Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway - Last Chance to Enter!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Brew!
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-02-2012, 04:56 PM   #11
progmac
Sponsor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cincy, OH
Posts: 1,843
Liked 234 Times on 192 Posts
Likes Given: 309

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
Great job and congrats on your first brew!

1,2,3 - You don't have to worry too much about temps when you are steeping grains. As long as you are somewhere close, you will be fine. You are basically just washing the sugars out of the grain and any hot water will do. If you decide to try an all grain batch, you'll need to work on being able to maintain accurate temps. .
Bill - I actually think these 1 gallon kits are all grain, as in no extract, even though in the directions they just say 'steeping the grains' when all of us here would say 'mashing'
__________________
progmac is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 02:23 AM   #12
IPAddict
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Thanks for reading everyone, and thanks for the comments. Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I've been pretty busy, and I forgot all about it. So here's a reply post, and I'll follow that with an update post of the bottling. Cheers!

*Oh, I was gonna just bold each person's name, rather than quote the post. I figured since it's been a while since you all posted, quoting each of you would probably let you know through email/pm, where as bolding wouldn't. I shortened the quotes too, so the post isn't so long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
everything looks normal! thanks for sharing. i think this is a great resource for people making their first couple batches.

...
Thanks for reading! And thanks for the kind words!

I'm definitely going to be returning my hydrometer samples, so that's good to hear. And yes it is because it's such a small batch, otherwise I wouldn't mind having a taste .

I'll keep that in mind for down the line, whenever I upgrade to a 5 gal system. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I can keep the temperature in the correct range, at least once I have it in the range. Temperature of an object doesn't cool to room temperature linearly, but my log shows it cooling at about a rate of 1 deg / 5 min. I think in the scope of that temperature, it acts linearly enough. Next time I'm gonna be very focused on keeping that initial temp from getting above the range. If I can start it within the range, I'll be just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpabian View Post
Great post! I agree with progmac, it is a great resources for newbies! Thanks!
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the compliments! I hope others starting off with this kit (or just starting out) can get some help from this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmanwell View Post
Welcome to the addiction. It's only going to get worse from here.
Hahaha, thanks man! I think you're right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistr25 View Post
Everything looks great ...
Thanks for the advice! I did it this way only because I'm following a recipe that came with the kit. Once I have a few brews under my belt I plan on modifying some recipes and eventually trying out my own altogether. IPA's are my favorite beer (hence the username ) so I'm interested to see how this turns out. Also, the recipe is called "Everyday IPA" so it seems a bit like they're trying to hit all 3 of those zones evenly. I'll post up the recipe in the update post (following this reply post).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadyKilowatt View Post
Looks good! ...

Welcome to the world of homebrewing!
Thanks for the comments and advice, much appreciated!

I do have recipe in the book that came with the kit, and it also comes with dozens of other recipes too. I am going to take your advice though and write it down anyways. I like that idea, and it's good to get in the habit of doing that now, so when I try a recipe not in that book, I'm already accustomed to logging it. And as you mentioned, I do like to have plenty of detail. Sounds like you're the same

I'll keep using the strainer then, and I now have a digital scale in the house. As for the sample, since it's a 1 gal batch, I'm gonna keep it. But once I'm at a 5 gal, I'll be sampling the goods .

Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
Great job and congrats on your first brew! ...
Thanks for the comments! Much appreciated!

The kit's an all grain set up. Don't worry about it though, you are definitely not the first fooled by this . As for the hops, glad to hear it. I believe you about a strainer like that in a 5 gal batch. This strainer had a tough enough time for a 1 gal . And I have a digital scale now, so I'll be able to get that precision. And yeah, keeping the beer from getting contaminated it definitely high on my list .

Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
Bill - I actually think these 1 gallon kits are all grain, as in no extract ...
Yeah, it's an all grain. Could you explain why some people tend to think it's extract? Just curious, thanks!
__________________
IPAddict is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 03:57 AM   #13
IPAddict
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default Bottling Update

UPDATE:

Ok, so I waited a full 4 weeks to let it ferment. Since I didn't want to risk contamination, I decided this was the better option, rather than taking multiple hydrometer readings over a few days. I'm glad I did this, I'll explain a bit further down. So I bottled on Wednesday, 11/14/12. Prep time took about 30 minutes, and the whole bottling process took about 1hr 10min. I got it done, with much difficulty/frustration , but the keywords: I got it done .

