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Old 12-31-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
defdans
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Default Finished First Brew, couple questions

Hi guys,

I put my first brew into fermenting bucket last night and just had a couple questions after the experience.

First is that when I put my brew kettle on the stove (a 20 quart stainless steel one I bought at my local brewshop), it was literally rocking back and forth. Should I be concerned? Is the heat up too high or is that just because it's so big compared to the burner? When I went to clean it later I noticed that on the bottom of the inside of the kettle, there are burner marks that won't seem to come off. Think I ruined the kettle or is that normal?

Also, the kit I used (True Brew Nut Brown Ale) didn't specify a temperature to boil at, so reading more on here today makes me think I boiled at too high of a temperature. If I did, what will the result be?

While trying to help, my wife poured the cooled wort (from the thief i used to take OG) over her fingers into the fermenter. What are the odds this will still turn out ok? I finished transferring to my fermenting bucket around 8 PM last night and by 9 AM this morning there was bubbling in the airlock. I thought it would take a couple days, is it normal that it started so quickly? Also, I'm using the 6 gallon bottling bucket that came with my kit and a regular airlock. But now i see something about a blow off tube? I do not want an explosion in my guest room...lol. Isn't the point of the airlock to let pressure escape. Am I pretty safe?

Sorry for all the noob questions. Thanks in advance for any advice. I just really hope this first batch turns out ok and i can still enjoy it while learning from my mistakes.



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Old 12-31-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
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As far as the kettle is concerned, unless it is warped or damaged, you are probably fine using it again.

Water boils at 212F, if you were boiling, you weren't above that temp so don't worry. As long as you didn't have a boil over the heat wasn't too high. I am assuming you did extract and as long as you removed your pot from the heat when you added the extract and made sure it was dissolved before returning, you will not have had really any effect on the taste.

The little bit that your wife got on her hands shouldn't be a big deal assuming she had clean hands in the first place. (I always dunk my hands in sanitizer, and make anyone that is handling anything to do with the brew do the same)

Fermentation happens at different rates. It depends on the yeast you used. A twelve-ish hour turn around is nothing to worry about. As far as the blow-off question, keep an eye on the bucket lid and airlock. If you start to notice the lid bulging, I would look into a blowoff tube. As long as the airlock is clean you should be fine, but it mine always seem to clog at the most inopportune time, like when I'm sleeping. I normally just start with a blow off tube for the first 48-72 hours and then switch to an airlock when the fermentation calms down.



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Old 12-31-2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defdans View Post
Hi guys,

I put my first brew into fermenting bucket last night and just had a couple questions after the experience.

First is that when I put my brew kettle on the stove (a 20 quart stainless steel one I bought at my local brewshop), it was literally rocking back and forth. Should I be concerned? Is the heat up too high or is that just because it's so big compared to the burner? When I went to clean it later I noticed that on the bottom of the inside of the kettle, there are burner marks that won't seem to come off. Think I ruined the kettle or is that normal?
Did the kettle return to it's normal shape when cooled? I wouldn't worry, several of my pans/pots do this when heated.

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Originally Posted by defdans View Post
Also, the kit I used (True Brew Nut Brown Ale) didn't specify a temperature to boil at, so reading more on here today makes me think I boiled at too high of a temperature. If I did, what will the result be?
Boiling is boiling, 212 degrees.


Quote:
Originally Posted by defdans View Post
While trying to help, my wife poured the cooled wort (from the thief i used to take OG) over her fingers into the fermenter. What are the odds this will still turn out ok? I finished transferring to my fermenting bucket around 8 PM last night and by 9 AM this morning there was bubbling in the airlock. I thought it would take a couple days, is it normal that it started so quickly? Also, I'm using the 6 gallon bottling bucket that came with my kit and a regular airlock. But now i see something about a blow off tube? I do not want an explosion in my guest room...lol. Isn't the point of the airlock to let pressure escape. Am I pretty safe?
You should be ok, fermentation took off pretty quick. This can vary from a few hours to a few days depending on a whole host of reasons including temperature of wort, viability/# of yeast etc etc. If you have a 5G batch in a 6G bucket you'll be fine, I wouldn't worry about a blow off tube.

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Originally Posted by defdans View Post

Sorry for all the noob questions. Thanks in advance for any advice. I just really hope this first batch turns out ok and i can still enjoy it while learning from my mistakes.
I'm sure it will be fine, now the hard part is sitting back and letting the yeast do their magic and having patience for several weeks until it's drinking time.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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The ring in the bottom of your pot is known as beer stone and it is difficult but not impossible to remove. I use a plastic scrubbie and Ajax cleanser and with a bit of work it disappears. Clean it every time you brew as it builds up and gets much more difficult to remove otherwise.

I love it when my airlock is bubbling in 12 hours or less. It means that my yeast are off to a good start. You need to watch the temperature of the fermenter as sometimes that fast start means that the temperature is too high which witch will give yo off flavors.

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:00 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. You're right, the hardest part now is being patient. I'm a little worried about the yeast as I used the dry muntons that came with the kit and not sure I followed the directions correctly. Its been a little over a week now and the airlock bubbling stopped after about 2 days. Think I'm good? If there was a problem with the yeast, would I be able tell at this point, and then would there be anything I could do about it? I've been trying to convince myself that I should just leave it be completely for another 2 weeks. If the yeast didnt activate right, what would be the result, just low abv beer? Guess I'm just looking for some verification.

Thanks again for the advice. Ive been doing lots of reading here just trying to pick things up from other threads. Great community!

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:02 AM   #6
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In case its important the temp on the side of the bucket has been between 68 and 70 every time I've checked it.

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:16 AM   #7
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its fine, leave it for two more weeks, do nothing.

active fermentation often last only a couple days and your airlock is at best a poor indicator.
at the end of the second week take a hydro reading if you get the same reading 3 days in a row your ready to bottle.
time is your friend here. the longer you can wait the better your beer will be.

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defdans View Post
Hi guys,

Think I ruined the kettle or is that normal?
It still holds water, wort, or any other liquid? If so, its not ruined
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #9
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Thanks. I'll sit tight for awhile longer.

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:32 PM   #10
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Update in case anyone's curious:

Almost a full 3 weeks out and I cracked it open for the first time, took a gravity reading and it came out right around 1.015-1.016. The recipe book says final should be 1.012-1.014. My OG was right on target at 1.050.

should i check it again tomorrow or am I good to bottle? Also, I tasted it. Tasted pretty good.



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