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Old 01-24-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
Rosvineer
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Default First batch!

Super excited about home brewing, but I'm not a very patient person. It's going to be hard waiting until its ready.

I have a couple concerns, though they're probably no big deal. Just want to know what you all think.

I bought a LME, Muttons IPA bitter with yeast pack. The instructions on the can were not very good so I used the directions in my book instead.

I heated 1.5 gallons of water, added extract (1.8kg) and 2.5lbs corn sugar. It took ~30 minutes to boil, then I boiled it for 45 minutes. Poured into the carboy that had the remaining 3.5 gallons of water and waited for it to cool. It wasn't cool enough to pitch before bed time so I pitched in the morning. It's been fermenting happily for about 3 days now but I'm worried about how long it took before I was able to pitch.

Any issues with the cook time, or lag time before pitching? Also wasn't supposed to use all 2.5lbs of sugar; I was supposed to hold some back for carbing. OG was 1.049, not sure what FG is supposed to be.

Sorry for the long post

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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There is no real issues with waiting to pitch the yeast so long as your sanitation process is impeccable. Any bacteria in the wort before the yeast will have a field day in there and could grow to numbers that won't be smoothered by the yeast fermentation.

For future batches you should look into doing an Ice bath combined with adding refrigerated top off water to bring your water up to 5.0 gallons, if you do this you can be ready to pitch yeast 20 minutes after the boil ends.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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The boil is done for 2 reasons, to sanitize and to increase hop utilization bitterness. Usual boil times for pellet hop additions are 60 minutes. You had a hopped extract kit, so I didn't think boils were even necessary for those. 2.5 lbs of sugar is probably a lot for most beers (high gravity belgians are the exception). But you made beer and its exciting to have that first batch underway, cheers!

As to the delayed pitch, if you thoroughly sanitized everything that touched the wort after the boil you should be okay. Ice baths and/or wort chillers are easier ways to drop the temps. Pitch at the low end of the yeast's stated temperature range. This alone will be one of the MOST important things you can do to make great beer.

For your second batch, I would step up to an un-hopped extract kit that comes with pellet hops and unhopped DME or LME. They typically do not come with sugar additions and you will get a little better flavor from the hops. You still need to add the 4 or 5 oz of corn sugar for bottling whichever way you go though.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I sanitized well and after about 8-10 hours saw very active fermentation so I'll definitely end up with beer!

I plan on transferring to secondary eventually (probably after 2 weeks in primary) so I can get a 2nd batch going and will probably do more than just a pre-hopped LME. Not sure what yet, probably something heavier that takes longer to ferment/carb since I'll have 5 gallons of beer to drink from the first batch!

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Old 01-27-2013, 02:28 PM   #5
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Ok, now I'm getting worried. I'm 6 days in primary and the airlock is still bubbling about once every 5-7 seconds. I figured it would have slowed way down by now.

My "very active" fermentation was bubbling about 90 times a minute. This went on for about 3 days. Now I'm at 11 bubbles per minute. Directions said to take a reading when I'm at 1 per minute so I've just let it sit.

I'm getting impatient and nervous

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Old 01-27-2013, 02:31 PM   #6
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This is a pic at 4 days in. I didn't take a pic today, but it looks pretty much the same.

image-1274799203.jpg  
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosvineer
This is a pic at 4 days in. I didn't take a pic today, but it looks pretty much the same.
I've only got a few batches under my belt but it looks like beer to me. What's the temperature of your wort? If you don't have a way of checking that, I highly suggest getting one. Yeast can survive higher than 80 but, and I'm going from the advice of other on this, you don't want them to. They make some pretty awful off flavors if you let it get too warm. I recently had a batch too warm and it was bubbling to beat hell and going on for days. Then I find this little tidbit out and realize its too warm. I dropped the temp from 76 to 68 and they slowed WAY down. They've nearly stopped now (2 weeks later) and I'm ready to bottle or keg but I'm on my 3rd so I've earned a little patience. I realize I can tell you to relax and have a home brew (or beer since your first isn't ready yet) but I know it will do no good. Many lessons are learned the first time around. You discover that patience should be included on the recipes for the kits. A little bit of patience goes a long way.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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Man, that beer is looking like it should. The krausen has dropped as evidenced by the krausen ring in the picture but the yeast are still busy since they have everything stirred up. Leave it alone for a while more, probably 2 weeks more and the yeast will settle to the bottom and the beer will look a lot darker. Take hydrometer readings to be sure the yeast are really done and then you can bottle or keg. Don't rush it, the yeast will still be working for another week to 10 days getting the last of the sugars and converting the intermediate products to alcohol.

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Old 01-27-2013, 03:45 PM   #9
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I'm thinking it must be all the corn sugar I added. I added the full 2.5lbs on accident so it's probably still being converted. I was going to do 1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary (I know from reading here its not necessary) and 3 weeks bottle. Guess ill just have to buy more craft beer while I wait.

It'll give me more time to get bottles ready at least.

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Old 01-28-2013, 03:05 PM   #10
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One of the main reasons for new brewers to use a secondary is so they can start another batch in the primary!

If you brew every 2-4 weeks you should always have some home brews becoming ready to drink so long as you don't drink a 6-pack every night!

- J

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