Here's the update to the log:

[LOG UPDATE START]
Bottling: Wed, Nov 14, 2012

2:20p start prep
2:20p move fermentor onto counter (& let sit/settle)
2:22p checking I have everything I need
2:25p re-sanitizing bottles/instruments

2:50p start bottling process
2:50p boiling priming sugar mix (water and honey)

4:00p finish
[LOG UPDATE END]

As you can see, the log for the bottling process wasn't as thorough. I got too involved with what was going on to really take note on paper and timestamp it. I think once I've done this a few times and have an idea of everything I need, I can make a template where I just have to fill in the time next to the step (and anything else, like temp), and I can add additional notes if needed. I think that would make logging a lot easier.

Ok, I'll go over what went wrong:

  1. Right off the bat, things weren't looking good. I had the jar with the sanitizing solution that I had used for the blowoff tube during early fermentation. I figured it's sanitizing solution, just leave it there and it will be fine since it will kill off any bacteria that comes into contact with it. I was also thinking I could reuse it for sanitizing for the bottling process. In the last two weeks of fermentation, I hadn't checked things as often as I had in the first two weeks. And after the airlock was on, I hadn't been really paying attention to the jar. Well, I had let the jar set there with no lid, and right before bottling, when I went to get it, there was some mold forming on the top. Well, I just can't use that sanitizing solution, no big deal right? Well, I had left the tubing in there in the hopes of just rinsing it off right before bottling.

    Part of the tubing came up out of the surface. The good thing was that both ends were submerged, and the only air the tube was what was in the part sticking up. Since that air was trapped, I don't think there was any mold (It didn't look like it, but my eyes aren't microscopes... I'm just hoping here). I poured out the solution, wiped off the mold thoroughly with a wet/soapy paper towel, and then proceeded to wash the ****e outta the tubing with scalding water and dish soap. I let it soak in scaling water for a bit before rinsing it, and then spraying it with sanitizing solution. I'm pretty sure the mold was only on the outside of the tubing, no more than 2 inches long, and I'm pretty damn sure I got rid of it all.

  2. If you've noticed, I don't have a FG reading listed in the log. The wine thief I bought doesn't actually fit in the 1 gal carboy, which is surprising since I bought it based on the fact that it fits in a 1/2 gal growler. I knew that already though. My idea for bottling day was to take the tubing, dip it in the carboy, sanitize my finger and use that to plug the other end, then pull it out, put it in the hydrometer tube, and remove my finger. This did not work, not even close. I had imagined this would be as easy as when you're a kid and you do this with a soda and a straw; it wasn't at all. Not only that, with sanitized hands, I felt it difficult to really hold the tubing (kept slipping, pretty easily).

    It took me a good amount of tries to fill the hydrometer tube about 1/5 to 1/4, not enough to get a reading. I was getting worried about disturbing the beer too much and having it leave the carboy, then drop back in, make bubbles. I got paranoid about contamination, and I started to get frustrated with it, so I decided to skip that and just get it bottled without an FG. At that point I had figured, this is my first brew, it's more about getting the process down, I don't necessarily need to worry about knowing the actual ABV at the cost of loosing my cool and potentially messing something up. So I siphoned it into the pot with the priming sugar.

    I could have filled the hydrometer tube when I was siphoning, but I was holding the carboy high up with one hand and holding the tubing with the other. I couldn't hold the tube as well, over the pot, and I didn't want to spill transferring back to the pot (or even knock the tube over).

  3. The racking cane is difficult to deal with by yourself. Although it does have that cap that ensures it draws from above rather than below (I'll try and mspaint it for those that might not know what I'm talking about; I don't know if this is something standard or not), the cane can reach the bottom of the carboy. That means it will rest on the trub, which means it will disturb it at least once (putting it in) and any time the cane moves. It's just resting on the mouth of the carboy, and it is attached to the tubing; it does move. I tried to fix that by clamping it down at the mouth with a rubber band. It only alleviated a little bit of movement. It was better, but it still moves a lot and did disturb the trub.

  4. Siphoning at any point was an absolute PAIN. I had to use water to fill the tubing with since I was low on sanitizer (so I didn't fill it all the way to the racking cane). It was hard to get it going and then keep it going. It would go strong initially, then trickle off slowly. This wasn't so bad for getting it into the pot with the priming sugar, but when it came to bottling, it was so difficult. Since I had to stop between bottles, it cut off the vacuum, and since the flow gets cut to a trickle, when the tube gets clamped shut, there's not enough beer in the tube to start the siphon again .

    The amount of difficulty I had with this, is why I'm glad I didn't try to take multiple hydrometer readings before bottling.

  5. It was difficult to fill the bottles since I had to slow down towards the top and stop a couple times to make sure I don't overfill. This was more to do with the siphoning issue, but still.

