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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First batch in the bucket!
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default First batch in the bucket!

So I went to visit my friend in London last month and the day I got there, he pulled out his new beer brewing kit and we did a wheat ale. I was in town for 2 weeks so the day I left, we bottled it. Book ended my visit with brewing and bottling. I've wanted to try this for a while but always thought it was way more time consuming than it ended up being. So when I got home I ordered my own kit.

I really wanted to start with something easy but the kit I bought at my local homebrew shop had a few more steps than I expected. I honestly am not sure I did it all correctly. First I had to steep some grains and I might have squeezed them which I know now is a no-no. Then the instructions weren't 100% clear to me but it appears I was supposed to boil for 60 minutes with most of the ingredients but there were 30 more minutes past that with some additional hops added throughout. I did get my wort chilled pretty quick with an ice bath (20 or 30 minutes) and its all bubbling now in my bucket.

The recipe also calls for a second fermentation step with one more addition of hops which I need to go buy a carboy for next weekend. Even with the extra complexity, just having done this once with my friend cut my time down significantly. Took about 4 1/2 hours with the disinfecting included. In the future I think I can save some more time by disinfecting while I boil.

I guess this is the hard part now...waiting?

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:54 AM   #2
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Welcome to the obsession,as everyone says. It's fine that you squeezed your grains, although some would argue against. I do BIAB and always squeezed. A little longer boil is no biggie either. It will up your IBU's some, not much else.
Yes, as Tom Petty says, "The waiting is the hardest part" You will probably cave and sample a bottle early, but no harm, you will see what a "green" beer taste like. Then when it is ready, you'll see how much a few more weeks adds to your beer.

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Old 06-24-2013, 03:39 AM   #3
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Welcome. Your hops can be added in the primary after fermentation is complete.

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Old 06-24-2013, 01:07 PM   #4
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Welcome to the obsession,as everyone says. It's fine that you squeezed your grains, although some would argue against. I do BIAB and always squeezed. A little longer boil is no biggie either. It will up your IBU's some, not much else.
Yes, as Tom Petty says, "The waiting is the hardest part" You will probably cave and sample a bottle early, but no harm, you will see what a "green" beer taste like. Then when it is ready, you'll see how much a few more weeks adds to your beer.
When I did this with my friend last month we sampled the beer at bottling time. It was flat and warm but that was part of the fun. I'm sure I'll do the same again.

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Welcome. Your hops can be added in the primary after fermentation is complete.
I figured that was the case but it probably doesn't hurt to get a carboy anyway

I pitched on Saturday night and now this morning I went and checked it and I must have had some big activity last night since my airlock is full of wort and still bubbling away and there's a little on the top of the bucket lid. I assume everything is alright though.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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When I did this with my friend last month we sampled the beer at bottling time. It was flat and warm but that was part of the fun. I'm sure I'll do the same again.

I figured that was the case but it probably doesn't hurt to get a carboy anyway
I've brewed hundreds of batches and I almost always sample my beer at every step of the way. It's a good way to understand where certain flavors come from, and as you progress you will be able to tell what the final product is going to taste like.

I honestly wouldn't bother with a 5gallon carboy. If I were you I'd use the primary bucket to dry hop this beer. And buy a second primary bucket or carboy to get another batch going. Trust me you will use a second 6.5gal primary a lot more often than you will a 5 gal carboy.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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So after a week is over I can just throw the last hops in the bucket and put the lid back on? I don't want 2 batches going quite yet. I want to see how this comes out first.

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:22 PM   #7
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So after a week is over I can just throw the last hops in the bucket and put the lid back on? I don't want 2 batches going quite yet. I want to see how this comes out first.
Yessir.

You say you want to wait, but... after its done in the fermenter you've got another 3 or so weeks to wait for carbonation. If you don't already have a second batch going before you bottle you're looking at 6 or more weeks before you can enjoy a different homebrew . But, if you get a second batch going soon they will only be a week or two off so you can have some variety.

We're all quite addicted by the way. I have 6 different beers going right now, and that doesn't count the ones I have bulk aging in my basement (12 more).
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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I pitched on Saturday night and now this morning I went and checked it and I must have had some big activity last night since my airlock is full of wort and still bubbling away and there's a little on the top of the bucket lid. I assume everything is alright though.
With that vigorous a fermentation, you might want to consider a blowoff tube.

What can sometimes happen is that the airlock can get clogged with wort gunk. if that happens and the gas can no longer escape through it, it's possible that the building pressure could potentially blow the lid off the top of the fermenter and make one heck of a mess.

A blowoff tube is very easy to install, and just about everything you need probably came with your kit. Just sanitize the tubing, remove the airlock, and shove one end of the tubing in the hole where the airlock was. Put the other end of the tubing in some kind of vessel with water (I put some sanitizer in the water). This gives the gunk a much bigger path to escape without clogging the tube and still allows gas to escape without risking anything getting back into your beer.

After a few/several days when the most vigorous part of the fermentation is complete, you can put the airlock back in place.

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Old 06-24-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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We're all quite addicted by the way. I have 6 different beers going right now, and that doesn't count the ones I have bulk aging in my basement (12 more).
Well, the biggest problem I have with 2 batches at once is I don't have nearly enough bottles for that. 8) (A problem I'm working on diligently...)

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With that vigorous a fermentation, you might want to consider a blowoff tube.

What can sometimes happen is that the airlock can get clogged with wort gunk. if that happens and the gas can no longer escape through it, it's possible that the building pressure could potentially blow the lid off the top of the fermenter and make one heck of a mess.

A blowoff tube is very easy to install, and just about everything you need probably came with your kit. Just sanitize the tubing, remove the airlock, and shove one end of the tubing in the hole where the airlock was. Put the other end of the tubing in some kind of vessel with water (I put some sanitizer in the water). This gives the gunk a much bigger path to escape without clogging the tube and still allows gas to escape without risking anything getting back into your beer.

After a few/several days when the most vigorous part of the fermentation is complete, you can put the airlock back in place.

Welcome to the hobby!
Well, I did at least put the bucket in a bathtub and am watching it closely today. I don't have the time to deal with it until later tonight by which point the most vigorous part of this might be done since that will be a couple days in. I think part of the problem may have been I put the airlock too far into the bucket. I've pulled it up a bit and that seemed to help keep more wort (or whatever it is) from coming up. I have one of those cup style airlocks which seems like it'd be less prone to clogging but I will definitely keep an eye on it!
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:46 PM   #10
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I feel like I have that goo in my bucket from Ghostbusters 2

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