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Old 05-03-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
avi8tor
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Default First Batch in the Pail

I purchased a kit yesterday and it's bubbling this morning. I bought a cream ale and screwed up from the start but hope its not a big issue. I seeped the grains for 20 mins and then added the extract. Reversed according to the instructions but I think the wort turned out fine as I stuck to the boiling timings. No burning or anything like that.

My wife commented on how great it smelled this morning so I think we're off to a great start.

Just a couple of questions:

1. My OG was right on at 1.05 but when I tested this morning it had not changed. I'm working from a satellite sample but suspect it just takes time (hardest part).
2. The closet I am keeping it in stays at 75. Seems a bit warm from reading all the posts here. I am thinking of picking up a thermostat controller for my unused deep freezer. Would this be a good idea to keep the fermentation down to around 68? I want to eventually do lagers so think it would be the right thing to do.

I'm excited and can't wait to do another.

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Old 05-03-2009, 01:45 PM   #2
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Steeping the grains before adding the extract is normal. You did well.

1. Patience
2.Yes. But if you don't use the freezer, can I have it?

Welcome aboard, and congrats on your new obsession!

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Old 05-03-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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A means to control fermentation temperatures is one of the best ways to improve your beer and get more consistent results. If you have the means to do so, go ahead.

Adding the extract at the end of the boil (10 min. or so) seems to be the preferred method. Extract has been boiled sufficiently in it's manufacture. Steeping for 20 minuets in 160 degree water is fine.

In the meantime, there are lots of tips on keeping your beer a few degrees cooler. Try the search function. Setting the bucket in a tupperware tub or can with a cool water bath works great. Just add a little ice as needed.

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Old 05-03-2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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Wait, the recipe wanted you to add the extract first and THEN steep the grains? That's just wrong.

1) There's absolutely no reason to check the gravity of your beer after only one day. One week is more like it. Your beer probably just started fermenting. BTW, what the heck is a satellite sample? If your beer has a high enough gravity to cause your hydrometer samples to orbit around it, you probably did something wrong.

2) A 75 degree temperature can cause some problems. It can cause off flavors even if the ambient temperature is 70F, which is what happened with my first homebrew. If you can't get a refrigeration controller setup working soon, I'd look into putting the fermenter into a water bath. The water takes a long time to be brought up to room temperature, and if it does you can add water bottles filled with ice to bring the water temperature back down. Try to do this as soon as possible, because the off flavors are generated in the early part of fermentation (when it's bubbling and churning away). If you do get off flavors (I had a strong banana and solvent flavor), it's not the end of the world. They do mellow with time. At week 6 in the bottle, my beer is actually pretty good now. But a little effort now can save you the frustration.

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Old 05-03-2009, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viking999 View Post
1) There's absolutely no reason to check the gravity of your beer after only one day. One week is more like it.
I would agree, except that he said it was satellite. That's a great way to learn the basics of the process and what is going on with the brew even though a satellite does not accurately represent the real brew.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice and information! I'll pick that controller up tomorrow and get the bucket in lower temps today. I'm in NC so I suspect that I will have trouble this summer as temps can get to 104.

Satellite sample: I took a sanitized cup, dipped it in the wort before making it airtight and put it in a bottle lightly covered and stored it with the 5 gallons so I wouldn't have to crack the fermentation bucket over and over again and I want to see how this all works

Sorry Gnome. The beer took the freezer.

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:07 PM   #7
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As a new brewer myself I understand that time is the hardest part. I made a batch two weeks in a row, so I have one in secondary and one still in primary. As soon as I get a chance to get to the LHBS I'm gonna get another primary vessel and brew again. The key is to have several brews going at once, so you don't have to come home and stare at a lone ale aging in the carboy.

As far as your gravity goes I don't think it's a terrible idea to check it early and often for the first batch. I did that and I have a better understanding of whats happening now. However they are right, unless it's for educational purposes there is no reason to check the gravity for a week or so. You're gonna be leaving it in the primary for at least that long anyway, regardless of the readings. Calculate maybe 10ish days in primary and 2-3 weeks in secondary, plus 3 weeks in bottle conditioning to sort of get an idea of the excruciating timeframe lol. Not to say it can't be done sooner.

Grats on the brew!

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:13 PM   #8
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Personally I would have used a larger satellite than one cup. However, it's a tough sacrifice to make, especially on the first brew. Anyting that stops you Continually messing with the real brew is a bonus though.

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:18 PM   #9
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I recall my dad making homebrew and blowing bottles up left and right because he couldn't wait. I think I he passed that gene on to me.

I'll have my wife lock it up and keep the key.

I was already thinking about another fermenter bucket

Think I'm hooked and I haven't even had my first beer yet.

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laughing_Gnome_Invisible View Post
Personally I would have used a larger satellite than one cup. However, it's a tough sacrifice to make, especially on the first brew. Anyting that stops you Continually messing with the real brew is a bonus though.
I took 24 oz for the sample Or did you mean having more than one sample? (Split)
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