Hindsight:
  • Next time I'm just gonna clean/sanitize everything when I'm done using it. I'd rather just be thorough with it.
  • If I set it up better, I could get the sample for the FG by filling it up as im siphoning into the pot with the priming sugar. I should just have a box or something to have the carboy raised. It would be easier on me, give me a free hand, and I could make sure the trub stays settled.
  • A brew buddy, or buddyette if you're lucky enough , would definitely help for many things. Right now, any friend I could use to help would be working when I'm brewing. Same with the girlfriend too, although she would help me in a pinch if she could. She doesn't drink beer, but I'll have to do a cider brew down the line for her /tangent
  • An auto-siphon would really, really help I think. Since this is what caused me the most frustration, I'll definitely get one of those.
  • A bottling wand would help. I'll pick one up.

Although I didn't get enough of a sample for the FG reading, I did have enough to at least taste the beer. It tasted good, nice and hoppy, and a very hoppy aroma, all like an IPA should. It did taste sweet, as expected, due to the high temp during the first 10-15 min of the mash.

When preparing the priming sugar I decided to just add water right off the bat, rather than try and heat the honey by itself. It recommended to add a 1/4 cup at a time; I think I added 1/2 cup total. The reason I did this, is because I'd rather have it fairly diluted and very fluid (and not stuck in clumps or stuck to the bottom of the pot). I want it to be easy to mix evenly with the beer, so each bottle is carbonated as uniformly as possible, as well as to keep me from stirring too much and get oxygen in the beer.

Minus the siphoning and filling issues, getting the beer into the bottles wasn't bad. It seems a lot of people don't like this part, but I didn't mind it, and well, maybe that's because I was so frustrated with some of the other parts of the process, but I don't think it was that bad. The hard part for me at first was keeping an eye on the beer level in the bottle. It was hard to see with brown bottles, and the label on, but once I figured out the angle to hold it at so I could tell where the level was, it wasn't bad at all. I had all the bottles out and sanitized. I'd just take one, fill it, and set it aside. Eazy peazy.

The capping was straight forward, although I'll admit, I couldn't resist when I bought it and tried it a few times . I had some bottle caps sitting in a small bowl of sanitizer as well as the 12 pack box ready. I just took a bottle, took a cap, capped it, and put it in the box. Rinse and repeat, no issues there.

Since the trub was getting disturbed when I siphoned the beer into the pot, I knew my beer would have some settlements at the bottom of the bottles (more than what would be usual). Sure enough, it does. I've included a couple pictures so you can see. They're in 12oz Racer 5 bottles, so that will give you an idea of the size. It's not a big deal, and I'll live. Next time, I will try and attach/fasten the cane in a way so that it is stationary.

It's been conditioning in the bottles for 2 weeks as of yesterday (Wed, 11/28/12). I think I will be patient and let it condition for 2 more weeks, for a total of 4. I'm not drinking during the week, so it will really be 4 weeks 2 days (or 3 days, depending upon weather I drink it on a Fri or Sat). I might have one of the beers in a week from tomorrow. I will definitely let you all know .

Thanks for reading, check out the pics that follow. I'll give another update after I try the first beer . Thanks again for all the help, advice, and support, much appreciated! Cheers!
__________________
IPAddict is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 04:12 AM   #14
IPAddict
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default Bottling pics

Pic 1: mspaint of how the cap on a racking cane works (for those that don't know). The cap is the black piece at the end of the racking cane. there's space at the top, between the edge of the cap, and the cane. The bottom is closed. nothing gets in from the bottom of the cap (indicated arrows with red x's) it has to go in from the top where the openings are (indicated arrows with green checks). However, the cane can disturb the trub, which unsettles it and can result in it getting drawn in to the cane.

Pic 2: Carboy moved to counter. Letting sit to resettle trub.

Pic 3: About eye level view of the trub. A little blurry, sorry.

Pic 4: Not as eye level, but a clearer. Show the trub in relation to most of the carboy.

Pic 5: Shows the kraussen residue around the neck.

rackingcanecap.jpg   d39.jpg   d41.jpg   d42.jpg   d43.jpg  

__________________
IPAddict is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 04:19 AM   #15
IPAddict
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default More bottling pics

Pic 1: Shows 7 filled bottles, the empty carboy with trub left behind, almost done!

Pic 2: Close up of the trub left behind. That's a Racer 5 bottle up next to it for size reference.

Pic 3: Pic taken today, shows the sediment in the bottle. Would have liked to have much less, but that's ok. I'll try and do better on that next time.

Pic 4: All bottled! There are 2 empties just to keep it packed nice and tight, since there are no cardboard dividers in there.

Pic 5: None so far, so I'm happy! =D

d45.jpg   d51.jpg   d54.jpg   d55.jpg   d57.jpg  

__________________
IPAddict is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 04:20 AM   #16
MTate37
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 750
Liked 104 Times on 59 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

+999,999,999 to auto-siphon. Best brewing purchase I've made to date.

