..... +1 on the hydrometer. Seems like you've got the books with ya, so when your hydrometer says fermentation has stopped, you can bottle. I typically wait a week after that...but its your first batch..go nuts.

*edit* you posted no hydrometer before i posted. oops. no biggie. what did ya brew? If its a standard extract kit most first timers do, you can bottle in 3 weeks. You also can get one and test it before doing so. Not having the OG isn't hellpful, but I betcha if you tell us the recipe we can tell ya the FG you're going for.

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Old 09-08-2009, 03:07 AM   #5
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Wait 3 weeks while you get a hydrometer This way you will make sure that you go thru full fermentation and let the yeasties clean after themselves.

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Old 09-08-2009, 03:13 AM   #6
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it was the "true brew" amber. very busch league from what i hear! but i wanted the easiest possible one for my first batch.

the smell i would say is that of a 40 oz malt liquor that has been in the sun for a week or so. id say a hint of sour

are you saying keep it in the carboy for 3 weeks or put it in bottles?

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Old 09-08-2009, 03:16 AM   #7
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Welcome to HBT!
Sanitizer and hydrometer really need to be your next purchases.
Do not bottle 3 day old beer no matter what! Yeast takes a while to do its job and if you rush it your beer will be terrible and explosive.
What a least 3 weeks before thinking about bottling.

While you are waiting you can do some reading about beer making. How to Brew - By John Palmer is a good place to start. Also, The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian got many of us started.

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Old 09-08-2009, 03:21 AM   #8
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There are quite a few different ways of thinking. Normally I'd be all about telling you to wait, but I understand it's your first beer and you are going to be anxious to drink it.

I am going to go against my normal advice only because of this and tell you to bottle after 10 days if there is no other signs of activity. Not any earlier. After that you should wait three weeks to try one, but you won't want to, so try one at 10 days and another at two weeks. See how the beer improves and you'll know why waiting is important, even though it sucks.

Next, invest in sanitizer and a hydrometer and read everything in the beginning brewing section here. How to Brew is also a great book.

Good Luck on the first batch.

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Old 09-08-2009, 01:48 PM   #9
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1. Dish soap is good for cleaning, but it isn't a sanitizer.
2. Fermenting wort does not smell like beer.
3. Give it 3 weeks before bottling. And get some sanitizer.

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Old 09-08-2009, 01:54 PM   #10
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If you don't want to buy sanitizer, you can use bleach. My friend has been using it for years, and he is a very good brewer. You have to make sure to dilute it first and rinse it thoroughly after. You can read about it in How to Brew.

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