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Old 10-19-2010, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default Couple Newbie Questions

I have now done 2 batches, 1 ready to pop open this weekend and one just started fermenting on Sunday.

The first batch seemed to ferment very quickly, activity only lasted about 3 days, but I still waited the 2 weeks. I tasted it a few days after bottling and it still tasted decent, not great, not bad (better then some commercial ones..).

So this time I figured I would add more yeast thinking maybe I had not added enough the first time. This batch is having a lot more activity, and looks more promising, and the smell is much stronger. But its also an Irish stout instead of American ale. So I would attribute most the smell to that.

So I have a couple questions that hopefully you guys(and gals) can help with because I cannot seem to find a strait forward answer.

How fast do you need to cool the pot down after the boil? Is it even necessary if I keep the lid on?

I read to not keep the lid on the pot during the boil? Is that to prevent boil over?

How can you tell if your yeast is still active, before using it?

How cool must it be before adding the yeast?

and lastly how much yeast is to much? By adding the second bag did I add to much? How much is normal? (5 gal batch)

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Old 10-19-2010, 05:16 PM   #2
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[QUOTE=TrueSlacker;2347193]
How fast do you need to cool the pot down after the boil? Is it even necessary if I keep the lid on?

The faster the better but NEED is not the right word. The idea of cooling it quickly is to lock in those volatile oils from the hops. Another reason is this is the point where your wort is susceptible to infection. The faster you get it down to pitch temp and get the yeast working on those sugars the better.

I read to not keep the lid on the pot during the boil? Is that to prevent boil over?

No it is to let the DMS that is produced during the boil to escape and not drip back into the wort and is considered an off-flavor. No lid allows it to be driven off with the evaporation.

How can you tell if your yeast is still active, before using it?

Make a starter. Lots of threads on how to do that around here.

How cool must it be before adding the yeast?

It depends on the strain of yeast but all strains would have temp ranges on the packages. 60-70 degrees in a normal range for ale yeasts.

and lastly how much yeast is to much? By adding the second bag did I add to much? How much is normal? (5 gal batch)

1 package for most 5 gallon batches. Pitch rates are normally determined by OG. But for most home brewing purposes, 1 pack per 5 gallons. Yes you can over pitch just as easily as under pitch.

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Old 10-19-2010, 05:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
How cool must it be before adding the yeast?

It depends on the strain of yeast but all strains would have temp ranges on the packages. 60-70 degrees in a normal range for ale yeasts.
The rest is great information, but I have a small disagreement with this. Everything I've read has supported the idea of pitching (ale) yeast at slightly warmer temperatures. 75 degrees is usually what I aim for. The range on the package is the fermentation temp, which should indeed be between 60-70 degrees for most ale yeasts.

Also,
How can you tell if your yeast is still active, before using it?

BendBrewer's advice is spot on for liquid yeast, but for dry yeast a starter is not necessary. The second pouch of yeast is probably cheaper than the DME you'd put in the starter. However, to make sure it's still active you can rehydrate it shortly before pitching and add sugar to proof it. Check the link below for more details.
http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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Whoops, I confused ferm temp and pitch temp.

Thanks for the clarification Slowbie.

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Old 10-19-2010, 07:04 PM   #5
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Thanks!

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