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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Batch Down!
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
Toasted678
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Default First Batch Down!

Just had my inaugural brew and I think everything went great! Got this bad boy below working away:



It is the Extra Pale Ale kit from Northern Brewer. Pretty excited about this one, we hit our OG right on the nose. I do have a question though: After we cooled the wort to pitching temp, I set up a funnel with a strainer in it to go from the kettle to the primary. This took forever to do because there was so much sludge in our wort. It definitely smelled like the hop pellets. But it kept clogging up the strainer so the beer was literally trickling out, then we had to dump the sludge from the funnel and then repeat. (We had to do this like 5-6 times!) Is that normal? And if so how do you guys handle this step as I'm sure there is a better way to do it. I thought maybe get another bucket, cheesecloth the top, and just dump it all in there so at least that would get a majority of sludge, then go from that bucket to primary. What do the experts think?!

In other news, we were obviously drinking while we were brewing and I was fortunate enough to have Cigar City Either Or and Guava Grove. These beers were amazing! I highly encourage anyone that can get them to snag them. Cigar City is awesome!

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Old 11-19-2010, 02:13 PM   #2
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i use a nylon mesh bag to put my hops in. it stops most of the hop slug. after that i dont strain the wort out i just dump it in the fermenter. everything will fall out of solution and end up in the trub.

congrats on the first brew

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Old 11-19-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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That is great. I didnt even think of that. Thank you for your reply. I kept looking at all the hop sludge and thinking "Man I don't want this in my beer! But I do want every ounce of that sweet nectar of the gods in my primary!"

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Old 12-01-2010, 02:36 PM   #4
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Comin' up on 2 weeks in the primary and it smells great! I took a reading last night and I'm at 1.02-ish. I was right on the OG of 1.045. It fermented vigorously for the first 2 days but after that, there is only a very thing layer at the top (sort of like Ed Wort's Apfelwein). Color looks great too.

I did drink a little last night just to get an idea of what I was working with and it tasted pretty great. A little boozy but that should clear up with age.

Is it normal with a Pale Ale to not really have a krausen layer at the top? I'm in Florida and I have kept my house temp around 72 (lowest I can go without freezing out SWMBO) and I have been nervous the whole time that this might be too high. I used a dry US-05. I'm going to continue to take readings to see if fermentation is still going on but do you all recommend maybe stirring it a little in case my yeasties have gone dormant?

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Old 12-02-2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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i would just let it sit. you dont want to chance oxidation by stirring it. i ferment around that temp too i havent had a problem yet. it is on my todo list to build a fermation chamber to get it to the right range you could look into that or you could try a swamp cooler

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Old 12-10-2010, 07:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice kgfitz. I just left it alone and a week later it smelled and tasted great without any carbonation!

Bottled it all up last night. Cant wait to try a fully carbonated one. We also came up with a name for the beer. Simply, 'Robert Van Winkle' Extra Pale Ale. Can you guess the secret ingredient?

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