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Old 05-30-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default first batch problems please help

sorry to bother the forum but tried our first brew last night. ran into multiple problems. besides the air lock getting stepped on and cracked in 3 pieces which we were able to tape back up in interim before replacing and fill with water, we also forgot to add back the last galon of water after the boil. right now we have the 4 gallons only. is this something i can add tonight or do i risk contamination? also is their any problem in replacing the air lock with the new one we purchased when it arrives or should we leave the one which we have on currently? thanks again.

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Old 05-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #2
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You can replace the airlock. Make sure everything is sanitized.

You can add the water, but I'd boil it first and let it cool to the appropriate temp. Sanitize your funnel or whatever you are using to transfer the extra gallon.

Beer is fairly resiliant. It'll be allright.

And welcome to HBT and congrats on your first brew!

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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you can add in the water. i would boil it properly for at least 5 minutes to sterilize it, then transfer it to a sanitized container (if you use plastic, let the water cool in the pot a little before pouring). chill the water down to same temp as the contents of the fermenter, and pour in (via a sanitized funnel).

you can also replace the air-lock, but do you need to? if the tape is holding and it isn't leaking, i would just let it be. but if it's not holding its contents then you need to replace it. be sure to sanitize your hands and the new airlock before swapping it out. if you want to be extra-careful, you could sanitize some tinfoil and cover the opening in the bucket/carboy while you fiddle with the old and new air-locks. the idea here is to prevent anything bad from falling into the brew, like dust that could be carrying nasties. don't worry if you don't do this, having the carboy/bucket's open for a minute is unlikely to cause a problem.

p.s. what Wig said

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Old 05-31-2012, 01:10 AM   #4
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I also am fermenting the beer in a fermentation bucket in my garage. I live in NY and this time of year the weather can be a concern. Do you think this is a bad place to keep it? I have it in a dark room with no windows which I'd feel was the coolest part. Thanks for all of your help!

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Old 05-31-2012, 01:17 AM   #5
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If it gets above 70 degrees, put it in the bathtub with wet towels over it and a fan blowing on it to control the temperature.

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Old 05-31-2012, 01:17 AM   #6
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Just get a vinyl tube from home depot and stick it in a beer bottle in the other end. As for the light, paper bag it. Luckily I have removed all my wife's crap from a tiny closet and replace it with my glorious fermentation vessels.

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Old 05-31-2012, 01:29 AM   #7
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Ok, so quick update just checked and the air lock did let some of the water it was holding out. I did order two off of eBay for $7 shipped, and hopefully they will be to us by Fri. In the interim I have put a pot of 1G of water on the stove and have broken out the sani star. Should I take a temp reading of the wort, and make sure it is below 70 F?

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Old 05-31-2012, 01:53 AM   #8
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Your LHBS should have a little sticker that goes on the front of it for like 2$ that will tell you the temp, or at target/wallmart you could get a fish tank one. Something like this: http://stores.mdhb.com/-strse-147/Liquid-Crystal-Thermometer-for/Detail.bok.

As long as you keep the lid on the fermenter, put a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the lid, and poke a hole in it, not next to the hole for the airlock so that the gas can escape. Your just trying to let CO2 out without letting crap in. and a pinhole should be enough to keep the bugs out.

As a side note, When I did extract batches I never boiled the water that I added back in, because I used filtered water, and I never had any problems.

But in the end: Relax, Dont worry have a homebrew (or in your case a commercial one)

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:09 AM   #9
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Oh man, the hits just keep on coming. Wort temperature is at 76 F in garage according to the temperature on the therm on the outside of the bucket! I just boiled the extra 1G and are letting it cool down to 65 before adding back to the wort. To add back do I open the top, or just try to pour through funnel through hole in the lid? Just cracked a Pond Hopper Double Extra Pale Ale to help cope with all this stress.

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:17 AM   #10
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76 is hot... try setting the bucket in water with ice to keep it cool... also I use rum in my air lock to keep the bacteria out (water can get bacteria in it)
My last brew was 72F for a few days during active fermentation then cooled to 68 (my basement stays a nice 65-67F

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