You might also consider a turkey baster to get the samples from your gallon jug to the wine thief. I know it's an extra step and another possible point of infection, but I haven't managed to infect any of my gallons doing this. Just angle the thief a little and let the beer flow down the side to reduce the chance of oxidation.

__________________

Untappd: mtate37 - Untappd Wishlist

MTate37 is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 04:28 AM   #17
IPAddict
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTate37 View Post
+999,999,999 to auto-siphon. Best brewing purchase I've made to date.

You might also consider a turkey baster to get the samples from your gallon jug to the wine thief. I know it's an extra step and another possible point of infection, but I haven't managed to infect any of my gallons doing this. Just angle the thief a little and let the beer flow down the side to reduce the chance of oxidation.
Awesome! I'm hoping I'll be saying the same thing. With that said, does any old one work, or are some better than others? Any recommendations are appreciated; I'd like to get a solid one that will last a long time.

And you know what's funny is, I looked all over the kitchen for a turkey baster and didn't find one. I was told after "oh it's in there somewhere." Come Thanksgiving, I'm doing the turkey, we still couldn't find it. I guess it's time to go out and buy another.
__________________
IPAddict is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 04:36 AM   #18
MTate37
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 750
Liked 104 Times on 59 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

My LHBS only had one brand and it works just fine. I've read that as the auto-siphon gets older it will start to lose the seal that makes it work, but you can pour some sanitized water in the outer tube and that will give you a seal. Every time I bottle I give thanks to the people that invented bottling wands and auto-siphons. I also silently thank Revvy for his bottling sticky.

__________________

Untappd: mtate37 - Untappd Wishlist

MTate37 is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 12:16 PM   #19
progmac
Sponsor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cincy, OH
Posts: 1,843
Liked 234 Times on 192 Posts
Likes Given: 309

Default

you know, whoever you work for is lucky to have you. your posts and beer-making is the most thorough and well-documented i've ever seen. i couldn't help but smile when i read the time stamps of all the different activities! i imagine this translates to other aspects of your life as well.

you asked why people kept assuming you were doing extract. the reason is because most new brewers on here start out doing 5 gallon batches with malt extract (thick, syruppy goo made from the same type of malted grains in your kit) rather than 1 gallon all-grain. the reason 5 gallon brewers don't start with all grain is because making 5 gallon batches on the stove starts to involve multiple really big pots and apparatuses and large volumes of grain and water, so 24 out of 25 beginners use extract so they can brew with just one pot and not deal with 10+ pounds of grain. more experienced brewers also use extract at times for similar reasons. but with 1 gallon batches, the amount of grain and water is small enough that you can do everything in a fairly small stock pot. i actually think that the 1 gallon process you're doing is probably more educational than a 5 gallon extract brew.

to me the next logical step in your addiction is 3 gallon all-grain BIAB style brewing.

__________________
progmac is offline
IPAddict Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-01-2012, 02:53 AM   #20
IPAddict
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

MTate37:

Sounds good. I'll check out my LHBS and see what they have. Once I have those pieces, I'll go ahead and reread his sticky.

progmac:

Thank you very, very much for that compliment! And yes it does carry over. I have a very high attention to detail. It can be time consuming but the rewards are well worth it.

I didn't realize so many started out that way. I thought most people either did smaller kits or just dove right in to 5 gal systems. I'll definitely be checking out that 3 gal BIAB, but I'm not sure if I'll make it there. The reason why is because of some good news =D.


Good news everyone! My cousin just recently moved back to my town and he's got a lot more free time. He has a 5 gal system and he said he's down to get some brewing going. So now I have someone to brew with, and it will be on a 5 gal level. I'll still be doing 1 gal brews though, but this will be fun to get some more out of it, and I'll be able to learn some things from him. If I get the experience in, then once I'm able to, I'll set up my own 5 gal system.
goodnewseveryone.jpg  
__________________
IPAddict is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New brew schedule... or how to brew with toddlers! (input/advice sought!) Zymurgrafi All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 56 10-22-2013 05:22 PM
For Sale - brew craft deluxe home brew kit all you need to make beer cowboybuckup For Sale 20 07-01-2012 05:16 AM
Review brew plan/recipes for 2.5gallon Brew in bag experinment flipfloptan Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 09-19-2010 11:56 PM
22 quart cooler, 2 4 gallon brew pots: how much can I brew AG? Cugel All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 05-31-2008 09:40 AM
Brew Shop closed. Best yeast to buy for hard apple cider brew? britishbloke Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 01-10-2007 02:48 AM